Defourny leads the way come rain or shine at Spa

Formula Renault 2.0 NEC Spa Francorchamps Belgium © Craig Robertson © Race Photography

Max Defourny set the pace in both free practice sessions at Spa-Francorchamps on Thursday, with the first session being held in the wet before the track dried before the second.

The Belgian driver led a packed 30-car field in the first session with a best time of 2:36.838 in the rain, just ahead of Formula Renault 2.0 NEC championship leader Lando Norris, with the two highly rated drivers separated by just 0.009 seconds.

Nikita Troitskiy ended up third fastest for Fortec Motorsports, a further 0.365 seconds adrift, while Hugo de Sadeleer ended up fourth for Tech 1 Racing ahead of the busy Ferdinand Habsburg of Fortec Motorsports.

Alex Gill was sixth for Mark Burdett Motorsport ahead of James Allen of JD Motorsport, while Will Palmer of R-ace GP, Jehan Daruvala of Josef Kaufmann Racing and Sacha Fenestraz of Tech 1 Racing completed the top ten.

It was a bad session and ultimately day for Gabriel Aubry however, who crashed his Tech 1 Racing machine that saw him sit out the second drier session as his team were forced to change the Frenchman’s chassis.

The second session saw Defourny once again at the head of the field from Norris, with the R-ace GP driver this time ending up 0.341 seconds clear of the Josef Kaufmann Racing driver, while Bruno Baptista was third for Fortec Motorsports.

Gill and Palmer were fourth and fifth ahead of Allen and Daruvala, while Robert Shwartzmann of Josef Kaufmann Racing, Julien Falchero of R-ace GP and Henrique Chaves of AVF completed the top ten.

Spa-Francorchamps Free Practice Results (Combined)

133Max DefournyBELR-Ace GP2:36.8382:19.380
22Lando NorrisGBRJosef Kaufmann Racing2:36.8472:19.721
36Bruno BaptistaBRZFortec Motorsports2:39.4402:19.879
427Alex GillGBRMark Burdett Motorsport2:38.1052:20.099
514Will PalmerGBRR-Ace GP2:38.3302:20.193
618James AllenAUSJD Motorsport2:38.1752:20.338
71Jehan DaruvalaINDJosef Kaufmann Racing2:38.3542:20.503
83Robert ShwartzmanRUSJosef Kaufmann Racing2:38.5872:20.596
916Julien FalcheroFRAR-Ace GP2:39.9722:20.618
1021Henrique ChavesPORAVF by Adrian Valles2:39.4072:20.701
119Dorian BoccolacciFRATech 1 Racing2:38.5362:20.712
1211Sacha FenestrazSWITech 1 Racing2:38.3972:20.812
1317Aleksey KorneevRUSJD Motorsport2:39.5532:20.844
1462Ferdinand HabsburgAUTFortec Motorsports2:37.7902:20.859
157Nikita TroitskiyRUSFortec Motorsports2:37.2122:20.864
1610Hugo de SadeleerSWITech 1 Racing2:37.7752:21.092
175Vasily RomanovRUSFortec Motorsports2:38.5952:21.552
1828Finlay HutchinsonGBRMark Burdett Motorsport2:41.8172:21.956
1935Ghislain CordeelBELJD Motorsport2:42.4732:21.965
2024Nerses IsaakyanRUSAVF by Adrian Valles2:41.5102:22.374
2196Bartlomiej MireckiPOLBM Racing Team2:40.2162:22.507
2240Antoni PtakPOLCram Motorsport2:39.8772:22.799
2377Laurents HorrGERDutt Motorsport2:41.7772:23.197
2442Julia PankiewiczPOLAVF by Adrian Valles2:43.5532:23.349
2532Kasper LarsenDENKEO Racing2:43.9452:23.634
2673Pietro PecceniniITATS Corse2:44.7202:24.105
2736Thomas NeubauerFRAFormula Motorsport2:42.1942:25.245
2837Nicolas MelinFRAFormula Motorsport2:43.2012:25.733
2994Philippe HaezebrouckFRAFormula Motorsport2:44.0042:28.789
3012Gabriel AubryFRATech 1 Racing2:38.702No Time