Home Formula 3Euroformula Simonazzi fastest in Euroformula practice at Spa-Francorchamps

Simonazzi fastest in Euroformula practice at Spa-Francorchamps

by Ida Wood

Photo: Ida Wood

BVM Racing’s Francesco Simonazzi was fastest across Euroformula’s two pratice sessions at Spa-Francorchamps on Friday.

Noel Leon was the early pacesetter in FP1, leading with a 2m12.968s laptime a quarter of the way into the 40-minute morning session.

He was fastest by almost two seconds until a few minutes later team-mate Bryce Aron set a 2m12.718s to edge ahead.

Leon responded with a 2m11.614s, and Aron in turn set a 2m12.039s. There was nobody else near their pace until the session’s halfway mark, by which point Len had lowered the pace further to 2m11.120s and Simonazzi had gone second fastest with a 2m11.973s. Aron was third, and Cian Shields had set a 2m12.434s in fourth.

NV Racing’s Paolo Brajnik had also finally set a proper timed lap by that point, while Effective Racing’s Vladimir Netusil and CryptoTower Racing Team’s debutant Gerrard Xie did not show up on the timing screens at all due to session-long transponder issues.

Simonazzi slightly decreased the gap to Leon in the next 10 minutes as Motopark’s fleet of cars (entered under its own name and that of CryptoTower) sat in the pits, then when they came back out¬†Shields became the third driver to lap sub-2m12s.

There was only five minutes to go at this point, and two minutes later Simonazzi took over at the top with a 2m10.961s. He was fastest through the second and third sectors of the lap, while Juju Noda had set a new benchmark in sector one but then been three seconds off the pace in sector two.

The session ended with Simonazzi fastest by 0.159 seconds over Leon and a 0.162s over a late-improving Shields. Aron failed to better his early benchmark and ended up a second off the pace in fourth, but with a gap of 0.811s to team-mate Jakob Bergmeister who set two personal best laps at the end.

Josh Mason was 2.126s off the pace on his Euroformula return and Noda was 3.248s back in seventh place.

Bergmeister was fastest at first in FP2, although not at a representative pace, and after 15 minutes Leon led the way by 0.550s over Simonazzi.

The gaps remained similar by the session’s halfway point, with Leon improving by 0.132s to lead Aron by 0.517s.

Shields split the two with eight of the 40 minutes to go, and only a few improvements were seen after that. Noda went fifth fastest in the final two minutes, getting within a second of Leon, and Mason upped his pace in sixth.

Aside from Netusil and Xie, whose FP1 laptimes were not recorded, the only driver to go faster in FP2 was Noda.

Free practice results
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Francesco Simonazzi BVM Racing 2m10.961s 26
2 Noel Leon Motopark 2m11.120s +0.159s 28
3 Cian Shields Motopark 2m11.123s +0.162s 27
4 Bryce Aron Motopark 2m12.039s +1.078s 29
5 Jakob Bergmeister Motopark 2m12.850s +1.889s 26
6 Josh Mason CryptoTower Racing 2m13.087s +2.126s 26
7 Juju Noda Noda Racing 2m13.471s +2.510s 31
8 Gerrard Xie CryptoTower Racing 2m13.841s +2.880s 14
9 Paolo Brajnik NV Racing 2m15.436s +4.475s 28
10 Vladimir Netusil Effective Racing 2m17.794s +6.833s 13