Tag Archives: Tech 1 Racing

Formula Renault 2.0

DE VRIES WINS

DE VRIES WINS, TECH 1 RACING TAKE TEAM TITLE

Nyck de Vries (Koiranen GP) enjoyed a Saturday to remember at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Starting in pole after beating the lap record, the Dutchman was in dominant form as he won the first Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 race of the weekend. Finishing behind him were title rivals Oliver Rowland (Manor MP Motorsport) and Pierre Gasly (Tech 1 Racing), with the Frenchman seeing his championship lead trimmed to eight points. Meanwhile, Tech 1 Racing picked up the points they needed to seal the team title.

Nyck de Vries began the day by seizing his first pole in the category, the McLaren Young Driver Development Programme member heading the grid from the leading trio in the championship standings: Pierre Gasly, Oliver Rowland and Esteban Ocon (ART Junior Team).

The polesitter held on to his lead when the lights went out, with Oliver Rowland catching Pierre Gasly off guard to jump into second behind him. Shunted on to the grass by Esteban Ocon, Oscar Tunjo (Josef Kaufmann Racing) lost nine places, while a three-way collision on lap one meant early retirements for Ukyo Sasahara (Euronova), Yu Kanamaru (KTR) and Roman Beregech (RC Formula).

The leader maintained a fierce pace, posting one fastest lap after another. To his rear Oliver Rowland gradually extended his advantage over Pierre Gasly, while the battles raged in the pack behind them.

Untroubled out front, Nyck de Vries eased over the line to score his second win of the year from Oliver Rowland and Pierre Gasly. The fourth man home, Esteban Ocon picked up a ten-second penalty for his manoeuvre at the start and dropped down to seventh behind Egor Orudzhev (Tech 1 Racing), who got past Andrea Pizzitola (ART Junior Team) on lap 12, and Ignazio D’Agosto (KTR). Oscar Tunjo, Kevin Jorg (Jenzer Motorsport) and Victor Franzoni (Koiranen GP) were the other drivers to make the top ten.

Thanks to the points scored by Gasly and Orudzhev, Tech 1 Racing clinched a second team crown to go with the one they won in their first year in the category in 2010.

What they said

Nyck de Vries: “I’m thrilled at winning one of the last races of the season, especially as they’re the ones people tend to remember more. We didn’t get off to the best start this weekend, but our teamwork paid off with the pole and the win.”

Oliver Rowland: “We saw last year that anything can happen. We managed to limit the damage thanks to one of my best starts, but we have a lot of work ahead of us tonight to find the performance levels we need to win.”

Pierre Gasly: “The goal is to maintain my advantage. I made a bad start and I wasn’t going to try and do the impossible. It was difficult to stay close on the fast turns. It’s an important third place for me and it’s up to us to go and get pole tomorrow.”

WSR

DA COSTA PLAYS KINGMAKER

Antonio Felix da Costa (Arden Caterham) has been in impressive form since breaking into Formula Renault 3.5 Series, and the Portuguese served further notice of his talent on Saturday, making a late dart past Sam Bird (ISR) to snatch his third win of the season. Having made a perfect start, the Briton had to settle for second, while Robin Frijns (Fortec Motorsports) took third to move into the points lead, ahead of Jules Bianchi (Tech 1 Racing), who suffered a last-lap mishap.

The yellow and red flags were out in force during a stop-start qualifying session, though the interruptions did not prevent championship leader Jules Bianchi from seizing his fifth pole of the campaign, ahead of Antonio Felix da Costa, Kevin Magnussen (Carlin) and Sam Bird. Second in the standings at the start of the day, Robin Frijns could only qualify in sixth.

Antonio Felix da Costa made the most of a slow start by Jules Bianchi to grab first as the lights went out, though Sam Bird was in the right place at the right time at turn one and promptly relieved the Portuguese of the lead. Right behind them in third was a surging Robin Frijns, with Kevin Magnussen fourth and poleman Jules Bianchi suddenly down in fifth.

While Antonio Felix da Costa clung on to Sam Bird’s tail, Robin Frijns pulled away from Kevin Magnussen, who had in turn pulled out a gap over Jules Bianchi. Behind them Will Stevens (Carlin) and Kevin Korjus (Lotus) diced it out for sixth.

As the laps went by, the front two pulled ever further away from Frijns, Magnussen and Bianchi, who were engaged in an increasingly tight scrap, the Frenchman getting right on the tail of the Dane and the Dutchman, with Will Stevens and Kevin Korjus not very far behind either.

Antonio Felix da Costa and Sam Bird were treading much more carefully up ahead, though with 12 minutes remaining the Portuguese dived past the Briton on the final chicane and sped off to make it three wins for the season, with Bird settling for second and Robin Frijns doing likewise for third.

To their rear Jules Bianchi was doing all he could to grab fourth from a determined Kevin Magnussen, the Frenchman making a last-lap assault on the Dane that ended with the two of them spinning off. Both were able to resume, however, Magnussen coming home in fifth and Bianchi seventh, the Frenchman now trailing new championship leader Robin Frijns by four points heading into Sunday’s title-deciding race.

What they said:

Antonio Felix da Costa: “This win is reward for all the work we’ve been doing with the team since I came into Formula Renault 3.5 Series. I don’t want to get involved in the championship race, and I’m just trying to stay out of trouble and not hit anyone. I got past Sam (Bird) fair and square, which is the important thing.”

Sam Bird: “My tyres went after three laps. Antonio could see that and he waited until the time was right to make his move. The championship could have been all over for me today, but I’m still in with a chance of clinching the title tomorrow. We now know who the top three are going to be. We just have to wait and see what the order will be.”

Robin Frijns: “I needed a good getaway from sixth and that’s just what I got. When I realised I couldn’t keep up with the front two I just focused on Kevin Magnussen. I made sure of my place at the end of the race and I’m on top in the standings again, though there’s still all to play for tomorrow.”

World Series by Renault

Bianchi ends wait for first FR3.5 Series win

Jules Bianchi (Tech 1 Racing) led from start to finish at the Nürburgring to claim his first victory in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series, with Nico Müller (International Draco Racing) and Robin Frijns (Fortec Motorsports) finishing second and third respectively. By finishing third, 2011 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 champion Frijns takes the overall championship lead and edges ever closer to an appearance in the Red Bull Racing F1 exhibition – the prize at stake for the man at the top of the standings at the end of the weekend.

Robin Frijns and Jules Bianchi engaged in a brilliant duel in qualifying. French driver Bianchi eventually got the better of his Dutch rival, putting in a perfect lap to claim his maiden pole position in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series. The drivers had 450 seconds of DRS at their disposal for the race.

Bianchi made a perfect start to the race, but the same cannot be said for Frijns and Arthur Pic (Dams). Nico Müller, who started fourth on the grid, took advantage of the pair’s less than ideal getaway to move up into second place. Bianchi, Müller and Frijns began to pull away after the first lap, while Pic, fourth at this stage, fought to keep Kevin Magnussen (Carlin), Walter Grubmüller (P1 Motorsport), Marco Sorensen (Lotus), Sam Bird (ISR), Antonio Felix da Costa (Arden Caterham) and Carlos Huertas (Fortec Motorsports) at bay.

The leading trio took advantage of the battle behind them and began to widen the gap, and after five laps, Bianchi, Müller and Frijns were almost five seconds ahead of Pic. The Frenchman held the upper hand over Magnussen, while Sorensen moved up into sixth after getting past Grubmüller with a perfect manoeuvre.

Bianchi was having a masterful race at the front of the field and managed to build a slim lead over Müller, who for his part was gradually moving away from Frijns. The most keenly contested battle was for Grubmüller’s seventh place, with the Austrian doing everything in his power to stop Sam Bird from sneaking past.

Frijns caught up with Müller towards the end of the race and launched a DRS-aided attack, but Müller refused to budge. The fight for fifth place was every bit as intense, with Sorensen also regaining contact with Magnussen.

From then, however, the race order remained unchanged. Bianchi, Sahara Force India’s third driver and a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy, took the chequered flag to claim his first victory in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series. With it, he became the sixth different winner in six races. Müller, for his part, finished second to make his first appearance on the podium this season. The biggest winner, however, was third-placed Robin Frijns, who moves top of the championship standings with a two-point lead over Sam Bird, who could only finish eighth.

Jules Bianchi: “It’s never easy to win! We had a difficult start to the season, and even this weekend things started badly with the technical problems we suffered in collective testing. But I knew the car was quick, and that showed in qualifying. This victory really kick-starts my season. I’ll need more wins if I’m to have a real hope of winning the championship.”

Nico Müller: “From the start, we knew we were in a good position to do well. This podium finish is the culmination of all the work we’ve done since the first tests. The season started very badly at Motorland Aragón, but since then we have made steady progress. It wasn’t possible for us to win today, but it will come eventually.”

Robin Frijns: “I didn’t get off to a good start, to say the least. But after that, the race went well. We have the car to win and I was faster than Nico [Müller], but he defended his position perfectly without making the slightest mistake. I’m top of the championship tonight, but all I’m thinking about now is qualifying well tomorrow and getting a good result.”