Relief for Costa Albert Costa (Epsilon Euskadi) must have gone through a fair number of sensations in the course of this first qualifying session of the season. To begin with, concern and worry, only just qualifying for the SuperPole after ...
Relief for Costa
Albert Costa (Epsilon Euskadi) must have gone through a fair number of sensations in the course of this first qualifying session of the season. To begin with, concern and worry, only just qualifying for the SuperPole after encountering fuel pump problems. Later, joy as he ended up taking pole position for both of this weekend's races. Nico Muller (Jenzer Motorsport) showed once again what a contender he is.
The thirty drivers competing in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 are divided into two groups for qualifying. Odd-number drivers are in Group A and even-number drivers in Group B. The first twelve of each group qualify for SuperPole.Daniel de Jong (MP Motorsport) set the pace at the start of the session ahead of Federico Sconti (One Racing) and Oliver Webb (Fortec Motorsport), the favorites biding their time before taking to the track.
With his first quick lap, Jean-Eric Vergne (SG Formula) took the top line on the time sheet in 1'45''174. Keeping the pressure on, he confirmed his position with a lap time of 1'44''754. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs (Motopark Academy) and Nico Muller took their turns to get in the thick of the action and move into second and third respectively. Nathanael Berthon (Epsilon Euskadi) proceeded to shake up the order of the top three by grabbing second spot.In eleventh place, Fabien Thurner (Jenzer Motorsport) was the last driver to qualify for the SuperPole.
The first few minutes were quiet and we had to wait until mid-session to see the first significant lap time. Genis Olive (Jenzer Motorsport) was first to go on the attack. Miki Monras (SG Formula), Arthur Pic (SG Formula), Nigel Melker (MP Motorsport), Albert Costa (Epsilon Euskadi) then Antonio Felix da Costa (Motopark Academy) all took to the tack, immediately shifting to the top of the leaderboard.
Kevin Magnussen (Motopark Academy) was next to set the fastest time with a 1'44''580 lap, but had little opportunity to taste his success as team mate Antonio Felix da Costa grabbed the leadership back with a 1'44''554 lap. The Motopark Academy drivers ended this session in the top two positions. Arthur Pic, Carlos Munos and Daniel Mancinelli (One Racing) made up the other three top-5 spots. Adam Kout (Krenek Motorsport), Genis Olive and Juan Jacobo (Motopark Academy) failed to qualify for the SuperPole.
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs dominated the start of the SuperPole session, ahead of team mate Marco Sorensen, but by mid-session only six drivers had actually clocked times. The others preferred to hold out until the end of the session. With traffic thick and furious toward the close of the session, the pecking order changed with every lap. Nico Muller took a provisional pole but Antonio Felix da Costa then Adrian Quaife-Hobbs upped the stakes.
Penalised by fuel pump trouble in the morning, Albert Costa was finally able to remedy the problem and quickly moved into pole position himelf, with a fastest time of 1'44''370. Immediately after, he set the second fastest time as well, putting himself firmly in the driving seat with pole position in both this weekend's races. Nico Muller, clearly on form, finished second.
Albert Costa: "This is a great reward for our efforts. There's a real family feel in the Epsilon Euskadi team, and these two poles bring great joy to everyone here. This morning we had problems. We succeeded in getting everything back ship-shape and I put everything into the SuperPole. We need to follow up with at least one win. "
Nico Muller: "I've been on the pace since the start of this weekend. I made one error in my last lap; it didn't cost me the pole position, but it did mean I qualified in bad shape for race 2, where I'll be starting from 5th plae on the grid. If I want to win, I have to do it in the first race. "