27 Apr Tough weekend at Motorland
The 2014 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 season opener was unusually difficult for the team. With its trio of drivers on the back foot from first practice, the multiple championship winning team left Spain last weekend feeling disappointed but positive they would be able to take some learning away from the round.
The opening round of the Eurocup season took place at Mortorland Aragon as part of the prestigious World Series by Renault package. For the team of Matt Parry, Jack Aitken and Martin Rump it was a weekend of mixed emotions.
All three Fortec drivers experienced some difficulty with car set-up and handling in the practice sessions. It was a similar story in qualifying and the three Fortec runners found themselves in the middle of the pack for race 1.
“No matter what we tried, we just couldn’t break out of that part of the timesheets, so it was pretty representative of our potential for the weekend.” Commented Matt. “We never got on top of the tyres and brakes and that left us playing catch-up.”
The problems continued into Saturday, ultimately resulting in a disappointing P19 for Jack in race one. Despite his relatively lowly 13th position on the grid for Saturday afternoon’s race, Matt underlined his reputation as a canny racer, passing two rivals on the opening lap to edge closer to the top ten. Buoyed by his early gains, he then picked off another three cars on lap two, and a sixth next time around, to slot into seventh spot where he stayed until the chequered flag. For teammate Martin Rump the race didn’t go to plan, resulting in a DNF for the young racer.
Sunday morning saw all three Fortec cars qualifying closely together in P17, P18 and P19 for race two.
As the lights went out Matt got clipped from behind causing him to spin on the track and retire from the race. Jack made a good start, making up several places on the first lap, however, another overtaking move at the end of that lap resulted in contact with another car and a broken wing. Following a trip to the Fortec pits for a replacement Jack was then a lap down and finished the race in 27th. Martin Rump crossed the line in 17th.
Jack Aitken said, “It was a challenging weekend for all of us in the team, with really unexpected results. We struggled to find the correct set-up and were unable to get to grips with the issues all weekend. All three of us – Matt, Martin and myself – qualified way lower than expected and we were on the back foot from the word go. But the weekend will toughen us up; we shall go away and learn from it. I have great confidence in the team and that we shall find out exactly what our problems were before the next round in a few weeks in Spa.”