SG Formula at the double! The Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup season opened with a 1-2 for SG Formula. Repeating their success in the West European Cup, Daniel Ricciardo and Andrea Caldarelli completed race 1 in Spa in the same order. They ...
SG Formula at the double!
The Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup season opened with a 1-2 for SG Formula. Repeating their success in the West European Cup, Daniel Ricciardo and Andrea Caldarelli completed race 1 in Spa in the same order. They started Sunday's race with similar intentions but the scrapping that took place on the first lap saw the Australian back down in 4th place and the Italian right out of the race.
This season, new arrangements have been introduced for Eurocup qualifying sessions, with the 48 entrants split into two groups. The top 12 in each group earn the right to compete in the 'superpole' session. In Spa, five out of six SG Formula drivers got past this first hurdle.
You have to put in two good times at the Superpole stage. The best decides your position in race 1 and the second best in race 2. Daniel Ricciardo, Andrea Caldarelli and Jean-Eric Vergne got the 2nd, 3rd and 7th fastest times and set themselves up amongst the race favourites.
In Saturday's race Daniel and Andrea quickly overtook and raced clear of poleman Valtteri Bottas so that 12 laps later the result was in the bag - SG Formula had obtained its first 1-2 of the season! Winner Daniel Ricciardo also put in the fastest lap. Andrea Caldarelli - well worth his 2nd place - put 12 seconds between himself and Bottas in 3rd place. Jean-Eric Vergne was the other SG Formula driver to be amongst the points, battling to a hard-earned 10th place.
Andrea Caldarelli took the lead at the start of race 2 but unfortunately when braking into the 'Combes' chicane Roberto Mehri shunted him off the track. Daniel Ricciardo suffered some damage to the underside of his car in the domino effect that ensued but was nevertheless able to finish the race 4th, meaning that the Red Bull Junior Team driver left Belgium in the lead in the championship standings.
The pile up at Combes claimed another victim: Jean-Eric Vergne. The FFSA French Team driver lost all chance he might have had of getting on the podium when he tried to avoid the collision between Costa and Quaife-Hobbs.
Ramez Azzam climbed a number of places and was looking to get amongst the points when he shot straight on at Combes as he was trying to get past Tristan Vautier on the outside. He eased off in order to avoid picking up a penalty and finished 15th.
"We demonstrated our competitiveness on a track that those teams racing in the Northern European Cup know well, and where we have not raced for four years" said team-manager Stephane Guerin. "Race 2 was rich in incidents. You can't always avoid them - not unless you don't go racing! We got our set up right, Daniel is leading the championship standings, and Andrea would have picked up a second good result had it not been for a suicidal attack by another driver. Our rookies proved that they were competitive as well. I believe Jean-Eric Vergne has now firmly established himself among the leaders and what Ramez Azzam achieved is highly encouraging, given his lack of experience."
For the next meeting we head to England, where the second round of the Eurocup will take place at Silverstone on June 6-7.