FORMULA RENAULT

SHWARTZMAN ON POLE AT CIRCUIT PAUL RICARD

After setting best time in the collective tests, Robert Shwartzman (R-ace GP) kept his momentum going in claiming the first pole on offer at Circuit Paul Ricard. On Sunday, the Russian driver will start ahead of the leader in the general classification Sacha Fenestraz (Josef Kaufmann Racing) and Gabriel Aubry (Tech 1 Racing). Tomorrow, the Formula Renault Eurocup field will take part in the second qualifying session to determine the start grid for race one that will also take place on Saturday.

FENESTRAZ FIRES THE FIRST SALVO IN THE COLLECTIVE TESTS

Under clear skies, the R-ace GP drivers took turns leading the way before Sacha Fenestraz pulled ahead. The Frenchman and rookie Yifei Ye (Josef Kaufmann Racing) improved five minutes from the end of the session, but Sacha Fenestraz finished on top with a time of 2:05.099. Max Fewtrell (Tech 1 Racing), Gabriel Aubry and wild-card entry Michael Benyahia (R-ace GP) completed the top five.

In the afternoon, Will Palmer, Max Defourny and Robert Shwartzman swapped best time with the Russian getting the nod. While Max Defourny was the first to improve on the morning benchmark time, Robert Shwartzman stopped the clock in 2:04.600 to end the session ahead of Sacha Fenestraz, Max Defourny, Will Palmer and rookie Alexander Vartanyan (JD Motorsport).

Robert Shwartzman (R-ace GP): “It is always good to be on pole, even if this one was quite easy to get! Right from the collective tests, I pushed to show our pace. The team did a great job and everything went the way we wanted it to! To take the pole with by 7/10ths of a second is excellent. We’ve found good speed in these hot conditions. Tomorrow, I will give it my all again in qualifying. I think I have chance to get a second pole this weekend, which would be the first time this season!”