Protyre Formula Renault Championship leader Pietro Fittipaldi (Camberley) claimed his first pole position of the season during round eight qualifying at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit this morning, Saturday, 26th July, with MGR Motorsport team-mate Matteo Ferrer (Colchester) returning to form with his fourth pole of 2014 during the earlier round seven session.
Ferrer, bouncing back strongly from a challenging weekend at Donington Park last time out, posted a best lap of 45.751 seconds (95.04mph) in round seven qualifying with Fittipaldi just 0.1 seconds shy to secure an MGR lock-out on the front row.
The same was true for reigning champion team MGR in the second session, albeit with Fittipaldi setting the pace at the second time of asking – his fastest lap of 45.953 seconds (94.63mph) ensuring the race two pole by just under 0.2 seconds from Ferrer.
“I’m very happy to be P1 and P2 for the races, I went out there and did my best and I didn’t actually expect pole in the first session”, explained Ferrer, “It’s great MGR is starting first for both races, and Pietro and I are on the front row for both. Hopefully we can have two good races, bring home the points and bring home some trophies. Only half the job is done, it’s the race that counts.”
Fittipaldi added: “It was a good qualifying for us, we managed to get pole in the second one so I’m really happy with that. It was close in the first one, I think we should have got the pole there too but second is OK. Brands Indy is such a small track and it’s so hard to pass, it’s so important to be at the front. I’ve been having pretty good starts this year, let’s see what happens.”
Fortec Motorsport’s Alex Gill (Womersley, Doncaster) qualified third quickest for both races, with talented Indian youngster Tarun Reddy a superb fourth fastest in the round seven session for MGR, only 0.011 seconds shy of the top three.
American driver TJ Fischer was similarly impressive for Cliff Dempsey Racing in session one, with the fifth best time 0.1 seconds ahead of Canadian team-mate Patrick Dussault. Colin Noble Jnr (Penicuik, Midlothian) qualified seventh with Hillspeed’s Greek racer Dimitris Papanastasiou (London) rounding out the top eight.
Sharing the second row of the grid with Gill for round eight will be Scorpio Motorsport’s Piers Hickin (Knaphill) in fourth place, the title contender making amends for an unfortunate excursion early in the first session at the exit of Paddock Hill Bend which left him 10th on the grid for race one. The top eight on the race two grid is completed by Reddy, Noble, Fischer and Dussault.
Round seven of the 2014 Protyre Formula Renault Championship will take place at 13.40 tomorrow, Sunday, 27th July, with round eight following at 17.10. This weekend’s action is the first for the series on the 1.2-mile Indy Circuit since 2011.
Along with headline sponsor Protyre, Formula Renault is additionally supported by Michelin.
Provisional 2014 Protyre Formula Renault Championship Driver Standings (after Rd6):
1st Pietro Fittipaldi, 174pts; 2nd Piers Hickin, 149pts; 3rd Matteo Ferrer, 144pts; 4th Alex Gill, 135pts; 5th Colin Noble Jnr, 120pts; 6th Tarun Reddy, 103pts