Home Featured PaddockScout Roundup: FR3.5 & Eurocup FR2.0 Aragon

PaddockScout Roundup: FR3.5 & Eurocup FR2.0 Aragon

by Peter Allen
Oliver Rowland

Photo: Jean Michel Le Meur/DPPI

Formula Renault 3.5: Rowland and Gasly keep Sainz in check

Oliver Rowland surged into second place in the Formula Renault 3.5 title fight with his maiden victory in race two at Motorland Aragon. The Racing Steps Foundation ace was quick all weekend, coming close to pole on Saturday and fighting back to finish third after a slow start. He then dominated from start to finish on Sunday.

Carlos Sainz had continued to set the pace for the rest on Saturday, claiming another comfortable win. He could only qualify fifth for race two however, eventually being forced to settle for fourth in the race after an intense late battle with Pierre Gasly and Will Stevens ahead of him. Rowland’s slow start in Monza gives Sainz a 13 point cushion at the top of the standings.

Gasly continued his impressive start in FR3.5, and is just four points behind former Eurocup rival Rowland. The Frenchman fell back to ninth in a bruising first encounter but flew to second place on Sunday, battling his way past Red Bull stablemate Sainz and then taking Stevens on the final lap.

Stevens struggled for pace on Saturday and finished the first race in 12th, but third place on Sunday leaves him fourth in the standings ahead of Nikolay Martsenko, who took his impressive start to the campaign a step further with second place in race one. Fellow Russian Sergey Sirotkin had a challenging weekend alongside Rowland at Fortec, with an eighth place and a non-finish leaving him 37 points off the lead.

Formula Renault 3.5 Series Round 2/9 ? Aragon, Spain
Race 1
Report: Carlos Sainz goes unmatched in Aragon race one
1st: Carlos Sainz 2nd: Nikolay Martsenko 3rd: Oliver Rowland
Race 2
Report: Rowland secures maiden pole with superb last-second flyer
1st: Oliver Rowland 2nd: Pierre Gasly 3rd: Will Stevens
Championship standings
1 Carlos Sainz 62 pts
2 Oliver Rowland 49 pts
3 Pierre Gasly 45 pts
4 Will Stevens 40 pts
5 Nikolay Martsenko 36 pts
6 Roberto Merhi 36 pts
Next round: Monaco (25 May)

Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0: De Vries makes winning start

Nyck de Vries

Photo: Florent Gooden/DPPI

Nyck de Vries got his Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 campaign off to a good start in the opening weekend of the season at Motorland Aragon. The McLaren young driver claimed a relatively comfortable win from pole in race one, and although a mistake left him down in fourth in race two, he has backed up his title favourite status by being the early points leader.

Bruno Bonifacio enjoyed a strong start to his second Eurocup season with a pair of third-place finishes, leaving the Brazilian only seven points adrift of de Vries in the standings.

Andrea Pizzitola bounced back from a non-finish on Saturday to claim a maiden Eurocup win from pole position in race two. Kevin Jorg made up for a spin in race one to finish second, and is tied for fourth with Egor Orudzhev, who took P2 on Saturday before suffering a puncture when hit by Alexander Albon.

Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Round 1/7 ? Aragon, Spain
Race 1
Report: Nyck de Vries converts pole into first race win of season at Aragon
1st: Nyck de Vries 2nd: Egor Orudzhev 3rd: Bruno Bonifacio
Race 2
Report: Maiden Eurocup victory for Andrea Pizzitola
1st: Andrea Pizzitola 2nd: Kevin Jorg 3rd: Bruno Bonifacio
Championship standings
1 Nyck de Vries 37 pts
2 Bruno Bonifacio 30 pts
3 Andrea Pizzitola 25 pts
4 Kevin Jorg 18 pts
5 Egor Orudzhev 18 pts
6 Alexander Albon 14 pts
Next round: Spa-Francorchamps (31 May-1 June)

German F3: Double win for Pommer on series return

Markus Pommer

Photo: Alexander Trienitz/ATS Formel 3 Cup

Markus Pommer is making up for his absence from single-seaters last year with a dual campaign in Auto GP and German F3, and made a victorious start to his programme in the latter at Oschersleben. Pommer, who spent three years in the category before winning in F2 in 2012, claimed the honours in races one and three and finished fourth in race two to claim the early points lead.

Nabil Jeffri‘s off-season switch from EuroInternational to Motopark paid off with his first win in the series in race two. The Petronas-backed driver finished sixth in race one after being penalised for a jump start, and began race three from pole but was made to settle for second off the line by team-mate Pommer.

Indy Dontje enjoyed a promising graduation from ADAC Formel Masters to German F3 with Motopark with two seconds and a third at the team’s home circuit. As was the case for all of 2013, it was Van Amersfoort Racing’s lead driver who posed the greatest threat to the Motopark trio, with Sam MacLeod claiming a pair of podiums on his F3 debut.

German F3 Cup Round 1/8 ? Oschersleben, Germany
Race 1
Report: Pommer controls race one at Oschersleben
1st: Markus Pommer 2nd: Indy Dontje 3rd: Sam MacLeod
Race 2
Report: Jeffri takes race two win at Oscherlseben
1st: Nabil Jeffri 2nd: Indy Dontje 3rd: Sam MacLeod
Race 3
Report: Pommer wins as Motopark dominate final race at Oschersleben
1st: Markus Pommer 2nd: Nabil Jeffri 3rd: Indy Dontje
Championship standings
1 Markus Pommer 58 pts
2 Nabil Jeffri 42 pts
3 Indy Dontje 41 pts
4 Sam MacLeod 33 pts
5 Nicolai Sylvest 20 pts
6 Weiron Tan 15 pts
Next round: Lausitz (24-25 May)

ADAC Formel Masters: Jensen takes it to pre-season favourite Gunther

Mikkel Jensen

Photo: ADAC

Danish ace Mikkel Jensen upstaged ADAC Formel Masters title favourite Maximilian Gunther at the opening weekend of the season at Oschersleben to lead the championship standings. Jensen, who moved teams from Motopark to Neuhasuer over the winter, beat last year’s runner-up Gunther to win race one after starting on pole.

The tables were turned in race two, with Mucke protege Gunther starting from pole and narrowly holding off Jensen to claim victory. Race three determined the three-point gap between the pair, with Jensen making up a couple of places from the reverse grid to finish fifth while Gunther finished where he started in eighth.

Jensen’s Neuhauser team-mate Tim Zimmermann also impressed, collecting two podiums on his single-seater debut with third in race one and second in race three.?Fabian Schiller claimed victory in race three, while long-time rivals Marvin Dienst and?Ralph Boschung completed the podium in races two and three respectively.

ADAC Formel Masters Round 1/8 ? Oschersleben, Germany
Race 1
Report: Jensen takes dominant race one victory at Oschersleben
1st: Mikkel Jensen 2nd: Maximilian Gunther 3rd: Tim Zimmermann
Race 2
Report: Gunther outlasts Jensen for race two victory at Oschersleben
1st: Maximilian Gunther 2nd: Mikkel Jensen 3rd: Marvin Dienst
Race 3
Report: Schiller takes victory in race three at Oschersleben
1st: Fabian Schiller 2nd: Tim Zimmermann 3rd: Ralph Boschung
Championship standings
1 Mikkel Jensen 49 pts
2 Maximilian Gunther 46 pts
3 Tim Zimmermann 31 pts
4 Fabian Schiller 29 pts
5 Dennis Marschall 25 pts
6 Marvin Dienst 19 pts
Next round: Zandvoort (10-11 May)

French F4: Mawson makes awesome single-seater debut

Photo: Auto Sport Academy

Photo: Auto Sport Academy

A large variety of international racers lined up for the opening round of the French F4 Championship at Le Mans, and it was Australian Joseph Mawson who emerged as the star. A week after compatriot Anton De Pasqaule claimed a double win in the Formula Renault 1.6 NEC opener on his European debut, successful karter Mawson claimed two victories on his first single-seater appearance. He won the first race from pole, came from tenth third in race two and then charged to victory from fifth in race three.

British-Swiss driver Felix Hirsiger began the season as title favourite after finishing sixth last year, but could only manage P6 in race one after a front row start. He finished second in race two, and started race three from pole but would slip back to finish in third.

Lasse Sorensen, younger brother of Marco, finished P2 to Mawson in races one and three, but dropped points with a mechanical issue in race two. Lotus F1 protege Dorian Boccolacci showed consistency with a third, fifth and fourth from the three races, while Bryan Elpitiya won race two from the reverse grid pole.

French F4 Championship Round 1/7 ? Le Mans, France
Race 1
Report: Mawson victorious in first French F4 race
1st: Joseph Mawson 2nd: Lasse Sorensen 3rd: Dorian Boccolaccci
Race 2
Report: Elpitiya takes reverse-grid victory in second Le Mans race
1st: Bryan Elpitiya 2nd: Felix Hirsiger 3rd: Joseph Mawson
Race 3
Report: Mawson wins French F4 thriller at Le Mans
1st: Joseph Mawson 2nd: Lasse Sorensen 3rd: Felix Hirsiger
Championship standings
1 Joseph Mawson 67 pts
2 Felix Hirsiger 43 pts
3 Dorian Boccolaccci 37 pts
4 Lasse Sorensen 36 pts
5 Bryan Elpitiya 30 pts
6 Paul Hokfelt 24 pts
Next round: Pau (10-11 May)

BRDC F4: Russell bags first two car racing wins

George Russell

Photo: BRDC F4

George Russell made an unsurprisingly strong start to his BRDC F4 campaign with two victories at the season opener at Silverstone. The double European junior karting champion, who is also competing in Formula Renault Alps this year, finished fifth in race one after struggling for straight-line speed. He won a wet race two from fourth on the grid and then came from sixth to win race three.

A second, an eighth and a third from the three races put Diego Menchaca second in the standings as the Mexican begins his third season on the UK junior scene. Raoul Hyman – the highest-placed of the 2013 drivers to return – claimed his maiden victory in race one from pole position with?Sennan Fielding completing the podium behind Menchaca.

ADAC Formel Masters convert Nicolas Beer claimed second to Russell in race two ahead of Struan Moore, while Russell was joined on the race three rostrum by Indian team-mate?Arjun Maini and Menchaca.

BRDC F4 Championship Round 1/8 ? Silverstone, United Kingdom
Race 1
Report: Hyman takes maiden BRDC F4 win in season opener
1st: Raoul Hyman 2nd: Diego Menchaca 3rd: Sennan Fielding
Race 2
Report: George Russell takes first win in cars in reverse-grid Silverstone race
1st: George Russell 2nd: Nicolas Beer 3rd: Struan Moore
Race 3
Report: George Russell doubles up at Silverstone
1st: George Russell 2nd: Arjun Maini 3rd: Diego Menchaca
Championship standings
1 George Russell 79 pts
2 Diego Menchaca 66 pts
3 Raoul Hyman 64 pts
4 Arjun Maini 52 pts
5 Will Palmer 47 pts
6 Gustavo Lima 45 pts
Next round: Brands Hatch (17-18 May)

F3 Cup: Two more wins for Lanan youngster Sowery

17-year-old Toby Sowery made it four wins from four starts in this year’s F3 Cup, giving Lanan a total of four victories at the MSV Racing meeting at Silverstone. Driving for the same squad as Russell, he took pole by 1.6 seconds on a drying track and won race one by nearly 25 seconds over former Formula Renault BARC racer Henry Chart. Sowery was beaten off the line in race two by series veteran Tristan Cliffe?but grabbed the lead back later on the opening lap and winning by 16 seconds to open up a 31 point lead over Cliffe in the standings.

FA1: Bortolotti makes triumphant comeback

Ex-Formula 2 champion Mirko Bortolotti made a successful return to single-seater racing by winning the first two races of the new Formula Acceleration 1 series at Portimao. Driving for Italy in the A1 Grand Prix-inspired series, the 2013 Megane champion enjoyed a perfect weekend with two poles, two wins and two fastest laps.

Former GP2 and FR3.5 racer Nigel Melker finished second to Bortolotti in both races for the Netherlands, while German F3 Trophy champion Sebastian Balthasar completed the podium for Germany ahead of fellow Performane Racing-run driver Felix Rosenqvist (Sweden) in both races.

Star Driver: Oliver Rowland

Rowland had big shoes to fill by follow Robin Frijns and Stoffel Vandoorne out of Eurocup FR2.0 and into Fortec’s FR3.5 team, but he proved with his dominant win on Sunday that he’s capable of matching their achievements on his day. He’s now the closest man to Sainz in the points, and if he can put in those sort of performances on a consistent basis, he’ll be a real title threat.


Photo: Florent Gooden/DPPI