Maki sets the tempo The Epsilon and SG Formula teams have dominated Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 collective testing here in Barcelona. Between them the two outfits took all of the six leading places, with the advantage going to Mika Maki (Epsilon...
Maki sets the tempo
The Epsilon and SG Formula teams have dominated Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 collective testing here in Barcelona. Between them the two outfits took all of the six leading places, with the advantage going to Mika Maki (Epsilon Red Bull) ahead of Charles Pic (SG Formula).
Right from the opening session, Mika Maki showed that he was going to be at the cutting edge of things. The Finn's times just kept coming down every time he flew past the pit lane and with 12 minutes gone he'd already set a time of 1'45''464. At the midpoint in the session, it was Jon Lancaster (SG Formula) who took control of proceedings. But Mihai Marinescu (District Racing) then snatched the fastest time away from the man who won both races in Estoril by just 65/1000ths of a second. Henki Waldschmidt (Prema Powerteam), Mika Maki, Stefano Coletti and Brendon Hartley (Epsilon Red Bull) all finished the session within less than 3/10ths of the leader.
In the afternoon, Stefano Coletti and Robert Merhi (Jenzer Motorsport) took it in turns to set the fastest time. With half an hour gone, Coletti finally got the upper hand with a lap in 1'44''801. Three minutes later, Mika Maki improved on Coletti's time to set the fastest time of the day in 1'44''656.
"Things went well when we switched to fresh tyres this afternoon. That makes me feel confident for qualifying tomorrow. I'm under no pressure this weekend and I'm just out to enjoy myself. If I get some good results here, I can still aim to make it into the top five overall", explains the Italian FR2.0 Champion.
Second, just 13/100ths behind the leader, Charles Pic is right up with the pace as the weekend gets underway for real: "I hope that things will go well in qualifying. We still have work to do both on the car and on my driving if we are going to be in with a chance of a pole position. I am going to be up against one of my teammates in the fight for the runner's-up place, but things at the team are running just as smoothly as ever."
In his search for second place in the Eurocup, Charles Pic is more than likely to encounter Jon Lancaster en route, with the latter setting the third fastest time here today: "It's fantastic to be in with a chance of finishing as runner-up in only my first ever season in a single-seater. I'm hoping to qualify on the first or second row of the grid so as to be able to go after another win. There's still a lot to do if I want to make that second place mine. I'll have to pull back three points on Charles for a start!"
Jules Bianchi, who is contesting races in both the Eurocup and the French Championship, was unable to take part in proceedings this afternoon due to an engine problem. But that has done nothing to dampen his ambitions for the remainder of the weekend: "I'd just love to win a Eurocup race to end my season in style!"