23 Jun Moscow produces strong results for Fortec Eurocup team
22nd-23rd June 2013, Moscow Raceway – The third Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 event took place at the Moscow Raceway and saw mixed results for the Fortec squad. Ed Jones, Jake Dennis and Mikko Pakari suffered from poor track conditions in qualifying for race one. However race two saw the team storm forward in qualifying and all take a top ten result in the race.
The first qualifying session of the weekend saw Jones, Dennis and Pakari start in the bottom half of the grid. However this didn’t halter the teams efforts as all three drivers stormed up the grid showing great pace. As Pakari sat in ninth a battle between Nyck De Vries (Koiranen GP) and Dennis played out behind, with the pair starting halfway down the grid and fighting for tenth place all the way to the end.
As the battles played out it was Pakari who took the highest finish for the team as he crossed the line in ninth. Dennis was soon to follow in eleventh, after losing out in the battle with De Vries, whilst team-mate Jones finished twentieth.
Race two saw all drivers take a top ten result after the team worked tirelessly through the night to make adjustments to the cars. The morning’s qualifying session saw strong times with Pakari qualifying fifth, Dennis eighth and Jones twelfth.
As the lights went out Dennis had a storming start to slot into fifth by the end of the first lap, moving in front of team-mate Pakari who had slipped back into sixth. Jones had also had a good start, moving up two places into the top ten.
Dennis continued to gain pace as the race developed, closing in on Oscar Tunjo (Josef Kaufmann Racing) for fourth and closing the gap to just 0.323 seconds by the end of lap three. The pair soon caught Ignazio D’agosto (KTR), who sat in third, and a fight soon ensued as all three battled it out to take third place. However with little room to overtake Dennis stayed put and maintained his fourth place until just before the chequered flag where he crossed the line in fifth.
Behind, Pakari had also had a strong race, defending his sixth place to the finish line. Team-mate Jones, who had moved up into tenth off the start line, kept his place to take his car home in tenth and take the final championship points up for grabs.
Jones commented: “We struggled quite a lot at the beginning of the weekend adjusting back to the Renault after racing a fair bit in the F3 recently. However as the weekend progressed we got quicker all the time. The first race was slightly disappointing after a poor qualifying session. Never the less the second race went well – finishing tenth and coming away with some points is great. Another great effort by the whole team!”
Dennis said: “Saturday we got caught out in quali with the track conditions, from then on it was always going to be difficult to move forward with the track being so hard to overtake on. Sunday was much better, we made an adjustment in qualifying to fix the problem we had with the balance of the car and it helped but we missed out on P2 by one tenth. Starting eighth was a bit of a mission but I managed to get a good start and pick my way through to get into the top five and take home some points.”
Reflecting on the weekend Pakari said: “Qualifying went really well and we had two great starting positions. Our speed was really good but overtaking at Moscow is difficult. However it’s really good to be able to take away two top ten finishes and to score points towards the championship.”