Qualifying for the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 races at Monaco was decided by the grid being split into two groups; with the quicker group making up the left-hand side of the grid for the Sunday race, while the same was true of the slower group for the Saturday race.
So, the first group went out around a sun-soaked Monte-Carlo with the Australian racer Alex Peroni setting the initial pace at a 1.32.704s over Christian Lundgaard by fifty-four-thousandths of a second. But all that would change as the session evolved around the principality.
But just as the session got underway, the man who was fastest yesterday, Victor Martins hit the wall hard on his first flying lap at Ste. Devote. But amazingly, the R-ace GP squad were able to get the Frenchman back out on track to complete two qualifying attempts.
Next it was Lundgaard’s time at the top, who set a time some 1.6 seconds quicker than Peroni’s initial effort.
Then after putting it in the wall on his first flying lap, Martins was able to put a blistering lap together to elevate himself to top spot. But he was denied top spot after a fabulous final effort from Peroni to put himself fastest of the group, just before Najiy Razak spun at Casino square which effectively ended the session, courtesy of yellow flags at that section.
So the top three from the group were Peroni, Martins and Lundgaard; all of whom were separated by 29-thousandths of a second. But would they be on the advantageous grid positions for race one on Saturday or Sunday’s race two?
The second group took to the track with the session starting in a similarly slow fashion, with championship leader Ye Yifei’s first effort being a 1.36.173s.
But soon the pace started to increase with Ye, Max Defourny, Logan Sargeant and Thomas Neubauer all trading times in the opening stages of the second session.
So at the half-way stage of the session, it was Defourny on top of the session and just 0.015 seconds slower than Peroni for the first group.
But that time was soon beaten by Charles Milesi who was the first man into the 1:30s bracket, but was soon followed by Ye who set a new Monaco lap record at a 1.30.768s.
However, with less than a minute left, Milesi took back top spot to take pole position for the Monaco GP curtain-raiser on Sunday, and will line-up second for the Saturday race as well.
Behind, Lorenzo Colombo bagged the third quickest time right at the death of the session ahead of Defourny, while early front-runner Neubauer ended up only ninth quickest in the group.