Sacha Fenestraz takes control of Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup Championship after another perfect win and dominating performance at Red Bull Ring.
A second commanding win in consecutive rounds saw French-Argentinian racer Sacha Fenestraz take control of the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup Championship this weekend (July 21-23).
The Josef Kaufmann Racing driver’s imperious run of form continued at the Red Bull Ring as he sealed his third victory of the campaign with a blistering performance.
After taking second place in the first race, the 17-year-old saw himself move to the top of the leaderboard for the first time this season.
And the ADD Motorsports-supported racer’s fine work was far from over, as he went on to romp home to victory from pole position on Sunday.
It means the talented teen now heads into the summer break with an imposing 27-point lead in the exciting title race – and just three rounds to go.
He said: « It was a near perfect weekend. We were fast every session and apart from a slight mistake that cost me pole for the first race, it could have been even better.
« I’m really pleased with how I’m driving right now. But I’m also happy with the team and how it’s all coming together.
« We’ve done extra simulator work and we’ve been putting in the work, so it’s great to be getting the rewards.
« My goal before this weekend was to be in the lead of the Championship going into the summer break, so to get such a big lead was brilliant. »
After a third place finish and a win at the Nürburgring last weekend, momentum was with the determined racer going into the latest round set at the foot of the Austrian Alps.
Following heavy rain, he hit the ground running, topping the timesheets in both practice sessions.
He went out in the second group in the first qualifying session and while he did enough to beat the times of the drivers out before him, a slight mistake in the second sector saw him come home in second in his group.
But he was back on song in the second qualifying session, finding a perfect run. While his time of 1:28.429 was the same as another driver going in the second group, as the first to set the time, he took pole for the second race.
With the second group having the advantage of a faster track, it was the first time this season the leader of the first group was as quick as the first driver in the second group. It went to highlight Sacha’s dominance and speed on the F1 track.
Setting off from third in the first race, Sacha set about pressurising the leaders, although could not find a way through and saw the gap widen.
But a battle between the top two saw him close the gap little by little. On the last lap, he seized his chance to take advantage with a brilliantly-executed over-take on the outside to take a well-earned second place.
In the second race, Sacha kept the lead from the start. He then expertly set about extending his lead to around 4.5 seconds until a crash behind saw a safety car period.
A good restart, saw him take control of the race again – until another incident led to another safety car.
But Sacha showed all of his growing maturity and experience to keep the lead at the restart once again with three laps to go, finishing well to take a superb win and make a real statement in the title race.
He now takes a commanding 27-point lead going into the summer break before the Championship recommences at Le Castellet on August 25-27.
Excitingly, however, before the break, Sacha’s overall placing will see him spend two days in the F1 paddock during the Hungarian Grand Prix, giving him the privileged opportunity to see what happens behind the scenes and meet some of the Renault Sport Formula One team.
He added: « To go into the break at the top of the Championship is really great. I can concentrate on my own races and let other drivers worry about where I am when we get going again.
« When we return we want to pick up where we left off and I will keep working hard with the team to pick up the wins and points.
« I’m already looking forward to getting back on track at Le Castellet and hopefully keep doing what I’ve been doing. »
Championship Standings : 1. Sacha Fenestraz, 235 points ; 2. Robert Shwartzman, 208 pts ; 3. Will Palmer, 206 pts…
The drivers now move on to Le Castellet on 25-27 August, for the eighth round of the Championship.