Tech 1 Racing takes the championship lead Tech 1 Racing has enjoyed a successful weekend at Magny-Cours. By finishing in the points in both races, Alvaro Parente and Julien Jousse (who also claimed his second podium of the year) allowed ...
Tech 1 Racing takes the championship lead
Tech 1 Racing has enjoyed a successful weekend at Magny-Cours. By finishing in the points in both races, Alvaro Parente and Julien Jousse (who also claimed his second podium of the year) allowed the Toulouse-based squad to take the lead of the teams championship !
Two weeks after Donington Park, the World Series by Renault headed to central France and Magny-Cours. With just two 45-minute free practice sessions, every second counted towards finding the best possible set-up for qualifying. But for the first time this season, the Tech 1 Racing team was up against it. On Friday evening, Alvaro Parente commented: "We've not found the same track conditions as we had in April, when we came here to do two days of testing. We're two seconds off our usual pace and there's a lot of work to do to catch up with everyone else."
The team's engineers rose to the occasion in time for qualifying. Alvaro set second-fastest time in his group, just beaten at the flag by Marco Bonanomi. The Tech 1 driver however had to relinquish five places on the grid, the result of a penalty from the Donington race. Julien felt less comfortable and lined up on the seventh row for race one.
For the first time all season, rain was the order of the day for Saturday's race. Despite limited visibility, Alvaro and Julien made a good start and gained several places on the opening lap to climb to sixth and ninth. After the pit stops were over they maintained these places to the finish.
Team boss Simon Abadie commented: "We lacked a little bit of performance, which was to be expected as we do not have a lot of experience in the rain. Alvaro was not too happy with his second set of rear tyres and decided to concentrate on maintaining sixth place. Otherwise, I believe he had the potential to get onto the podium."
By finishing ninth on Saturday, Julien Jousse found himself on the front row of the grid for race two -- which this time was held in bright sunshine. The Frenchman held onto second place at the start, while Alvaro dropped a position but quickly made it back up on lap three. While Moreau sped towards victory, Julien robustly defended his place from Miguel Molina -- who in turn was threatened by Alvaro, who had got past Iaconelli earlier. The four drivers put on a breathtaking display of wheel-to-wheel racing in front of 65,000 captivated fans!
Three laps from the end, Julien made a small mistake after getting distracted by Salvador Duran coming out of the pits slowly. Molina took advantage of this to get past Julien -- and suddenly the two Tech 1 drivers found themselves fighting for the final podium place! Nonetheless, their order remained the same right up to the chequered flag, giving Julien his second podium finish of the year. Alvaro's fourth place allowed him to claw back a number of the points he had lost to Hanley the previous day.
Simon Abadie drew a positive conclusion from race two. "Julien did a great job to resist the pressure from Molina for 24 laps," he said. "This second visit to the podium underlines just how much progress he has made over the course of the year. But I do not think it was right for the race marshals to allow Duran to come out of the pits just in front of the group that was fighting for second place -- which is what caused Julien's mistake. With fourth place for Alvaro, we've scored enough points to take the lead of the team's championship with a healthy margin. Generally speaking it's been a very good weekend, which means that we can approach the rest of the year in a positive frame of mind."
Driver 1. Parente 99 pt 2. Hanley 85 pt 3. Vettel 74 pt 9. Jousse 44 pts
Teams 1. Tech 1 Racing 143 pts 2. Carlin Motorsport 122 pts 3. Draco Racing 110 pts