On Friday, Logan Sargeant (R-ace GP) posted the best time in the Formula Renault Eurocup collective tests at the Hungaroring. With a lap of 1:40.828s in the morning, the American topped the time sheet ahead of Lorenzo Colombo (JD Motorsport) and Christian Lundgaard (MP Motorsport). In the afternoon, the leader in the general clasification, Yifei Ye (Josef Kaufmann Racing) was quickest while not beating the effort of Logan Sargeant.
On Thursday, the Formula Renault Eurocup field returned to action with four hours of private testing to find their marks on the daunting Hungarian track.
A newcomer to this circuit, Renault Sport Academy driver Christian Lundgaard set the opening benchmark time of the weekend in 1:40.941s ahead of another rookie Oscar Piastri (Arden Motorsport). Yifei Ye was third fastest ahead of Max Fewtrell (R-ace GP) and Charles Milesi (R-ace GP).
Three rookies ahead of the pack
On Friday morning, the first session of the collective tests was hotly contested with no less than eight drivers swapping best time in the opening 20 minutes. While Oscar Piastri rose to the top, the full course yellow caused by Christian Muñoz (AVF by Adrián Vallés) preceded a final ten-minute sprint.
Victor Martins (R-ace GP) was the first to take over the top spot, but he was immediately dislodged by Logan Sargeant and Yifei Ye. Logan Sargeant answered back with a lap of 1:40.828s to end the session P1 ahead of Lorenzo Colombo, Christian Lundgaard, Max Fewtrell, Frank Bird (Tech 1 Racing) and Yifei Ye, with just 0.16s covering the top six.
Yifei Ye quick in session 2
In the afternoon, the beginning of the second session was just as indecisive. At the mid-way point, Christian Lundgaard moved to the top of the time chart before going on to improve on each lap by a few hundredths of a second.
The order changed with six minutes remaining under the impetus of the four R-ace GP drivers. Lorenzo Colombo and Yifei Ye then followed suit. Despite the efforts of Victor Martins, Yifei Ye was fastest with a lap of 1:41.240s ahead of the Frenchman and Charles Milesi. Lorenzo Colombo and Oscar Piastri completed the top five.
On Saturday, the first qualifying session will be held at 10:40 with race 1, scheduled to start at 16:15.
Logan Sargeant (R-ace GP): “It is extremely positive to set the best time in my first visit to the Hungaroring. The second session was a little more hectic, but we will do our best tomorrow in qualifying. The track is quite cool. It is quite twisty and the margin of error is really small. The track has a nice flow and all the corners are connected. The key is to put all of them together so as to lose as little time as possible!”
Yifei Ye (Josef Kaufmann Racing): “The conditions changed a lot between the first and second session due to the rising temperatures and the rubber put down by the other categories. I don’t think it was possible to beat the time set this morning, but that doesn’t mean very much. The feeling is more important at this point in the weekend and we felt very good! Tomorrow is when it really counts and we are really confident, especially since we have always been pretty competitive on this circuit."
Frank Bird (Tech 1 Racing): “This was one of the best Fridays of my career! The car was good and I enjoy myself on this track. I am pretty surprised about how the season is going. Everything has gone fantastically in the team and I improve as soon as I am on the track thanks to their work and that of my engineer. I hope that we can keep it going tomorrow in qualifying to be more consistently in the top ten as the season winds down.”