Motopark’s Noel Leon was fastest in practice for the first Euroformula round of the season at Algarve.
Effective Racing’s Vladimir Netusil set the early benchmarks in FP1, and CryptoTower Racing Team’s Tim Tramnitz the first driver to lap sub-1m40s a quarter of the way into the 40-minute session.
Leon then set a 1m37.217s to go fastest, with Tramnitz 0.178 seconds slower. Enzo Trulli made it a lockout of the top three for Motopark-run cars, with the Italian competing under the CryptoTower banner this weekend like Tramnitz.
Leon improved to 1m36.885s a few minutes later later, then again to 1m36.357s, a benchmark that would keep him on top through the second half of the session.
Tramnitz set a 1m36.728s in second place and he also did not improve thereon, with Trulli maintaining third until BVM Racing’s Francesco Simonazzi set a 1m36.880s with 10 minutes to go.
Motopark’s fleet of cars were frequently in and out of the pits in the last 15 minutes, but not improving their pace. However Simonazzi was the only driver to break their stronghold on the top six, with Noda Racing’s Juju Noda and Netusil improving in the final minutes byt remaining eighth and ninth, and both some way off the pace.
While Netusil did 21 laps, NV Racing’s Paolo Brajnik only did nine before he returned to the pitlane, got out of his car and took off his overalls, meaning he ended up 5.491s off Leon’s benchmark laptime.
Motopark’s Bryce Aron led the way early in FP2 with a 1m37.717s lap, but it was then deleted for track limits abuse at turn one and he fell to third 11 minutes into the 40-minute session as Tramnitz set a 1m37.380s and Leon lapped in 1m37.543s.
Tramnitz improved in consecutive laps to bring the pace down to 1m36.902s before pitting before the session’s halfway mark, and nobody was able to beat him. However he wasn’t fastest overall for the day as Leon’s FP1 benchmark was quicker.
There was more squabbling for the positions behind, with Aron and Trulli disputing second before they joined Tramnitz in pitting. Trulli was 0.201s slower than Tramnitz, with Aron a further 0.014s behind.
Simonazzi went fourth fastest with two minutes to go, and was 0.365s slower than Tramnitz, with single-seater rookie Jakob Bergmeister in sixth and Juju Noda in eighth the only other two drivers to improve their pace in the session’s second half.
Aron, Bergmeister, Noda and Brajnik were the only drivers to better their FP1 pace, while Netusil failed to set a flying lap.
Free practice results
|2||Tim Tramnitz||CryptoTower Racing||1m36.728s||+0.371s||33|
|3||Francesco Simonazzi||BVM Racing||1m36.866s||+0.509s||37|
|4||Enzo Trulli||CryptoTower Racing||1m36.950s||+0.593s||35|
|8||Juju Noda||Noda Racing||1m37.549s||+1.192s||35|
|9||Vladimir Netusil||Effective Racing||1m38.840s||+2.483s||22|
|10||Paolo Brajnik||NV Racing||1m39.018s||+2.661s||27|