EU 2.0: Le Mans Friday practice notes

Baguette earns his crust! The Bugatti circuit was awash with Formula Renault 2.0 race cars today in Le Mans. With the track all to themselves, the Eurocup and French Championship competitors were able to work on their setup for the weekend. As...

Baguette earns his crust!

The Bugatti circuit was awash with Formula Renault 2.0 race cars today in Le Mans. With the track all to themselves, the Eurocup and French Championship competitors were able to work on their setup for the weekend. As might have been expected, Michel Lecomte did not take long the find the right setup for the Epsilon-Euskadi cars, which enabled Belgian driver Bertrand Baguette to set the best time of the day.

In order to give everyone a fair crack of the whip, those competitors taking part in the Eurocup and the French Championship were not able to test in all the sessions. The Eurocup drivers (Baguette, Van Dam, Dillmann, etc.) were able to take part in two one hour and forty-five minute sessions, the same time available to the French Championship drivers (Groppi, Canal, Charpilienne, Panciatici, etc.).

The best time of the day was set by Bertrand Baguette. The Belgian driver has been back to top form since Donington: "We just put the bodyshell we used at Zolder back on the car and suddenly it was perfect again. The team has done a great job, and we haven't finished working on the setup with new tyres. That's what counts the most when you are trying to qualify well. In fact, the only issue that we're still discussing is whether I am going to use one car to take part in all three races this weekend or whether I will use one for the Eurocup and one for the French Championship." Bertrand is also pleased to be teaming up with Nelson Panciatici, who collected his first French Championship win at the start of September: "We keep pushing each other to our limits, before comparing our acquired data."

Two tenths adrift of the Belgian in second, the New Zealander Chris Van der Drift was also very pleased with his day's work: "This is the first time I've driven on this circuit. Fortunately, we have had enough time to put in some good work! We will need to continue working tomorrow, but I think that the weekend will go well. I am not thinking about the title now. We'll see how the races go before counting up the points."

Chris's rivals for the title, Filipe Albuquerque (Motopark Academy) and Dani Clos (Jenzer Motorsport) were less than enthusiastic about the outcome of the first day's testing. "We tested a lot of things but I can't say I'm very happy with my lap times", explained Dani. "We need to do more work. We'll see how things go tomorrow." Filipe, however, was hampered in his efforts to show off his full potential when the session was red-flagged: "We were unlucky because I had put on new tyres just before the session was suspended. We were quick on used tyres. I hope that things will go better tomorrow."

Laurent Groppi (Graff Racing) could well have a say in the outcome of this three-way contest after setting the best times in the two test sessions restricted to French Championship competitors: "I hope I can repeat my performance from Zolder! I will be attacking each of my three races with the same determination to succeed. The overall result of today's test is very positive but we still have some things we need to test tomorrow."

SG Formula drivers Tom Dillmann and Carlo Van Dam are no less determined to win. After a series of podium finishes in previous races, the young French and Dutch drivers will be looking to secure their first victory this weekend. They will be joined for this meeting by Yann Clairay, who returns to single-seater racing in Le Mans as part of his preparation for the Macao F3 Grand Prix.

-credit: renault

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Yann Clairay , Bertrand Baguette , Tom Dillmann , Filipe Albuquerque , Laurent Groppi , Carlo Va , Dani Clos
Teams Jenzer Motorsport