Second on the grid in Budapest, Yifei Ye (Josef Kaufmann Racing) got the better of poleman Christian Lundgaard (MP Motorsport) to score his second win of the season in the Formula Renault Eurocup. Thanks to his victory ahead of three Renault Sport Academy drivers, the Chinese driver extends his overall lead from Christian Lundgaard and Max Fewtrell (R-ace GP), who finished third on Satruday.
Maiden pole for Christian Lundgaard
Saturday morning, the skies shined over the Hungaroring for the opening qualifying session of the weekend.
In the extremely competitive Group A, it was Yifei Ye getting the nod ahead of Victor Martins (R-ace GP) and Logan Sargeant (R-ace GP) thanks to his last lap of 1:41.200s. Group B was also a three-way battle with Christian Lundgaard outpacing Max Fewtrell and Lorenzo Colombo (JD Motorsport with a session best time of 1:40801s, which was nearly 0.4s quicker than his two rivals.
Christian Lundgaard lined up ahead of Yifei Ye, Max Fewtrell, Victor Martins, Lorenzo Colombo and Logan Sargeant. Charles Milesi (R-ace GP) and Axel Matus (AVF by Adrián Vallés) shared row four, with Alexander Smolyar (Tech 1 Racing) and Oscar Piastri (Arden Motorsport) rounding out the top ten.
Yifei Ye comes up big
Despite the violent storms in the region earlier in the afternoon, the track was dry and the entire field opted to start on slicks.
When the lights went out, Yifei Ye was quicker off the line than Christian Lundgaard to take the lead ahead of the Dane, Max Fewtrell, Victor Martins and Logan Sargeant, who surprised Lorenzo Colombo on lap one. The leader in the general classification quickly built up a lead that was then erased with the intervention of the safety car to remove the car of Thomas Neubauer (Tech 1 Racing).
The race resumed when New Mégane R.S. returned to pit lane at the end of lap five. A lap later, Yifei Ye pulled away from his pursuers and the field animated by Oscar Piastri, who overtook Charles Milesi and Axel Matus and an incident involving Phil Hill (Anders Motorsport) and Najiy Razak (JD Motorsport).
Despite a minor error that allowed Christian Lundgaard to close to within less than a second, Yifei Ye won for the second time this year at the conclusion of the 18-lap race. Alone in third place, Max Fewtrell finished ahead of another Renault Sport Academy driver, Victor Martins.
Hounded by Lorenzo Colombo, Logan Sargeant held on for fifth place ahead of the Italian, who had to deal with the attacks coming from Oscar Piastri late in the race. Eighth place went to Axel Matus, giving AVF by Adrián Vallés its first points of the season, as he kept Charles Milesi and Alexander Smolyar at bay just until the chequered flag.
Yifei Ye (Josef Kaufmann Racing): “This morning, we did the best we could by setting the best time in the first qualifying group. I put in a good start and got through the first corner very nicely to pull away just until the safety car came out. I did a good job to prepare myself for the restart and was able to quickly pull away from Christian. From there all I had to do was look after my tyres, despite a small mistake, going wide two laps from the end. Tomorrow, I hope I can do just as well even though the conditions look to be uncertain. In any case, I intend to increase my lead!”
Christian Lundgaard (MP Motorsport): “Right from the start of the weekend, we have been quick, but we found a small problem with the clutch. We thought we got sorted out, but unfortunately it wasn’t the case at the start. It is a shame, because the car was handling really well and we had an excellent run in qualifying. We will take a close look at this problem tonight to comeback stronger tomorrow.”
Max Fewtrell (R-ace GP): “The gap to Christian was already quite large in qualifying, and the race only highlighted this because I lost ground to him on each lap. We think the problem is with our front end set-up, so we will give it a good think in order to make the right decisions and counter-attack tomorrow.”
|1. Yifei Ye (Josef Kaufmann Racing)||182|
|2. Christian Lundgaard (MP Motorsport)||165|
|3. Max Fewtrell (R-ace GP)||140.5|
|4. Victor Martins (R-ace GP)||139|
|5. Logan Sargeant (R-ace GP)||110|
*Results subject to confirmation following technical and sporting verifications.