Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 - Zolder - Race 1
Nice one, Groppi!
Laurent Groppi (Graff Racing) confirmed his pole position in winning the first race of the 2006 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0. The Frenchman came out on top after an epic struggle with Chris Van der Drift (JD Motorsport). Bertrand Baguette (Epsilon Euskadi) sent the local fans home happy with the first podium finish for a Belgian driver at this meeting!
Chris Van Der Drift was the quickest off the blocks at the start, jumping ahead of poleman Laurent Groppi. Kasper Andersen also got away to a better start than Bertrand Baguette, but he ran wide on the second lap, allowing Baguette, Mustonen, Van Dam and Clos to get past.
In the main field, Tom Dillmann (SG Formula) lost several places, inadvertently helping Adrian Zaugg to move up the race order in the process to 12th at the end of lap three, after having started in 16th position.
John Edwards lost his front wing, clipped the wall and was forced to retire. His was the second name on the list of retirements started by Duarte Felix da Costa (AR Motorsport), who had crashed off earlier.
On lap 7, Junior Strous overtook Filipe Albuquerque to take 10th place. At the front, Laurent Groppi closed right up to Van der Drift, setting the fastest race lap in the process. The fight to achieve the top lap performance, the key to a pole position start for Sunday’s race, was producing sparks: Bertrand Baguette took his turn to set the fastest time.
At the start of lap 10, Laurent Groppi finally found a way past Van Der Drift, with a superb overtaking move outside the racing line on the first corner. The manoeuvre of the day, without a doubt!
Filipe Albuquerque then lost another place, allowing Dani Clos to move up a place, but he then retook his place on the final lap. The battle for the lower order places was still very intense, particularly between Johan Charpilienne (SL Formula Racing) and Junior Strous (Jenzer Motorsport) for 8th place. Strous lost everything on the last lap and Charpilienne took full advantage, even managing to snatch 7th place from Muggia. Albuquerque finished 9th ahead of Strous.
It was ultimately Xavier Maasen (JD Motorsport) who set the fastest race lap. He will therefore start on pole tomorrow, in front of Baguette, Van der Drift, Mustonen and Groppi.
Laurent Groppi: “The race was very difficult for the first few laps, because the track was very slippery. This is obviously a perfect result for my first Eurocup race and a great reward for the team’s efforts.”
Chris Van der Drift: “For only my second weekend in Formula Renault 2.0, it’s an excellent result. I’ve felt relaxed since the start of this weekend’s free practice and I feel better and better.”
Bertrand Baguette: “It’s a very good result for us. The car was set up to be effective at the start of the race, but the track was still a little wet and that made things all the more difficult.”
More releases from ZolderPresentation - It's now or never…
Qualifying - Groppi straight in at number 1!
Race 1 - Nice one, Groppi!
Race 2 - Groppi strikes again!
Classifications from ZolderQualifying