EU 2.0: Donington Friday test notes

Kechele goes after Hartley After a brilliant summer of racing in the North European Cup, German ace Frank Kechele (Motopark Academy) seems ready for a challenge: cutting the lead of New Zealander Brendon Hartley (Red Bull Epsilon). Just ...

Kechele goes after Hartley

After a brilliant summer of racing in the North European Cup, German ace Frank Kechele (Motopark Academy) seems ready for a challenge: cutting the lead of New Zealander Brendon Hartley (Red Bull Epsilon). Just behind these two, Jon Lancaster (SG Formula) is determined to produce a good display at his home event.

Although still without a Eurocup race win, there can be little doubt that Frank Kechele is getting closer all the time. The German comes to the Donington round on top form and with his confidence high, thanks to three NEC wins this summer. He confirmed his good form by setting the best time in each of the day's one-hour pre-qualifying practice session.

This morning, his main opposition was provided in turn by Mihai Marinescu (District Racing), Charles Pic and Alexandre Marsoin (SG Formula). But in the closing minutes of the session, Kechele set a time which would remain the fastest if the day: 1'28''845.

"I have had a very good summer. I feel really comfortable with the car and everyone at the team has been working very hard. I am excited at the prospect of racing in the Eurocup this weekend. It is one of the most competitive championships out there! There were a lot of red flags today, but everyone has the same handicap. I pushed hard, driving right on the limit for me and the car. My hard work paid off as I ended the day with the best time", emphasized Kechele.

The German's main opponent in the second session, Brendon Hartley is focused on the championship for the Donington weekend: "This is the start of a very long home straight, with the last four meetings in two months. My first three wins have given me a bit of a lead, but I have to keep pushing to win the title. I must stay focused because the slightest error could cost me dearly. This weekend, my objective is simply to score as many points as possible!"

Runner-up in race 1 at the Hungaroring, Jon Lancaster confirmed his improving form with the day's third best time. The SG Formula driver is gunning for nothing less than a race win this weekend: "I know it's ambitious given the line-up, but this is the only meeting of year at home and I would really love to win. The day got off to a bad start when I broke one of the rear shock absorbers this morning. But the team worked hard between the two sessions and I had a very good setup this afternoon."

Although yet to grab a podium spot, Fabio Leimer (Jenzer Motorsport) was pleased with his fourth best time -- and to discover the delights of the English countryside: "This is the first I have come to England and I love the country. Obviously, this is the first time I've driven on this circuit. The place is steeped in motor racing history. This morning, I focused on familiarizing myself with this superb track and then this afternoon, I pushed hard on my fresh set of tyres."

The last driver in the top five was a newcomer to the discipline: Adrian Quaife-Hobbs (BVM Minardi Team), a convert from Formula BMW. The Brit seems to have been won over by the Formula Renault 2.0 race car: "It's a very different single-seater compared to what I have driven before. It is much more efficient throughout the car. I'm a bit surprised to end the day in the top five, because the championship is extremely competitive. But I'm certainly not complaining -- it's fantastic!"

-credit: renault

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Brendon Hartley , Fabio Leimer , Mihai Marinescu , Alexandre Marsoin , Charles Pic , Jon Lancaster , Frank Kechele
Teams Jenzer Motorsport