Hungaroring : R-ace GP close to victory

While the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup kicked off again last weekend R-ace GP’s summer has been a full one. The fledgling French team scored the first win in its history on 5th August in Assen in the Formula Renault NEC Championship. Nyck de Vries started from pole and dominated his rivals in the race. It was R-ace’s and the young Dutchman’s maiden single-seater victory – the first of many!

The summer continued at the Red Bull Ring where de Vries, Pierre Gasly and Andréa Pizzitola were again among the front-runners with another podium finish for Nyck. The three drivers arrived for their first outing on the twisty, atypical Hungaroring in fighting form.

Thibaut de Mérindol : “Everybody is delighted with our first win in the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC championship at Assen. It was one of our objectives for this season. It was logical that our first victory should come in the NEC: now we have to win in the Eurocup.

We had what it took to triumph on the Hungaroring. De Vries proved it by driving a great race on Sunday. Saturday’s qualifying was the only blot on our weekend. After a good free practice session we were expecting a better result, but for several reasons things didn’t work out as they should have done. We hit back on Sunday.

We’ve showed our level of performance since the start of the season and we’re achieving consistency which is crucial. Nyck de Vries illustrates this perfectly. He’s scored points in the last three races with a couple of fourth places and one second.

Pierre Gasly is also in with a chance. His race pace is good. On Saturday, he put on a great performance by fighting his way from nineteenth to eleventh place; it’s a pity he didn’t finish in the points on Sunday. Finally, we’re doing a lot of work on qualifying with Andréa Pizzitola. He is getting better and better, and it begins to pay in terms of results.

R-ace GP is fourth in the teams’ championship only four points off third place. Our initial goal, with three rookies, was to finish in the top 5, but now third is on the cards. There are four races to go at Paul Ricard and Barcelona, two circuits that the drivers know well and where we had a good pre-season test. To finish third we have to win at least one race. That’s the next step up the ladder!”

PIERRE GASLY

On Saturday, Gasly qualified down in nineteenth position. The FFSA Equipe de France driver made a great start and was thirteenth at the end of lap 1. He pulled back two more places and got up to eleventh spot. It was a remarkable performance on such a circuit where overtaking is a real problem.

On Sunday he started from fifth after another good qualifying session, but lost four places at the start. He again finished eleventh missing out on what could have been a good haul of points.

NYCK DE VRIES

Nyck got used to the Hungaroring layout quickly and set the fastest time overall in collective practice. On Saturday morning qualifying didn’t go off ideally for the McLaren Development Programme driver, who finished on the fourth row in his group when he was in a position to aim for the first or second one. He made a good start and took advantage of a collision in front of him to go from seventh to fourth. He was on the pace and he held onto that place till the chequered flag scoring precious points.

On Sunday, like the rest of the drivers in the team Nyck qualified well. He was first in his group and was on the front row for the second time this season. Throughout the race the young Dutchman matched the pace of the leader. He set the fastest lap and took the flag under a second behind the winner. His second podium of the year has brought him closer to third place in the overall drivers’ classification in the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup.

ANDRÉA PIZZITOLA

Andréa qualified on the eighth row and started Saturday’s race in the middle of the pack. The FFSA Equipe de France driver was eliminated on lap 4 in a collision.

On Sunday, he had one of his best qualifying performances of the season after his pole at Spa-Francorchamps. He was boxed in at the start and found himself in a tightly-packed group. On a circuit where overtaking is well-nigh impossible he couldn’t do any better than sixteenth, but his team was satisfied with his race pace.

RESULTS EUROCUP FR 2.0

Qualifying 1
1. Stoffel Vandoorne
7. Nyck de Vries
16. Andréa Pizzitola
19. Pierre Gasly

Race 1
1. Stoffel Vandoorne
4. Nyck de Vries
11. Pierre Gasly
NC. Andréa Pizzitola

Qualifying 2
1. Daniil Kvyat
2. Nyck de Vries
5. Pierre Gasly
13. Andréa Pizzitola

Race 2
1. Daniil Kvyat
2. Nyck de Vries
11. Pierre Gasly
16. Andréa Pizzitola

Drivers’s classification
1. Stoffel Vandoorne 183 pts
4. Nyck de Vries 72 pts
8. Pierre Gasly 40 pts
25. Andréa Pizzitola 2 pts

Team’s classification
1. Kaufmann Racing 219 pts
2. Koiranen Motorsport 186 pts
3. RC Formula 116 pts
4. R-ace GP 112 pts