Home Featured Aron causes red flags then goes fastest in FP2 at Macau GP

Aron causes red flags then goes fastest in FP2 at Macau GP

by Ida Wood

Photo: Macau GP Organising Committee

Theodore Racing’s Paul Aron was fastest in the second practice session for the Macau Grand Prix.

At the start of the 40-minute session Luke Browning passed several cars on his outlap to get to the front, but he was not first to start a flying lap as he pitted at the end of his outlap.

MP Motorsport’s Marcus Armstrong and Dennis Hauger therefore were the first two to start a timed lap, and they did not get to complete it due to the Prema-run Aron stopping at the Melco hairpin.

Campos Racing’s Pepe Marti and Oliver Goethe stopped behind him, then Van Amersfoort Racing’s Sophia Floersch did the same. The virtual safety car was deployed as six more cars stopped, then red flags waved 6m43s into FP2 just as Aron and the Campos cars finally got going again.

MP’s trio of drivers and the Rodin Carlin duo were the only drivers to get onto timed laps before the red flags.

The session restarted 12 minutes in, and Trident’s Richard Verschoor repeated what Browning had done by being at the front of the queue but pitting at the end of his outlap.

Hitech GP’s Isack Hadjar was first to set a flying lap three minutes later with a 2m24.980s. Carlin’s Zane Maloney set a 2m26.876s to go second, and Trident’s Roman Stanek was third with a 2m28.106s. Dan Ticktum (Carlin) and Sebastian Montoya (Campos) also got laps in before VSC conditions returned due to Hadjar’s team-mate Browning stopping in the Lisboa run-off.

VAR’s Tommy Smith did the same three minutes later, causing another VSC period, with MP’s Mari Boya briefly stopping there as well.

Jenzer Motorsport’s Charlie Wurz set a 2m37.382s to go sixth fastest and team-mate Matias Zagazeta had improved in 10th place 24-and-a-half minutes in just before red flags waved due to ART Grand Prix’s Nikola Tsolov crashing at Faraway Hill and coming to a stop slightly further down the road.

Theodore’s provisional pole-sitter Gabriele Mini and Hauger decided to get out of their cars during the stoppage, and did not rejoin the action when FP2 restarted with just over five-and-a-half minutes remaining.

Representative laptimes were finally set with 75s left on the clock, with Browning laying down a 2m06.356s benchmark. Team-mate Alex Dunne was 0.468 seconds slower in second, Stanek was 0829s behind in third and under investigation for a VSC infringement, and Hadjar was the last driver within a second of Browning in fourth.

Before the chequered flag waved there were 22 drivers who got laps in, with Verschoor first to set a time after the session finish.

Boya got within 0.295s of Browning to go second fastest, Dunne, Hadjar and Goethe all failed to improve then Theodore’s Dino Beganovic went fourth fastest with a 2m07.008s. Moments later Aron set a 2m06.327s to usurp Browning and end FP2 on top.

The ninth-placed Marti went into the Lisboa run-off so did not improve, while Wurz did go faster to complete the top 10.

Armstrong pitted rather than complete his lap so was 11th, and Floersch improved to get up to 12th.

Free practice 2 results

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Paul Aron Theodore Racing 2m06.327s 8
2 Luke Browning Hitech GP 2m06.356s +0.029s 8
3 Mari Boya MP Motorsport 2m06.651s +0.324s 9
4 Alex Dunne Hitech GP 2m06.824s +0.497s 7
5 Dino Beganovic Theodore Racing 2m07.008s +0.681s 9
6 Roman Stanek Trident 2m07.165s +0.838s 9
7 Isack Hadjar Hitech GP 2m07.224s +0.897s 10
8 Oliver Goethe Campos Racing 2m07.425s +1.098s 9
9 Pepe Marti Campos Racing 2m07.506s +1.179s 9
10 Charlie Wurz Jenzer Motorsport 2m07.554s +1.227s 9
11 Marcus Armstrong MP Motorsport 2m07.635s +1.308s 10
12 Sophia Floersch Van Amersfoort Racing 2m07.701s +1.374s 9
13 Dan Ticktum Carlin 2m07.787s +1.460s 10
14 Max Esterson Jenzer Motorsport 2m07.830s +1.503s 7
15 Matias Zagazeta Jenzer Motorsport 2m08.266s +1.939s 9
16 Richard Verschoor Trident 2m08.559s +2.232s 9
17 Ugo Ugochukwu Trident 2m08.622s +2.295s 9
18 Zane Maloney Carlin 2m08.624s +2.297s 10
19 Sebastian Montoya Campos Racing 2m09.134s +2.807s 9
20 Tommy Smith Van Amersfoort Racing 2m09.498s +3.171s 8
21 Laurens van Hoepen ART Grand Prix 2m09.936s +3.609s 9
22 Christian Mansell ART Grand Prix 2m10.571s +4.244s 9
23 Noel Leon Van Amersfoort Racing 2m42.946s +36.619s 8
24 Gabriele Mini Theodore Racing 2m58.625s +52.298s 7
25 Dennis Hauger MP Motorsport 3m00.490s +54.163s 6
26 Nikola Tsolov ART Grand Prix 3m02.267s +55.940s 5