Today Friday, the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 was back at the Red Bull Ring for the first time since 2013. Jehan Daruvala (Josef Kaufmann Racing) dominated collective tests on the recently-resurfaced track and beat the lap record in a time of 1m28.615sec, which he set in the afternoon. The Sahara Force India Academy member finished in front of Max Defourny (R-ace GP) and Harrison Scott (AVF by Adrián Vallés). Fourth-placed Alexey Korneev (JD Motorsport) was the quickest of the rookies.
Drivers in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 had two collective tests sessions to find their marks on the Red Bull Ring for qualifying and the races in the Austrian meeting.
Daruvala first leader
The Tech 1 Racing Formula Renault 2.0s were first out and soon set the quickest times until Alexey Korneev, Lando Norris (Josef Kaufmann Racing), Vasily Romanov (Fortec Motorsports) and Ferdinand Habsburg (Fortec Motorsports) started trading first place. Dorian Boccolacci (Tech 1 Racing) hit back midway through the session, and Jehan Daruvala triggered the final sprint eight minutes from the end.
Despite the efforts of Max Defourny (R-ace GP) and Lando Norris, Jehan Daruvala topped the timeheets in 1m28.890sec in front of the British driver and Harrison Scott. Defourny and Boccolacci rounded out the top 5.
Daruvala stays on top
The afternoon got off to a hotly-contested start and Max Defourny went to the front after an interruption caused by Gabriel Aubry (Tech 1 Racing). When the session restarted Lando Norris topped the time sheets despite the best attempts of Defourny and Harrison Scott to unseat him.
The drivers shod fresh tyres for the last 15 minutes and upped the pace. Defourny was the first to improve followed by Jehan Daruvala and Harrison Scott. The Indian emerged quickest with a lap in 1m28.615sec followed by Defourny, Scott, Alexey Korneev and Dorian Boccolacci.
Jehan Daruvala : “I’ve put Monza behind me. We had the speed all weekend but we were hit by bad luck. The team did a great job to fix the car and come back here even stronger. I felt at ease straight away so I was on the limit from the very first lap. Compared to last year the track’s a bit different, but it’s really nice to drive on as there’s more grip and fewer bumps. Now I’m going to do my best to win here tomorrow.”
Alexey Korneev : “The day went off pretty well. I soon felt at ease as we did a lot of winter testing on this track. The first session wasn’t all that great, but we found very good setups for the afternoon. Although I don’t have a specific aim I’m hoping to continue in the same vein. I think we could have the same top five all weekend. It’s up to me to do everything I can to stay there.”
Ferdinand Habsburg : “I was expecting a lot from my weekend on home turf, even more to live it. We worked very hard to be quick here, but it was difficult today for several reasons. Still, we’re ready to start fresh again tomorrow morning. The circuit’s fantastic and the track helps you to heat up your tyres more quickly. You have to try and find the limit all the time with the new kerbs. It’s a good thing as it means that nobody has an advantage over his rivals.”