Sacha Fenestraz hits the Hungaroring with pace and power to pick up two podiums and the track record in Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup
After taking the win at Monaco last time out, the 17-year-old Josef Kaufmann Racing driver got off to the best possible start this time round when he was at his devastating best to set a new lap record in the official practice on Friday.
He followed this up with a second and third-place finish in the first two races and was looking for a win in the final one to round off a special few days. Frustratingly, a jump start saw him penalised 10 seconds and while he crossed the line in first place, the ADD Motorsports racer had to be satisfied he was still fast enough to finish eighth.
But the valuable points still helped him close the gap at the top of the Championship and with everything still to play for he is now hoping for more weekends where he can dominate the timesheets. He said: “We had one of the fastest cars on the grid this weekend.
The team did such a brilliant job. “I was really happy to get the track record, especially by a second in the end. Then to get two podiums was even better. “It was just a shame to end the weekend in this way. If I hadn’t made a couple of little mistakes, I could be sitting in first place in the Championship. “But I have to be pretty satisfied with the weekend overall.”
Sacha hit the ground running at the Hungaroring, finishing the private tests in P1 with a time of 1:41.256.
But by the end of the official tests he had set a new category track record with his improved time of 1:40.244.
He took this pace into qualifying, finishing P1 in his group by five-tenths in the wet. However, the second group had the better conditions and so Sacha finished in second overall.
With the best two times in the second qualifying session accounting for the next two races, the team used two sets of new tyres.
While Sacha got the fastest lap to get pole, he had to settle for a second-place start in the other race with a red flag preventing him going full out and having a chance of securing pole in each. The young driver started the first race in second place and made a move on the leader early on to overtake. But when it didn’t come off, he held back in second and with a number of drivers getting caught with the track limits didn’t want to take any unnecessary risks. Starting from pole in the second race, Sacha was overtaken by the two drivers behind him on the first lap. While he pushed back, he played it safe again, preferring to take the points and third place rather than make any mistakes – his second podium of the weekend.
Sacha Fenestraz: "We had one of the fastest cars on the grid this weekend. The team did such a brilliant job."
After a jump start in the final race, the teen was hit with a 10-second penalty. A good move saw him get in front of the leader and while he tried to take some risks to extend his lead, he crossed the line in first place, ending up in eighth after the penalty. It means he remains in third place on 152 points in the Championship but has closed the gap to the leader to just 22 points. The drivers now move on to the Nurbürgring on 14-16 July. Sacha added: “I had closed the gap right up at the top of the Championship after the second race. That’s why the third race was so frustrating. “We had the speed but not the victory to go with it. It’s just one of those things. “I’m already moving on and thinking about the next race. Hopefully we can be this fast again and I can keep working hard and make the most of it next time.”ends