Top five finish against ALPS regulars sets Strakka Racing and Jake Hughes up for Eurocup finale at the Spanish circuit in two weeks’ time
Strakka Racing and driver Jake Hughes enjoyed a productive weekend at Jerez, culminating with a strong fifth in race two of the Formula Renault 2.0 ALPS championship.
Practice underlined how quickly Strakka Racing has got to grips with the FR2.0 chassis within a short space of time. Unlike the series’ regulars who benefitted from additional sets of fresh tyres in practice (thanks to a wet race at the previous round at Mugello), Hughes made the most of his older rubber and was consistently inside the top ten for both sessions.
In qualifying, wildcard entry Hughes lined up 12th after finishing sixth in the qualifying group, a little over 0.5 second adrift of category champion Nick de Vries. A great start and good race pace coupled with Hughes once again showing his ability overtake at a track not renowned for passing opportunities, culminated in ninth place overall. For Strakka the race crucially provided valuable dry set up data and insight for a track it will return to in the final round of the Eurocup, just two weeks away.
Race two gave the Strakka Racing squad chance to apply its growing knowledge and in only its second race meeting in the FR2.0 category delivered its best ever result with Hughes driving superbly to seize fifth place. “It was a decent weekend in Jerez,” says Hughes. “In race two, I was past Bruno Bonifacio and alongside Jack Aitken at the exit of Turn 1 – and they both ran wide and caused a big crash. We had a safety car for a few laps to clean up the mess and the guys ahead pulled a gap when we restarted. But then our car came on and it’s nice to say I was stuck behind Olsen who’s second in the Eurocup! We definitely had the pace to get past him, and maybe if it hadn’t been for the safety car I would have done, because his tyres would have gone off more. That shows how much good progress we have made.”
“In just our second race weekend in FR2.0 we have underlined Strakka’s ability to quickly get to grips with a new race car and category and together with Jake, deliver on track,” says team principal Dan Walmsley. “We also gained useful information for our return in two weeks’ time and after Jake’s impressive weekend, we look forward with confidence to showing up some of the more experienced Eurocup teams with our developing pace.”