R-ACE GP double up with Monza wins for Sargeant and Martins

R-ACE GP double up with Monza wins for Sargeant and Martins

02.07.2018: R-ace GP produced a stunning display to claim both Formula Renault Northern European Cup (NEC) victories at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza last weekend [30th June - 1st July], with Logan Sargeant and Victor

R-ace GP produced a stunning display to claim both Formula Renault Northern European Cup (NEC) victories at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza last weekend [30th June - 1st July], with Logan Sargeant and Victor Martins splitting the honours.

It would be Sargeant and Martins’ teammate Charles Milesi - a man in sparkling form recently after victories in the Eurocup at Silverstone and Monaco - who translated the team’s pace in free practice into pole position for the opening contest.

Though the Frenchman was able to fend off the threat from behind posed by home hero Lorenzo Colombo (JD Motorsport), a brave move on the inside of the Variante Del Rettifilo by Sargeant proved enough to wrestle the lead - and the race victory - away.

In an absorbing six-car scrap for the honours, Renault Sport Academy racers Max Fewtrell and Martins eventually completed the podium, the latter surging through in the final stages despite an earlier trip through the gravel at the first Lesmo.

The fight at the head of the field proved equally as exciting in the second race, though contact between Fewtrell and Tech1 Racing’s Frank Bird into the Variante Della Roggia gave Martins a break at the front of the field, handing him an advantage he would extend to over four seconds at the chequered flag.

Fewtrell, meanwhile, was forced into an early retirement with rear wing damage, though Bird was able to rejoin after pitting for repairs to the front wing.

Milesi made amends for a disappointing end to the opening contest with the runner-up spot, with the fight for the final spot on the rostrum making all the headlines.

A thrilling duel between Colombo and Sargeant reached a head, not once - but twice - heading into Della Roggia.

Initially, the two ran side-by-side before slight contact, sending the #2 car over the chicane before rejoining behind Colombo. On his next attempt, Sargeant locked up under braking, and after going straight on at the chicane would not get another opportunity to put pressure on the Italian.

The result means R-ace GP leave the 3.6 mile amphitheatre of speed just short of a clean sweep, with five from a possible six trophies across the weekend’s action.

Had circumstances played out different, Tech1 and Bird could arguably have won a race this weekend, but regardless the team claimed a pair of top five finishes - one apiece for Bird and team-mate Thomas Neubauer.

The stand-out performer among the championship’s full-season entries - and therefore those eligible to lift the title when the Hockenheimring double-header closes the season in October - was undoubtedly Phil Hill and Anders Motorsport.

Mechanical problems on Friday restricted their running to just five laps across the two half-hour sessions, putting the German pairing on the back foot.

However, Hill rose to the challenge, taking eighth in Race 1 after a fascinating battle with the more experienced Neubauer, before claiming sixth overall in the final contest.

Gabriel Gandulia (R-ace GP) was consistently second quickest as the Argentine similarly continues to learn the ropes in the 2.0 litre, Tatuus-manufactured Formula Renault car, and with a season-best result of seventh in race two can look ahead to Spa with optimism.

Doureid Ghattas proved the man to beat in Pau last month in the sister Anders Motorsport car but struggled with oversteer in the #7 - regardless he battled through to claim two ‘de-facto’ podiums, and a pair of top ten finishes overall.

Sharon Scolari (ScoRace Team) enjoyed better fortune on her second outing in the #77 machine, consistently improving lap times with each passing session - as did Cram Motorsport’s Zichao Wang - and both will be contenders to keep an eye on when the championship reconvenes in the Ardennes Forest on July 28-29.

Logan Sargeant (#2) said,
“That race was pretty eventful! I think my racecraft was pretty much on point, there’s not much more I could have done. I passed Colombo on the outside of the chicane at the start, and then with Charles [Milesi] I just sent it. Full attack mode, as I said before, and it paid off.

“I feel like I defended well and at the end of the race my pace definitely picked up. The team at R-ace GP did a great job today, so thank you to them.

Max Fewtrell (#1) said,
“I’ve been struggling to find the balance of the car all week really and I’m quite off the pace, so to get second was really good.

“I just used as much racecraft out there as I could against any attack on me - I was really happy with the result to be honest. I kept it clean, didn’t touch anyone and it was great to have so many close battles - especially defending from Charles, who is really fast this weekend.

“In both championships we’ve competed in - both this and the Eurocup - R-ace GP have been really strong and it’s a testament to the work they put in.”

Victor Martins (#4) said,
“At the beginning I got a pretty good start but it was quite hard to stay ahead of Max [Fewtrell] and Frank [Bird], especially given the slipstream.

“My tyres and the balance in the car were both good. At the end of the race it was quite calm, I was alone and just had to stay focused on my race.

“This weekend has helped me a lot in terms of confidence, I just have to keep it up and do the same in the next round of the Eurocup. A huge thank you to everybody at R-ace GP for all their hard work and effort.”

Charles Milesi (#3) said
, “My start wasn’t too bad, I was focused on not making any mistakes on the first lap. After the incident with Max and Frank I tried to have a good rhythm for the rest of the race - the pace was good so I’m happy.

“For me, the whole weekend has been great. I had good performance in each session, I’ve learned a lot in the races. The work from the team has been great - we’ve made some steps forward.”

Lorenzo Colombo (#61) said,
“It was quite a difficult race for me, fighting from the first lap until the end. But, as an event, I’ve learnt a lot about Monza and also the car, especially in the races.

“The battle with Logan was a bit tight for me at the second chicane because I kept the inside line and he was trying to overtake me on the outside. I didn’t have any space to turn the car into the corner any more - if I’d taken the kerb on the inside I might have broken the suspension. Sometimes these things happen.

“I’m pleased to end the weekend with some silverware, though, and thank you to JD Motorsport for preparing the car and working to such a high standard.”



1 | France | Pau Grand Prix | 11-13 May
2 | Italy | Autodromo Nazionale Monza | 29-30 June
3 | Belgium | Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps | 27-28 July
4 | Hungary | Hungaroring | 01-02 September
5 | Germany | Nurburgring | 14-15 September
6 | Germany | Hockenheimring | 05-07 October

Damian Meaden- photos Dutch Photo Agency

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/race-gp-monza-wins-sargeant-martins---178179.html

02.07.2018 / MaP

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