VERGNE BAGS HIS FIRST EUROPEAN PODIUM FINISH Jean-Eric Vergne competed in races 3 and 4 of the 2009 Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup this weekend. After showing his speed in Barcelona two weeks ago he was determined to fight at the front and open his...
VERGNE BAGS HIS FIRST EUROPEAN PODIUM FINISH
Jean-Eric Vergne competed in races 3 and 4 of the 2009 Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup this weekend. After showing his speed in Barcelona two weeks ago he was determined to fight at the front and open his score. Vergne achieved his aim on Saturday. Starting from fourth on the grid he quickly moved up a place and finished third on the rostrum. Things did not go off so well the next day. He was unable to defend his fifth place due to an engine problem, and he saw the flag in eighth spot. Today, Vergne is in seventh place in the European Championship after two rounds. His aim is to close the gap separating him from the leaders at the next meeting in Budapest in Hungary on 12th 13t h 14th June. In the meantime, the Frenchman will race in two rounds of the WEC Championship, which he currently leads: Pau (15th 17th May) and Magny-Cours (29th 31st May).
THE WEEKEND IN THREE QUESTIONS
Jean-Eric, how did your weekend go?
JEV: "It was more fruitful than Barcelona and I was able to open my score in the Eurocup, so it was positive. In qualifying, I set the fourth and fifth-quickest times, a result that didn't fulfil my expectations, but it was better than the opening rounds. In the first race, I gained a place and I had to fight really hard to hold on to it, especially in the last two laps. The next day I had an engine problem and I wasn't able to fight my corner. I started from fifth, but on a power circuit like Spa I couldn't fend off several of my rivals. I finished eighth losing a few more points and that's a pity. So overall, I've got mixed feelings."
Did you manage to pinpoint your problems on Sunday evening?
JEV: "Yes. The team's engineers noticed that the plug wires on my engine were damaged. It'll be solved for the next race. Now, we'll also have to find that little set-up tweak that makes the difference in the Eurocup. We're slightly behind in terms of performance and we have to react. But I'm still confident."
What are your aims for the rest of the programme?
JEV: "One thing's certain, I'm still motivated like never before! For sure we have the level to fight for the title in both championships. After two WEC and Eurocup meetings my situation's pretty good: I'm leading the first and the gap to the leaders in the second isn't too big. Our current aim is to take full advantage of the next round of the WEC championship in Pau to fine-tune the set-up, and arrive in Budapest even better prepared for the next Eurocup round. My no.1 aim this season is to win the European title."