SG Formula powers to two pole positions and two race wins The first two rounds of the West European Cup in Formula Renault 2.0 took place on the Nogaro circuit in the Gers region of France. Double poleman Daniel Ricciardo from Australia and ...
SG Formula powers to two pole positions and two race wins
The first two rounds of the West European Cup in Formula Renault 2.0 took place on the Nogaro circuit in the Gers region of France. Double poleman Daniel Ricciardo from Australia and Italian Andrea Caldarelli were SG Formula's heroes of the meeting. They helped themselves to a victory and a fastest race lap apiece, to the delight of the team from La Rochelle.
Daniel Ricciardo has the honour of being the first ever race-winner in the WEC. Peerless during qualifying, the Red Bull Junior Team driver was fastest in both sessions. He drove impeccably in Race 1 to pocket a fine victory ahead of team-mate Andrea Caldarelli. The Toyota Driver Program man got his revenge in Race 2, however. Daniel lost several places as he stalled on the grid. Andrea took a commanding lead and came home victorious on a wet circuit. Lying 9th at the end of the opening lap of the race, the Australian clawed his way up to 5th past the chequered flag.
Team-manager Stephane Guerin was quick to congratulate the whole team for their fine work in obtaining such a result. "So we start the new season with two victories. My feeling is that our preparation was even better this season. The transition took place last October so we were able to be ready in good time. The team now has a very cosmopolitan feel about it as the championship takes on an international flavour. This led to some healthy rivalry within the group when the drivers met up this winter for track and engineering work."
Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne has made a promising start to his Formula Renault 2.0 career. He was well in contention during qualification and started Race 1 in 6th position on the grid. Unfortunately the Red Bull Junior Team driver got knocked out in the first lap. There was absolutely nothing he could do to avoid another contestant who had spun in the long pit straight. He came 9th in Monday's race, picking up his first WEC points in the process. He was also the 4th best-placed rookie and 3rd best-placed Frenchman.
Anton Nebylitskiy also finished twice amongst the points. From 10th place on the Sunday, SG Formula's man from Moscow moved up to 8th on the Monday although probably his most significant performance was clocking the 4th fastest lap in the second qualifying session - a clear pointer to good things to come.
After qualifying down in 31st place, rookie Ramez Azzam from Dubai could hardly have been expecting to do much better than the 19th place he picked up on the Sunday. He did a lot better in the second qualifying session, clocking the 10th fastest time. But his second race came to a premature end in a crash that happened just as the lights went out to signal the start.
The West European Cup moves to Dijon for the next meeting, which will take place on May 10-11. By that time SG Formula will have made their debut in the Formula 3 Euro Series at Hockenheim (April 12 -13) and taken part in the first round of the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup at Spa-Francorchamps (May 3-4).