By winning in his first race in the Formula Renault Eurocup, Belgium’s Ugo de Wilde (JD Motorsport) also claimed the first victory in the category for his team since 2006. With the success of the youngest driver in the field and the second place of Leonardo Lorandi, the Roberto Cavallari and Alfredo Cappelletti led team also claimed a one-two finish on home soil. Kush Maini (M2 Competition) completed the all-rookie podium.
Colombo by a whisker for the pole
This morning, Lorenzo Colombo (MP Motorsport) won an epic battle with Ugo de Wilde for the first pole position of the season.
First to go out, the Belgian driver took the gamble to use two sets of new tyres, while the Italian went out later to use just one set. The two swapped best time on each lap with Lorenzo Colombo eventually taking the pole with a time of 1:49.114s ahead of Ugo de Wilde, Leonardo Lorandi, Kush Maini and Victor Martins (MP Motorsport).
De Wilde masters the race
Ugo de Wilde was quickest off the line at the start to take the lead from Lorenzo Colombo, who had to retire after a contact with Kush Maini in the first chicane. The safety car was called into service to remove the car while Leonardo Lorandi, Kush Maini, Oscar Piastri (R-ace GP) and Victor Martins tucked in behind the new leader.
At the restart, the order remained unchanged, but Kush Maini saw Oscar Piastri, Victor Martins and Federico Malvestiti (BhaiTech Racing) catch him up before he closed the gap to Leonardo Lorandi, who went wide at the second Lesmo. The battle heated up and down the field and Ugo de Wilde made the most of the opportunity to increase his lead.
On lap seven, Oscar Piastri and Federico Malvestiti overtook Victor Martins, but the Australian had to go to the pits after having lost his front-wing in the battle with the Italian driver. Six laps later, Federico Malvestiti definitively ceded his place to Victor Martins before resisting to Sebastián Fernández (Arden Motorsport) just until the chequered flag.
Unflappable, Ugo de Wilde sealed his perfect debut in the Formula Renault Eurocup, while winning the Hankook Trophy as the best rookie. The Belgian driver received his prize from two-time F1 World Champion, Fernando Alonso, while Leonardo Lorandi and Kush Maini completed the all-rookie podium.
Renault Sport Academy driver Victor Martins was fourth ahead of Federico Malvestiti and Sebastián Fernández. Starting 16th, João Vieira (JD Motorsport) finished seventh ahead of Frank Bird (Arden Motorsport) despite a trip through the gravel trap. Petr Ptácek (BhaiTech Racing) moved up to ninth five laps from the end, while American Yves Baltas (M2 Competition) picked up the final point on offer.
Ugo de Wilde (JD Motorsport): “I am very happy about this first win, but I wasn’t expecting it at all! It was an extremely difficult race, but I got an excellent start and quickly pulled away from Leonardo before having to manage my tyres as I locked up the fronts a bit. My team mate took advantage to close in, but I was able to keep a reasonable gap. Now, I hope that the rain forecasted for tomorrow will come, because we are out of new slick tyres. We are convinced our strategy is the right one though.”
Leonardo Lorandi (JD Motorsport): “It was a good race, in particular for the team with a one-two finish, which we can be proud of! Despite a few issues in the opening laps and a brief loss of focus that sent me through the gravel, I was able to hold position against Kush and I was really fast late in the race. JD Motorsport gave us an extremely competitive car and I think that we can do something in qualifying even if it doesn’t rain tomorrow as the tyres have a long performance life.”
Kush Maini (M2 Competition): “This result is an excellent one for my very first race in the Formula Renault Eurocup. Turn one is always a little messy at Monza, but I saw a gap and I braked late to go around Leonardo on the outside, then on the inside to overtake Lorenzo. Unfortunately, the situation became a bit tricky. After the safety car, I closed the gap to Leonardo, but I couldn’t stay close to him in the Lesmos and I had space as those behind us continued to battle. I cannot thank enough the M2 Competition team, which has put a lot of effort into this first European campaign. They work tirelessly while making it a lot of fun and I cannot imagine racing with another team this season. "
|1. Ugo de Wilde (JD Motorsport)||25|
|2. Leonardo Lorandi (JD Motorsport)||18|
|3. Kush Maini (M2 Competition)||15|
|4. Victor Martins (MP Motorsport)||12|
|5. Federico Malvestiti (BhaiTech Racing)||10|
*Results subject to confirmation following technical and sporting checks.