Record-breaking Sacha Fenestraz takes three poles and two wins at Spa to inch closer to the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup title
The 18-year-old Josef Kaufmann Racing driver was perfection personified as he became the first ever driver to take all three poles in a single meeting of the Championship and put his name in the record books. But he was far from finished, dominating the weekend with two wins and a third place on a track notoriously difficult to win from pole position. The last pole winner to take the win at Spa was back in 2010…. and Sacha did it twice! And the ever-smiling ADD Motorsports driver was delighted to rack up the points that inched him even closer to the Championship title, with just one round left. He said: “It was a really great weekend. It was pretty awesome to get the record of the first driver to get three poles in a single meeting. “To then get the wins when it’s such a difficult track to take the win from pole, was even better. “We came here aiming to keep the lead with the same amount of points, but we extended our lead even more, which is pleasing. “Of course we are nearer the title, but we are taking nothing for granted. It all goes down to Barcelona and we will keep working hard to be ready when we get there.”
Sacha arrived at Spa full of confidence after two wins at the Nürburgring last weekend in the Formula Renault NEC, a warm up to this penultimate round of the Championship. That followed his FIA European F3 debut with Carlin the week before, where he impressed with a Top 10 finish and qualifying in fourth, as he explores his options for next season. But free practice didn’t go to plan for driver or team, with the fourth place finish giving no hint of what was to come. A few changes to the car and Sacha soon led Group A of the first qualifying session, with a time of 2:17.317, which despite the second group out often finishing faster, could not be bettered. With his second best lap also too good for the rest of the pack, he found himself pole for race two as well. The young racer made it a hat-trick in the second qualifying session, securing his eighth pole of the season by 0.30 seconds. Parts of the track were covered in a thick cloud of fog at the start of the first race on Saturday morning – meaning the drivers began behind the safety car. After several laps conditions had not improved enough to allow the race to get underway, with the red flag shown and half points awarded – and Sacha taking the win. Sacha got off to a good start in the second race, but with the second-placed driver using the slipstream lost the lead, before a big crash saw the intervention of the safety car.
Sacha Fenestraz: "Of course we are nearer the title, but we are taking nothing for granted. It all goes down to Barcelona and we will keep working hard to be ready when we get there."
The teen kept trying to regain the lead and on the penultimate lap tried one move that left him open and saw him overtaken and dropping to third. Rather than risk the position with another move, he settled for the third position at the end. Starting on pole again for the third race, Sacha got off to a good start, breaking away from the slipstream to build up a small gap before the safety car came out. The determined racer got a great re-start and managed to pull away again, keeping his focus to ensure there were no mistakes and take a brilliant win. It left the driver on 312.5 points – 52.5 points in front of the only driver who can now prevent him from taking the title at Barcelona. He added: “I was pretty lucky in the first race as I had a broken exhaust and would have had a real problem if the race wasn’t cancelled! “But I was really pleased with my driving in the last race as I did what was needed so they couldn’t catch me on the straight. “We have a few weeks now until Barcelona. We have put ourselves in an amazing position, but anything can happen, so I will be focusing on getting as many points as I can and hopefully it will be enough.”