Already on the podium ! The Tech 1 Racing team is a newcomer to the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup Championship, and it made a big impression at the first round of the season with a pole position for Arthur Pic and a podium for Hugo Valente. Aaro...
Already on the podium !
The Tech 1 Racing team is a newcomer to the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup Championship, and it made a big impression at the first round of the season with a pole position for Arthur Pic and a podium for Hugo Valente. Aaro Vainio also had a good meeting, especially in the first race. Tech 1 Racing and its drivers will be victory contenders in 2010.
A few days after taking the decision to race in the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup, Tech 1 Racing arrived at Motorland Aragon ready for battle. "Everybody's burned the midnight oil to be ready for today," said Simon Abadie. "We put a new structure in place in only a few days and the cars were assembled in a few hours. To be all here at Motorland Aragon is already a first victory!"
Well not quite everybody, as Aaro Vainio was not present on Friday morning. The Eyjafjallajokul Volcano, whose ashes have paralysed the European skies, was the culprit! Thus, the young 16 year old had no choice but to come to the Alacaniz region by car, a journey of almost 3000 kilometres from Finland to reach the Motorland Aragon circuit. Aaro arrived in time for qualifying. In the meantime, his team-mates shone in the collective test with Arthur Pic third and Hugo Valente in seventeenth spot.
The only qualifying session for the Formula Renault Eurocup 2.0 was held in the rain. The fastest time of each driver determined his place on the grid for the first race. The second-quickest time was used for the composition of the grid for race no. 2. Pic and Valente showed right from the start that they were pole position contenders. The dying seconds of the session decided the grid positions. Pic qualified second for the first race and took pole for the second one, while Valente qualified third for both events. Vainio lacked track time and could do no better than seventeenth and thirteenth places.
"In qualifying, we were able to see where we stood; we're in the leading group. Arthur's pole is a great reward for all efforts made by the team members in the past few days," smiled Simon.
The first race was marked by the duel for first place between Pic and Andre Negrao. Arthur did all he could to snatch the lead from the Brazilian. The Frenchman was quicker and pushed like crazy until a misunderstanding between the two drivers resulted in a collision. Arthur restarted, but was penalized for his manoeuvre by Race Control after the race.
All Tech 1 Racing's hopes now rested on Valente's and Vainio's shoulders. The Finn who started in sevententh place put on a stunning display in the wet as he fought his way up to sixth. Valente, third on the grid, had to start from the pits due to an electrical problem. He too made a great comeback and saw the flag in eighth place.
The next day on a dry track, Arthur Pic and Andre Negrao were at it again hammer and tongs for the victory. Arthur started from pole but the Brazilan took the lead. Pic was quicker and on the long straight at Alacaniz he looked for an opening. He was hemmed in by Negrao, and then lost control of his Formula Renault 2.0 after putting a wheel off the track onto a part of the circuit that was still wet and slippery. The result was that he hit the Brazilian again. "Arthur was probably a bit impatient. He could have left here with good points towards the championship, but unfortunately, it wasn't the case. It's the first time he's found himself in this situation. He'll learn and I think he'll remember the lessons of these two races. He's proved that he's going to be a potential title contender this season," analysed Simon Abadie.
The race also began badly for Aaro Vainio who was involved in a collision at the start. On the other hand, it all went well for Hugo Valente. He led the race for a few laps and drove intelligently to finish on the second step of the podium. Thus, the Parisian gave Tech 1 Racing its first podium finish in the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup Championship. It was his best career result at this level to date. For Abadie, "Hugo is certainly the revelation of the weekend. First of all, he was perfect in qualifying. In the second race he showed maturity and did not put up a futile resistance to Kevin Korjus, the winner. Hugo now knows that he's capable of winning races."
"Overall, we can be very satisfied with our first Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup performance given that our involvement in this championship wasn't even on the cards two weeks ago. There are a few adjustments to be made and we'll have to improve some things, but as in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series, we can win in the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup. I would like to congratulate everybody for the huge amount of work they've put in in the last few days."
Next round: Spa-Francorchamps on Friday 30th April
-source: tech 1 racing