18 year old British racing driver Jack Aitken has returned from the Nürburgring with his first Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 trophy. Following signs of faster pace at Moscow Raceway last month, the fourth round of the championship at the iconic F1 track saw Jack step up on to the third placed podium at the end of race one and secure valuable championship points from a sixth placed finish in race two.
51,000 spectators joined the World Series by Renault event in Germany last weekend. Practice commenced on Friday with Jack continuing to experience a few issues with his Fortec FR2.0/13 by Tatuus car. Despite an engine change for Jack in Russia, the team worked late in to the night on Friday to find the gremlins that have been haunting his car and the team since round one.
Fortunately, Fortec efforts were rewarded on Saturday morning. Despite Jack’s first qualifying session of the weekend being delayed by heavy fog, when he finally went out on slick tyres, in Group B, he was able to get to grips with the drying track to set the third fastest lap time, placing him in P5 on the grid for the start of race one.
Notwithstanding difficult conditions when rain fell in the afternoon, several battles throughout the field spiced up the race. On lap three Jack sustained damage to his front wing during an encounter with Levin Amweg. Although successfully past Amweg and up in to fourth place, Jack’s wing was hanging precariously from the front of his car. Despite this significant downforce disadvantage, Jack was able to capitalise and push up to the leaders. He crossed the finish line in third position to claim his maiden Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 trophy.
A wet second qualifying on Sunday morning saw Jack able to extract the same, much improved pace from his Fortec charger. His lap time secured a place on the third row of the grid for the start of race two in the afternoon. However, from P6, Jack became boxed in on lap one and was forced down to P7 until an incident brought out the safety car. On the re-start light rain began to fall and a further incident resulted in the safety car being deployed again. During the final laps Jack recuperated sixth place and was gaining on Cassidy in fifth when the chequered flag was raised to conclude the frantic short race.
Jack Aitken, #8 Fortec Motorsports:“Our pace in both races was really good. If I hadn’t have been held up in battles I could have been fighting for a second podium in race two. The team worked so hard on Friday night and made a huge improvement to the car, so hopefully the issues that have hampered us since the beginning of the season are fixed and behind us. We’ll look at the car over the coming break to try to ascertain what the issues actually were in the hope that we can prevent them from happening again. We are looking forward to the final three races of the season.”
The next round of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 championship takes place at the Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary, on 13-14 September, 2014.