SG Formula shines at home Charles Pic is still the best rookie in the provisional championship standings, after he scored more points than any other driver in the French rounds of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0. The 17-year old qualified second...
SG Formula shines at home
Charles Pic is still the best rookie in the provisional championship standings, after he scored more points than any other driver in the French rounds of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0. The 17-year old qualified second and third, and missed the pole position by only 0''005. In a rainy race one, he briefly took the lead after series leader Brendon Hartley went off at Estoril, but French championship race winner Mathieu Arzeno found a way past Charles at Adela0x00efde hairpin. The SG Formula driver didn't really threaten his compatriot after the move, because the latter was in a one-off appearance in the Eurocup. Consequently, Charles scored 15 points, just like if he'd won. The track was dry on Sunday. Charles spent most of the race catching back up from stalling on the grid. He had an impressive recovery from 26th at the first corner to 10th on the line. Hartley nearly sealed the title with four rounds to spare by taking another podium finish, but there will be a pretty interesting battle for the runner-up spot at Estoril and Barcelona. Franck Kechele, Stefano Coletti and Charles Pic have 55, 54 and 53 points respectively in the championship table.
Two weeks after claiming his maiden motor sport victory at Donington Park, Jon Lancaster was in a position to confirm on this side of the Channel. He started both races from 4th. The driver from Leeds lost 4th place in a spin on Saturday's slippery track. He dropped down to 21st but crossed the line in 11th and scored two points. He was running a superb second on Sunday when he cut a chicane and got a drive through penalty. The British driver is still in contention to finish runner-up in the series.
Alexandre Marsoin drove solid races in Donington but struggled in mid-field on home soil. He went off in qualifying and had to start from 26th and 25th. He managed to move up in both races, but not enough to score. French championship regular Edouard Texte made his Eurocup debut at Magny-Cours. Poor qualifying resulted in being stuck at the back of the pack throughout the races for the rookie. But the important race mileage he got may help him to improve his pace in the next national event, which is also scheduled to take place at the French Grand Prix venue.
Team-manager Stephane Guerin said: "we tested various set-ups in Thursday and Friday's collective tests, and I am satisfied with Charles Pic and Jon Lancaster's achievements in qualifying. You have to keep in mind that our drivers have little experience in the category, compared to other teams like Epsilon. But sometimes, it makes things even more interesting, like when Charles kept the metal-to-the-pedal into the N0x00fcrburgring chicane during the qualifying session. We could read a minimum speed of 199 kph on the data, which is an excellent performance with a Formula Renault 2.0 car. It paid off in qualifying and he drove an excellent race on Saturday. It's a shame that he lost so many points on Sunday. Jon also performed well, especially round Estoril. But I am disappointed with his results. He was hit from behind by another driver, which caused him cutting the chicane. But he actually gained momentum coming out of the chicane, and he overtook another car in the process. He should have lifted to allow this car past, and may have avoided the drive through penalty."
The next Eurocup rounds will take place at the famous Estoril circuit in Portugal on October 20-21, where SG Formula set the pace in all the pre-event tests in 2005, then took one pole, two fastest lap, one win and two podiums in 2005.