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Victor Martins breaks Barcelona track record in Eurocup test

by Cameron Paterson

Renault junior Victor Martins broke the Formula Renault Eurocup’s Barcelona track record to lead the championship’s first day of pre-season testing at the track.

The MP Motorsport driver, who already held the record after taking pole with a 1m41.864s lap during the championship’s visit to the circuit last year, ended the day with a best time of 1m41.544s.

The Frenchman spent much of the morning on top, initially taking over from SMP Racing junior and R-ace GP driver Alexander Smolyar, who had led after the first hour.

Martins’ time was enough to be above Lorenzo Colombo before improving to a 1m42.014s in the last hour, extending his advantage.

Smolyar started the second session of the day by going top before Martins led for over 90 minutes before a flurry of lap times were submitted with around half an hour remaining. R-ace GP’s?Oscar Piastri went top of the timesheets on three occasions while Martins, Smolyar and Bhaitech driver Petr Ptacek swapped times behind him in the order, staying within three tenths.

Martins got closest within a tenth of Piastri?s effort before he retook top spot with eight minutes to go, a time that went unbeaten shortly after when a crash for Brad Benavides (FA Racing by Drivex) at Turn 1 red flagged the session.

Piastri ended up second, ahead of Ptacek and Smolyar. Colombo’s morning time was enough to put the MP driver third overall though, with second Renault junior Caio Collet (R-ace GP) also beating Ptacek and Smolyar thanks to his morning effort.

JD Motorsport?s Ugo de Wilde and M2 Competition’s Kush Maini were seventh and eighth, and the last two drivers within a second of Martins.

Frank Bird was the lead Arden driver in ninth, ahead of Xavier Lloveras of the debuting Global Racing Service team and surprise Eurocup returnee Callan O’Keeffe who raced in the championship as early as 2014.

Italian Formula 4 runner-up Leonardo Lorandi missed much of the morning with an engine issue in his JD Motorsport car, setting his first timed lap with 35 minutes of the opening four-hour session remaining. He was off the pace in the afternoon session too, leaving him 14th overall/


Day one results
Pos Name Team Time
1 Victor Martins MP Motorsport 1m41.544s
2 Oscar Piastri R-ace GP +0.556s
3 Lorenzo Colombo MP Motorsport +0.649s
4 Caio Collet R-ace GP +0.826s
5 Petr Ptacek Bhaitech +0.853s
6 Alexander Smolyar R-ace GP +0.857s
7 Ugo de Wilde JD Motorsport +0.877s
8 Kush Maini M2 Competition +0.939s
9 Frank Bird Arden +1.073s
10 Xavier Lloveras Global Racing Service +1.130s
11 Callan O’Keeffe FA Racing by Drivex +1.135s
12 Patrick Schott FA Racing by Drivex +1.145s
13 Sebastian Fernandez Arden +1.179s
14 Leonardo Lorandi JD Motorsport +1.217s
15 Brad Benavides FA Racing by Drivex +1.219s
16 Amaury Cordeel MP Motorsport +1.259s
17 Patrik Pasma Arden +1.383s
18 Esteban Muth M2 Competition +1.420s
19 Federico Malvestiti Bhaitech +1.429s
20 Yves Baltas M2 Competition +1.567s
21 Joao Vieira JD Motorsport +1.659s
22 Alessio Deledda Global Racing Service +2.220s