18 May Impressive gains made at Pau
Though only two of the four Fortec drivers were able to contest in this weekend’s races, Pau nonetheless proved a progressive circuit for drivers Matt Rao and Martin Cao.
Pau is notoriously challenging street circuit, parts of which are extremely fast and others tight and narrow, but the Fortec drivers appeared to relish the challenge.
After qualifying in eleventh for the first race of the weekend, Fittipaldi suffered a serious crash at the final chicane early in his second qualifying session. In addition to failing to qualify for races two and three, Fittipaldi endured a broken bone in his left hand. The injury meant he was forced to withdraw from the weekends races.
He is now focussing on recovering as quickly as possible in order to race at Monza in two weeks time.
Peter Li was also unable to race during the weekend after returning to China due to the illness of his father.
With Pau being a circuit with no room for error, the weekend saw a number of safety car deployments. Cao made significant progress throughout the race. After qualifying in twenty-seventh, he was able to charge through the pack gaining six places.
Rao also enjoyed a progressive race after starting on the grid in twenty-first and finishing in the top twenty.
The first race of the weekend saw the safety car intervene on two occasions.
The first of these occurred on lap twelve after the Signature driver, Boccolacci, had parked his car on track. Shortly after the restart, kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport driver, Beretta hit the tyre stack causing the second deployment of the safety car.
Rao finished the race in nineteenth, gaining two places throughout the duration of the race.
Cao crossed the line in a close twenty-first.
After a disappointing qualifying session, Cao and Rao were ready to rise through the ranks. After starting on the grid in twenty-sixth, Cao made remarkable gains throughout the race, ascending ten places through the grid.
Rao also put on an impressive show after qualifying thirty-first and gaining seven positions.
The first safety car of the second race was deployed on lap two after Solomon, driving for Double R racing, crashed his car into the barrier.
ThreeBond with T-Sport driver, Moreno, came to a halt on the track on lap 14 causing the safety to be deployed for a second period.
A third safety car intervened after a collision between Beretta and Lorandi.
After a heavily interrupted race, Cao crossed the line in sixteenth while Rao finished in twenty-forth.
The third and final race of the weekend at Pau featured only one brief safety car period. After getting off the line in twenty-eighth for Cao, closely followed by Rao in twenty-ninth, the Fortec duo were quickly interrupted.
On the opening lap, a collision involving Ling, racing for kfzteile24 Mücke Motorsport, and Carlin driver, Calderón brought out the only safety car in the final race.
In the time that followed, both Rao and Cao battled on ahead and continued to make profound progress.
Rao enjoyed another second top twenty finish at Pau, crossing the line in nineteenth. Cao also made progress, gaining four places during the race finishing in twenty-forth.