With everyone starting from scratch ...a podium place for SG Formula In what was only its fifth Formula Renault 3.5 Series meeting at Portimao, the SG Formula team came away fair and square with its first podium place. 6th in the qualifications...
With everyone starting from scratch ...a podium place for SG Formula
In what was only its fifth Formula Renault 3.5 Series meeting at Portimao, the SG Formula team came away fair and square with its first podium place. 6th in the qualifications and already 5thin race 1, Guillaume Moreau passed the chequered flag in 3rd position in race 2. This splendid effort in Portugal was just reward for a team which really did tackle this new category front on by the nard route.
Considerable progress was recorded at Le Mans by the French team, which had been involved in FR 3.5 Series racing for less than three months. Guillaume Moreau had moved up from 19th to 13th place in race 1, before stalling at the start of race 2, gaining 13 places and slotting into 12th overall. On the new Portimao circuit, however, the Franco-Russian squad was clearly reading from a different song sheet. Team Manager Stephane Guerin told us what he thought about this spectacular improvement: "the fact that we were racing in neutral territory, so to speak, made things easier for us. No team was able to rely on data stored over previous years or to run private trials on the track beforehand. Rival teams arrived at Portimao with no basic setup, as has been the case with us since we first became involved in Formula Renault 3.5. Consequently, we were starting more or less on the same footing, though it was clear that we were beginning to become more familiar with the operation of this single seater."
Guillaume Moreau set the tone by scoring a first point during qualifications, finishing 3rd in group A, less than two tenths of a second behind the fastest time, and 6th in the general classification. As proof of his own progress in the event, his Russian team mate Anton Nebylistky reeled off the 7th fastest time in group B. The Portuguese round of the championships was organized as a curtain-raiser to the Algarve 1000 km, counting towards the Le Mans Series, and race timing prevented the usual Superpole session from being staged. Otherwise Anton would have been just one place away from his first "superqualification".
Guillaume had a great start in race 1 and moved up from 4th to 2nd place before slipping back to 3rd position for two thirds of the race. Super fast in the technical sections, an over long sixth gear ratio meant that he was always labouring in the straight. Nevertheless, the Limoges-born driver did record a first concrete result by taking 5th place. The team paid for its lack of experience, however, as confirmed by Stephane Guerin: "We wouldn't have made that mistake had we been able to carry out winter tests. We were able to put things right for race 2. Guillaume covered the 27 laps in 3rd place and was on hand to challenge Charles Pic. However, we asked him to take no risks if he found himself in a position to win us this first podium placing."
Anton Nebylitski too could be very pleased with his weekend in Portugal. 12th in race 1, he was still close to winning his first point on the 16th lap of race 2 when his path and that of a spinning Jon Lancaster unfortunately crossed. "Anton raised his game and was able to keep up (to the thousand of a second) with James Walker, who is in 2nd position in the championship. He was 13th on the grid at Portimao, so I think he'll be among the 12 qualifiers for the Superpole at the Nurburgring. His pairing with Guillaume Moreau is working very nicely and efficiently. This is a positive outlook for the team, which can therefore learn twice as much information", Guerin ended by saying. The penultimate meeting of the season will be taking place at the Nurburgring on 19 and 20 September.