Max Defourny and Sacha Fenestraz battled for pole position for race one at the Red Bull Ring on Friday, with the Belgian coming out on top by just 0.089 seconds.
Defourny, still seeking his first win of the season despite five visits to the podium, will lead the field away in Saturday’s opener for R-ace GP, while Josef Kaufmann Racing’s Fenestraz will have to settle for third on the grid thanks to the split qualifying that the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Series utilises thanks to its 30-car grid.
“The entire team did a great job,” said Defourny. “We did some good work despite a few uncertainties during the second collective test session. However, we kept calm to make the right decisions and it paid off in qualifying. It didn’t take long for the rain to disturb our group!
“Tomorrow, we will do everything we can to get the second pole position up for grabs and win race one. It is time to take points from the leaders!”
Joining Defourny on the front row will be Group A pacesetter Max Fewtrell, with the 2016 British F4 champion setting a best lap of 1:28.962s for Tech 1 Racing, 0.052 seconds clear of his fellow Briton Will Palmer of R-ace GP, who will line-up fourth on the grid.
Another Briton, Arden Motorsport’s Daniel Ticktum, will start fifth on the grid, ending up just 0.195 seconds off the pole time, while championship leader Robert Shwartzman of R-ace GP will be alongside the Red Bull-backed driver in sixth.
Thomas Randle was an impressive seventh for AVF by Adrian Vallés, and he will be joined on the fourth row by Tech 1 Racing’s Gabriel Aubry, while Henrique Chaves and Yifei Ye, both podium finishers this season, will share row five.
As is custom at the Red Bull Ring in junior formulae, a number of drivers fell fowl of track limits, with Richard Verschoor, Presley Martano and Ghislain Cordeel from Group A, and Chaves, Alex Peroni, Thomas Maxwell, Xavier Lloveras, Neil Verhagen, Thomas Neubauer, Luis Leeds and Sun Yue Yang from Group B, all having times deleted.
Red Bull Ring Race 1 Qualifying Result
|1||9||Max Defourny||BEL||R-ace GP||1:28.793|
|2||7||Max Fewtrell||GBR||Tech 1 Racing||1:28.962|
|3||11||Sacha Fenestraz||FRA||Josef Kaufmann Racing||1:28.882|
|4||8||Will Palmer||GBR||R-ace GP||1:29.014|
|5||33||Daniel Ticktum||GBR||Arden Motorsport||1:28.988|
|6||10||Robert Shwartzman||RUS||R-ace GP||1:29.038|
|7||16||Thomas Randle||AUS||AVF by Adrian Valles||1:29.180|
|8||4||Gabriel Aubry||FRA||Tech 1 Racing||1:29.061|
|9||13||Henrique Chaves||POR||AVF by Adrian Valles||1:29.321|
|10||1||Yifei Ye||CHN||Josef Kaufmann Racing||1:29.240|
|11||17||Alex Peroni||AUS||Fortec Motorsports||1:29.460|
|12||18||Aleksey Korneev||RUS||Fortec Motorsports||1:29.378|
|13||5||Thomas Maxwell||AUS||Tech 1 Racing||1:29.583|
|14||23||Aleksandr Vartanyan||RUS||JD Motorsport||1:29.459|
|15||6||Thomas Neubauer||FRA||Tech 1 Racing||1:29.717|
|16||29||Richard Verschoor||NED||MP Motorsport||1:29.614|
|17||30||Jarno Opmeer||NED||MP Motorsport||1:29.763|
|18||15||Axel Matus||MEX||AVF by Adrian Valles||1:29.813|
|19||2||Luis Leeds||AUS||Josef Kaufmann Racing||1:29.860|
|20||26||Presley Martono||INO||Mark Burdett Motorsport||1:29.870|
|21||20||Najiy Ayyad bin Abd Razak||MAL||Fortec Motorsports||1:30.007|
|22||93||Zane Goddard||AUS||Arden Motorsport||1:29.972|
|23||22||Jean Baptiste Simmenauer||FRA||JD Motorsport||1:30.139|
|24||34||Ghislain Cordeel||BEL||Arden Motorsport||1:30.206|
|25||21||Sun Yue Yang||CHN||JD Motorsport||1:30.143|
|26||19||Frank Bird||GBR||Fortec Motorsports||1:30.273|
|27||31||Neil Verhagen||USA||MP Motorsport||1:30.298|
|28||12||Raul Guzman||MEX||R-ace GP||1:30.368|
|29||14||Xavier Lloveras||ESP||AVF by Adrian Valles||1:30.436|
|30||25||Julia Pankiewicz||POL||Mark Burdett Motorsport||1:31.379|