On the Pau street circuit, hosting this weekend 2012 Formula Renault 2.0 ALPS second round, the 19 y/o Frenchman Norman Nato scored the fastest lap. At the end of the single Free Practice session, the RC Formula driver managed to stop the clock in the very last available minutes, at a brilliant 1’15”836, 0.152 seconds and three tenth faster than the other two French drivers racing for Tech 1 Matthieu Vaxiviere and Paul-Loup Chatin, who was indeed one of the 2011 protagonists when finished third and second.
A quite convulsing session, deeply affected by four stops, with the first turnback that involved the Russian Daniil Kvyat (Koiranaen Motorsport). The championship leader after the two first places in Monza, crashed his car against the barriers and was forced to walk back to the pits.The first red flag has been showed seven minutes into the session, when at bend 3 Konstantin Tereshchenko car stopped, while best lap was from William Vermont him too from France. Just the time to re-open the pit lane that it was Kvyat turn at the famous “Foch”. The car was immediately removed and luckily the session was not halted. After 15 minutes Vaxiviere was on top, immediately outplaced by Patrick Kujala, 147 thousands faster. Few more minutes and it was Chatin turn to be the fastest on track. Right behind him Nato, two tenths slower. However it was the same Nato the first to breach the 1’17 barrier. One more red flag half way through the session, when rookie Paul Petit crashed jammed the track. With the new green flag the new fastest lap was of Chatin (1’16”247), immediately improved by Vaxiviere, capable of 1’15”988. But Victor Franzoni spun imposed a new red flag. At the re-start Nato seized the ideal pole with his 1’15”836 (still thug reasonably higher if compared to 2011 pole time set by Chatin, with his 1’14”812). Another car stopped along the track imposed the final stop to the session.
Fourth overall was the German Stefan Wackerbauer, him too from Koiranen Motorsport, ahead respectively of the Brazilian Franzoni and the British Melville McKee, probably the most surprising driver in 2011 when he managed a 4th overall.
Tomorrow qualifying session will be managed in two 20 minutes separate sessions with all cars divided into two groups to avoid track traffic. Green light will be at 10.55 while Race 1 is set for the afternoon at 18.35 and will last 25 minutes plus a lap. Race 2 is instead scheduled Sunday morning at 10.15.
Free Practice (top-10): 1. Norman Nato FRA (RC Formula) 1.15”836; 2. Matthieu Vaxiviere FRA (Tech1 Racing) 1.15”988; 3. Paul-Loup Chatin FRA (Tech1 Racing) 1.16”179; 4. Stefan Wackerbauer GER (Koiranen Motorsport) 1.16”375; 5. Victor Franzoni BRA (Koiranen Motorsport) 1.16”512; 6. Melville McKee GBR (Interwetten.com) 1.16”595; 7. Patrick Kujala ESP (Koiranen Motorsport) 1.16”690; 8. Felipe Fraga BRA (Tech1 Racing) 1.16”690; 9. Tristan Papavoine FRA (Arta Engineering) 1.17”012; 10. Alex Loan AND (Arta Engineering) 1.17”064.