Renault Sport Academy driver Arthur Rougier paid tribute to Pau’s historic street circuit after the opening day of Formula Renault Northern European Cup action.
The Frenchman is no stranger to success around the historic 2.7km street circuit, having won here twice at last years Grand Prix de Pau whilst racing in French F4.
The 18-year old worked through a rigorous testing programme with triple NEC Champions Fortec Motorsport during both free practice sessions, ending the morning running ninth before an improved run to third in the afternoon.
“It’s always nice to come back to this circuit,” said Rougier
“I was in love with it when I drove in Formula 4 and I enjoy it just as much now behind the wheel of the Formula Renault.”
He also praised the atmosphere generated by the locals, with a capacity crowd expected to line the city’s streets ahead of the championship’s season-opening double header this weekend [12-13 May].
“The atmosphere of this city is really great, and the circuit is so nice to drive. The second sector is fun for drivers because of how specific and precise you have to be. But everything is good around this circuit.”
Looking ahead to the task in hand, Rougier believes qualifying will be essential on this narrow circuit, with overtaking a difficult feat. From there, the objective is clear; to leave Pau once again clutching some silverware.
“We need to have good pace in qualifying, and from there hopefully we can push on, show some good pace and get some podium finishes.”
The weekend continues with qualifying today [12th May] at 12:05 CEST, with the opening race later this afternoon at 18:57.