Alexander Smolyar was quickest in the opening free practice session of the Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup season around the streets of Pau on Friday, whilst Alex Peroni left to the top in the second session with the quickest time of the day.
Tech 1 Racing’s Smolyar was one of a few drivers to make the switch to fresh tyres in the closing stages of the first session, and his best time of 1:14.638s was enough to deny MP Motorsport’s Peroni top spot by just over a tenth of a second.
Charles Milesi, a former race winner in NEC, placed third for R-ace GP ahead of team-mates Victor Martins and Logan Sargeant, while Tech 1 Racing team-mates Neil Verhagen and Frank Bird sixth and seventh ahead of MP Motorsport’s Christian Lundgaard, the current leader of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 championship standings.
Fortec Motorsport’s Arthur Rougier was ninth, while Tech 1 Racing’s Thomas Neubauer completed the top ten ahead of R-ace GP’s Gabriel Gandula and Anders Motorsport duo Doureid Ghattas and Phil Hill, the latter causing damage to his car after making contact with the wall.
Peroni was able to get himself to the top of the time sheets in the second session with a lap of 1:14.328s, just 0.050 seconds clear of Smolyar, while Rougier was able to improve to third ahead of Milesi, Martins and Sargeant.
The Red Bull-backed Verhagen was seventh ahead of Neubauer, while Bird and Gandula rounded out the top ten ahead of Ghattas, who gave Anders Motorsport more work to do by making contact with the tyre wall during the session, and Formula Motorsport’s Nicolas Pironneau.