June 25th 2017, Monza: Tech1 Racing’s Gabriel Aubry and Max Fewtrell once more finished one-two at Monza in the Formula Renault Northern European Cup. The Frenchman’s weekend was near perfect, topping every session and winning both races. Third place went to R-Ace GP’s Michael Benyahia, the Moroccan fighting hard with his teammate Gilles Magnus for much of the race.
Starting from pole position, Aubry started strongly, but was immediately in a battle with Fewtrell, who made a good start from the second row and the edged into the lead. The Briton was ahead when the first of two safety cars was called, after contact between Mirecki and Martono on the back straight forced the latter into the wall and out of the race.
Fewtrell controlled the restart well, but a lurid spin for Sun Yue Yang – which left him stranded on the curbs at the second chicane – brought the safety car into the fray once more. Second time round, the Tech 1 driver did a perfect job again and was able to protect his lead for several laps. However, with seven minutes of the 25 remaining, Aubry produced a textbook outbraking manoeuvre into the first turn. Fewtrell fought back, but was unable to repass the Frenchman and had to settle for second, 0.599s behind. Fewtrell, though, did claim the race’s fastest lap – 1:51.498.
The battle for the last spot on the podium raged all race. Magnus started second, but dropped back a little at the start, and his fight with his R-Ace stable mate Benyahia was non-stop throughout the race. Eventually, the Moroccan driver passed the Belgian on the straight after a perfect exit from Parabolica.
Fifth was Thomas Maxwell, who was briefly on the tail of the two R-Ace cars but settled for a top-five towards the end. Jean-Baptiste Simmenauer claimed sixth place with JD Motorsport, Fortec’s Frank Bird seventh and Charles Milesi eighth for R-Ace GP. Théo Coicaud and Julia Pankiewicz – R-Ace GP and Burdett Motorsport respectively – pushed Milesi, but ended ninth and tenth just behind him.
Bartek Mirecki couldn’t replicate his podium finish from Saturday’s race, dropping to the back after his contact with Martono and never recovering – he came home 11th. Chia Wing Hoong was the final finisher, in 12th place. Thomas Neubauer, Yue Yang and Martono were retirees.
The series moves now to Assen, and the Gamma Racing Days. Crowds nearing 100,000 are expected at the event, held on the first weekend of August.
#14 Gabriel Aubry, Tech 1 Racing
“Obviously, I’m really happy, it’s a really good week. Beside the results, the feeling was nice in the car and I had a lot of pleasure driving this weekend. The whole field was really good, and Max was always close. I knew if I made a tiny mistake he would be through, so I had to be 100% concentrated all the time. It’s been incredible.
#7 Max Fewtrell, Tech 1 Racing
“I’m pleased that I’ve gained compared to Gabriel, since we were both here in the Eurocup. I was a little further away than I am now, so I’ve made a gain. I did want to win today, so it was quite frustrating. I can’t be too mad, with two podium finishes and fastest lap in the second race.”
#3 Michael Benyahia, R-Ace GP
“It was great. I made a good start, and when the safety car came out I was close to everybody. To move into third Gilles made a mistake in Parabolica and I passed him down the main straight. It’s very exciting for me – I’m very proud to represent Morocco.
Arnaud Cholley, Tech 1 Racing
“For us, it’s very pleasing. Gabriel had a fantastic weekend, and Max’s improvement really impressed us. The whole team performed perfectly, we worked very well together and that showed in the results. Hopefully we can take this momentum to the rest of our season.”