Defourny edges out Fenestraz, denies Fewtrell Red Bull Ring Pole

Max Defourny will start from pole position for race one at the Red Bull Ring - Credit: Jean Michel Le Meur / DPPI

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

19Max DefournyBELR-ace GP1:28.793
27Max FewtrellGBRTech 1 Racing1:28.962
311Sacha FenestrazFRAJosef Kaufmann Racing1:28.882
48Will PalmerGBRR-ace GP1:29.014
533Daniel TicktumGBRArden Motorsport1:28.988
610Robert ShwartzmanRUSR-ace GP1:29.038
716Thomas RandleAUSAVF by Adrian Valles1:29.180
84Gabriel AubryFRATech 1 Racing1:29.061
913Henrique ChavesPORAVF by Adrian Valles1:29.321
101Yifei YeCHNJosef Kaufmann Racing1:29.240
1117Alex PeroniAUSFortec Motorsports1:29.460
1218Aleksey KorneevRUSFortec Motorsports1:29.378
135Thomas MaxwellAUSTech 1 Racing1:29.583
1423Aleksandr VartanyanRUSJD Motorsport1:29.459
156Thomas NeubauerFRATech 1 Racing1:29.717
1629Richard VerschoorNEDMP Motorsport1:29.614
1730Jarno OpmeerNEDMP Motorsport1:29.763
1815Axel MatusMEXAVF by Adrian Valles1:29.813
192Luis LeedsAUSJosef Kaufmann Racing1:29.860
2026Presley MartonoINOMark Burdett Motorsport1:29.870
2120Najiy Ayyad bin Abd RazakMALFortec Motorsports1:30.007
2293Zane GoddardAUSArden Motorsport1:29.972
2322Jean Baptiste SimmenauerFRAJD Motorsport1:30.139
2434Ghislain CordeelBELArden Motorsport1:30.206
2521Sun Yue YangCHNJD Motorsport1:30.143
2619Frank BirdGBRFortec Motorsports1:30.273
2731Neil VerhagenUSAMP Motorsport1:30.298
2812Raul GuzmanMEXR-ace GP1:30.368
2914Xavier LloverasESPAVF by Adrian Valles1:30.436
3025Julia PankiewiczPOLMark Burdett Motorsport1:31.379