The second round of the World Series by Renault took place on the Spa-Francorchamps circuit. The iRace Professional drivers didn’t have much luck, but they all showed that they have what it takes in terms of sheer performance.
After things got off to a good start in the collective test session for Kevin Korjus and Richie Stanaway, the Estonian and the New Zealander were hit with a succession of technical problems. The latter was injured in a high-speed collision in race 2. He has two fractured vertebrae and will be out of action for several weeks.
In the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup, Oscar Tunjo and Esteban Ocon both had difficult qualifying sessions that compromised their chances of a good result. However, the two young drivers accumulated valuable experience on this exceptional circuit.
Kevin Korjus (EST)
Formula Renault 3.5 Series – Tech 1 Racing
Qualifying 1: 3rd – Race 1: retired
Qualifying 2: 4th – Race 2: 7th
Championship standing: 7th / 12 points
“Overall it’s a weekend best forgotten. On Friday Tech 1 Racing and I did a good job. Then on Saturday I ran into several technical problems and I didn’t even go out. In qualifying an air compressor malfunctioned, and then a clutch problem during the formation lap left me stranded on the grid. Because of the wet conditions on Sunday we decided to use only one set of qualifying rubber to keep the quicker tyres for the race. There again it all went south. When I was given the signal to come in the race was neutralized so I had to make my obligatory stop after the restart. It’s a pity as I could have scored points. We now have a few weeks to really prepare for the next round at the Nürburgring. Above all, I hope that Richie will be back soon in tip-top form. We share a flat and it’s not nice to be at home knowing he’s in hospital.”
Richie Stanaway (NZL)
Formula Renault 3.5 Series – Lotus
Qualifying 1: 4th – Race 1: retired
Qualifying 2: 11th – Race 2: 6th
Championship standing: 11th / 8 points
Richie Stanaway’s weekend got off to a good start as he set the second-fastest time in the collective test session. On Saturday in qualifying the New Zealander was caught out by dust in the Malmedy curve and went off. A gear linkage problem prevented him from fighting his corner in the first race. Technical problems slowed him again on Sunday in the second qualifying session in the rain. He only managed one flying lap and was fourteenth quickest. In the race Stanaway was fighting for points when his car took off after a collision with another competitor. He fractured his fourth and fifth vertebrae and was transported to the hospital in Verviers after which he was transferred to the Pitié-Salpêtrière in Paris for further examinations and possibly an operation. He will now have to recuperate to recover completely in the next few weeks.
Oscar Tunjo (COL)
Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 – Tech 1 Racing
Qualifying 1: 8th – Race 1: retired
Qualifying 2: 1st – Race 2: 2nd
Championship standing: 4th / 18 points
“It was a difficult weekend. I wasn’t able to find the right rhythm in free practice and that led to a poor qualifying session. I really have to work on this point as it’s crucial to qualify well to score a good result. Before the Nürburgring we’re coming back to Spa-Francorchamps for the Formula Renault 2.0 Alps, and it’ll be a good opportunity for me to improve my performance over a lap. I arrived here in fourth place overall and I left in eighth so there’s no way I can be satisfied. But things change very quickly. I have to win at the Nürburgring!”
Esteban Ocon (FRA)
Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 – Koiranen Bros
Qualifying 1: 32nd – Race 1: 19th
Qualifying 2: 7th – Race 2: 5th
Championship standing: 8th / 10 points
“It was my first time out at Spa-Francorchamps. The weather conditions weren’t much of a help as I had to get to grips with a wet track on Friday. The only way to find out Spa’s secrets is to do a lot of laps. My weekend can be summed up as a couple of difficult qualifying sessions in which I wasn’t very lucky, especially with the yellow flags which hit me when I was building up speed. I’m certain that when we come back here in two weeks time for the Formula Renault Alps, I’ll be able to up the pace. The next round of the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup is on a circuit I don’t know either, the Nürburgring. My aim there is to score points and I want at least one podium finish this season.”