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Apr 29, 2014 - 02:04 PM
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Arden Motorsport, WSR FR3.5 - Motorland Race
Posted by: newsla on Apr 29, 2014 - 01:59 PM
Support Series News
Arden Motorsport, WSR FR3.5 - Motorland Race

The second round of the Formula Renault Fr3.5 weekend held at the Motorland circuit in Aragon, Spain.


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Friday practice began in sunny but windy conditions which favoured the Arden Motorsport duo in the morning session, with Pierre and Will closing the session behind challenger Will Stevens (Strakka Racing) in second and third respectively. The Northern Irish driver shone in the afternoon session, securing fastest lap of the day, with Red Bull team mate Pierre 0.06s behind him in third in a close session, with 19 cars within 1second behind leader Will.

The Saturday morning qualifying ran in cool temperatures, with all drivers setting their fastest time in the last few minutes of the session. Pierre secured sixth and Will tenth as the flag dropped, with the top ten drivers within four tenths of pole-man Carlos Sainz (Dams). FR2.0 Champion Pierre had a great start to fifth but ran wide at Turn 1 dropping to tenth. A battle with Pietro Fantin (International Draco Racing) on lap 4 saw the Frenchman take ninth place but Pierre was unable to fight past Russian Sergey Sirotkin (Fortec Motorsports), despite some tousles suffered front wing damage and crossed the line in ninth, picking up two points. Arden team mate Will was not so fortunate. Following contact with Oliver Webb (Pons Racing) on the opening lap, he was forced to retire due to a puncture.

In Sundays qualifying session both Arden Motorsport drivers had great speed with top five ideal lap times, Pierre lining up third for the afternoon race. However due to traffic Will was only able to secure a thirteenth place spot. Pierre lost a place to Stevens at the race start, however pitting on lap six he overtook Fantin in the pit stop mix. Head down, the Red Bull Junior driver capitalised on Sainz’s error with three laps to go, leaving him charging down Stevens in the hunt for second. Pierre managed an overtake on the last lap to finish second, his best place yet and took 18points. Wills race started well, with a move into twelfth on the first lap and a quick pit stop. However, on lap twelve Marlon Stockinger (Lotus) made an error at turn 7 and crashed into the back of Will, causing extensive suspension damage to the rear end of the Arden car forcing a second retirement of the weekend.

Arden Motorsport lies third in the Teams Championship with Pierre third and Will eleventh in the Driver’s Championship.

“Qualifying was tough, especially on Saturday, there was so much traffic that I really struggled to find the space to use the tyres when we needed to so I wasn't happy, I pushed as much as I could but it wasn't 100% perfect certainly, so P6.

The start of Race 1 was OK, I was up to P5 but then tried to brake late into the first corner, locked up a bit and and lost four places. That left me with a lot of work to do, I got past one guy and was then pushing for P8. I was having quite a battle to get past Sergey Sirotkin. I got some front wing damage and of course that didn't help so I ended up P9 which I was a bit disappointed with.”

“In Sunday's qualifying it was also tough to find space but we managed P3 so I was much happier with that but I still missed a bit. Then in the race I didn't get away so well and lost a place. Doing pit stops is new to me but the guys did a fantastic job and we managed to overtake Pietro Fantin. I was still behind Will Stevens, when I tried to overtake him it didn't work and Carlos Sainz overtook me.”

“I knew that from this point I had to save my tyres a bit and wait and hope that Sainz made a little mistake. I could see he was frustrated by Stevens and I had to make sure that I was in the right place if something happened.”

“There was a mistake, just one but I was just in the right place and went directly inside, the only possibility and got past. I was then right with Stevens and chased him all the way, passing him right at the last corner. It was a great race, a very busy race with lots of passing and that is why I like being a racer.”

"It was a disappointing weekend, after a ‘DNF’ in Monza Race 2 I was feeling motivated and hungry for a solid weekend.

Practice went well, finishing third in session one and topping the times in the second session. The car felt good from the outset.

Both qualifying sessions didn't turn out as good as they could have. Session one and two I ran top 2 on the first set of tyres, on the second set I was impeded and blocked on my best laps not allowing me to improve my lap times. It was very frustrating as I feel I could've been ahead of my teammate in both races.

In Race 1 after a good start, unfortunately I was hit on my left rear at the first turn, causing a puncture and I was forced to retire.

For Race 2 I was starting in the middle of the pack, we have a good race getting ourselves into the top eight. The Pitstop went well and the speed was there for a top six finish. As Marlon Stockinger came out of the pits on colder tyres I was able to get passed. He made a mistake going into turn 7 locking up and crashing into the back of me causing suspension damage forcing me to retire again.

It was a difficult weekend, but all the team did a good job and a nice environment to work in. On my side it was frustrating as I feel I could have finished ahead of my team mate and got some solid points on the board. Hopefully Lady Luck will show her face for Monaco.”

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