Da Costa keeps up the pressure Motopark Academy's Antonio Felix da Costa could still be crowned champion, and he showed his intentions by setting the fastest time in collective testing at Motorland Aragon. The Portuguese driver led the session...
Da Costa keeps up the pressure
Motopark Academy's Antonio Felix da Costa could still be crowned champion, and he showed his intentions by setting the fastest time in collective testing at Motorland Aragon. The Portuguese driver led the session ahead of teammate Kuba Giermaziak and the two leaders of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 championship, SG Formula's Jean-Eric Vergne and Epsilon Euskadi's Albert Costa.
The Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 drivers are the only ones to have raced on the brand new Motorland Aragon circuit so far. During collective testing, which took place here back in September, da Costa set the fastest lap with a time of 1'59"841.
For this, the last round of the season, the BVM Minardi Team makes its return to Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 with Italian Andrea Roda and 2009 Formula Renault 2.0 UK winner, Dean Smith. Jordi Cunill and Tristan Vautier lined up for Iquick Valencia, while Russia's Maxim Zimin joins Jenzer Motorsport and Patrick Kronenberger dons the Motopark Academy colours.
Even if the track was still cold on Friday morning, the drivers, who were clearly raring to go, quickly got into their stride. Jean-Eric Vergne and Antonio Felix da Costa took an early advantage at the start of the session and Kuba Giermaziak soon joined the action for first place. The Polish driver set a provisional fastest lap of 2'00"680, his performance was soon better by da Costa, followed by Jean-Eric Vergne. At the end of the session, da Costa almost equaled his time set in September, lapping in 1'59"842. Just moments later, he had bettered it. His teammate Kevin Magnussen then followed suit. With a time of 1'59"617, he put himself in front, to lead da Costa and Vergne, followed by Motopark Academy's Adrian Quaife-Hobbs and Kuba Giermaziak. The afternoon session got off to a subdued start. The drivers stayed on worn tyres and waited until the very last moment before putting on fresh rubber. In the build up to the closing fifteen minutes, da Costa and Epsilon Sport's Luciano Bacheta really got down to business. The signal came from Kevin Magnussen who put on another impressive performance, beating his own fastest lap from the morning session, with a time of 1'59"563. Da Costa reacted immediately and reclaimed his lead with a lap of 1'59"319.
Immediately, Giermaziak hit back and took the advantage over his Motopark Academy teammates, but only for a few moments, as da Costa snuck back into the top spot in 1'58"969. Vergne managed to claim third place just ahead of Epsilon Euskadi's Albert Costa.
Antonio Felix da Costa: "It's going to be difficult for me to go out and win the title, but I've shown all season how fast I can be and I think I proved it again today. On the plus side, it's my teammates who are on top yet again. It maybe thanks to them, if I win the title and they score big points from Albert Costa and Jean-Eric Vergne, that things could go my way for the title."
Jean-Eric Vergne: "The track was very slippery this morning. We worked very hard and I think I've got the car set up right for the weekend. I'm only two points behind Albert, there's no point in doing the maths, I need to win. I'll be treating this weekend like any other, without putting myself under extra pressure."
Dean Smith: "After winning the UK title, it's a good opportunity to pit myself against the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 drivers. Also, it allows me to get a feel for the circuit in preparation for my Formula Renault 3.5 test with Comtec Racing on Tuesday. FR3.5 is one of the options we're considering for 2010."