The power of two Julien Jousse had his best meeting to date in Formula Renault 3.5. From 2nd fastest in the Superpole runoff he went on to pick up a brace of 2nd places in the races. That takes him into. 2nd spot in the championship ...
The power of two
Julien Jousse had his best meeting to date in Formula Renault 3.5. From 2nd fastest in the Superpole runoff he went on to pick up a brace of 2nd places in the races. That takes him into. 2nd spot in the championship standings going into the 2nd half of the season.
A year ago on this track near Budapest, Julian took a big step in his career by notching up points in both races. Twelve months on and now he is one of the favourites in the category. He was intent on using the Hungarian meeting to improve on his 5th place in the standings.
Several practice sessions were on the agenda and Julien was going well on old tyres before clocking the 3rd fastest lap with a new set. These were encouraging signs that gave the team plenty of confidence for qualifying and the two races that made up the weekend.
As stipulated in the 2008 regulations, the fist challenge was to qualify for the Superpole runoff. The man from the Var area of France did so with ease. He clocked the best time in Group A, a time which nobody in Group B was able to better. But Julien didn't do quite as well in the Superpole, in which he clocked the second fastest time, just 185 thousandths of a second slower that Fabio Carbone. "The potential was there but I got held up in my 3rd and 4th laps just as my tyres were about ready to spit fire. Coming second in the Superpole was a fair result, even if it brings two points less that pole."
In race 1 the eight fastest cars in the Superpole runoff started in reverse order. Julien therefore was on the 7th spot of the grid. He set himself what seemed like a reasonable objective: to win a few points. But after getting off to a fine start the Tech 1 Racing driver slotted straight into 5th place and decided to set his sights higher. Next he got past Alvaro Barba during braking and later used his 'push to pass' button to surge past team-mate Charles Pic in the interval between two safety car procedures. Julien moved into 2nd place when race leader Alexandre Marsoin picked up a penalty. "Half the race had gone so I decided to push Giedo Van der Garde very hard. Then I decided to back off for awhile and come back strong in the last three laps. But he was having none of it, he made no mistake." It's fair to say Julien made no mistake either on his way up from 7th to 2nd. He also clocked the fastest lap.
With second place on the grid under his belt Julien looked forward to doing at least as well in Sunday's race. He decided to play safe at the start and slipped easily into 3rd place. "I preferred to wait for the pit stop. Unfortunately I came to a halt just off my allocated spot and we lost some time because of it. I still managed to come out of the pits ahead of Van der Garde, and started lapping quickly in order to make the most of my new tyres. Then the race leaders went in for a refuelling stop and Molina came out behind me. After that, there was only Carbone ahead of me. Since he was going fast I decided to play safe again to preserve my second place, which was a good deal for the championships, both for me and the team." He still clocked the 2nd fastest in the race and took 2nd spot on the podium for the second time running in the weekend.
Julien thus strengthened his hold on 2nd place in the championship behind Van der Garde who, despite having opened up a big gap at the head of the standings, nevertheless showed that he was human by spinning off the road just three laps from the flag at the end of race 2. "Retaking this second spot was our main objective going into the meeting. Now we can look ahead to returning from holidays in very good shape" concluded Julien. Next meeting: Nürburgring, August 30-31.