April 23, 2018
Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0
After all the preparation, the time had finally arrived for the Formula Renault Eurocup Championship to go racing! The setting for the first weekend of the ten-round championship would be the Paul Ricard circuit in France where they would be supporting the European Le Mans Series.
With just shy of 30 drivers on the grid the racing was going to be super competitive as ever leaving qualifying a critical part of the weekend! To remind you of the format, there would be two qualifying sessions, one for each race meaning a bad result in race one would have no effect on your grid for race two. The field would be split into two groups for qualifying with the quickest group forming the inside row of the grid.
After two strong qualifying performances Oscar came into the first race confident despite some first race nerves. The race itself did provide some struggles for Oscar with the car, particularly as the race went on! The certainly didn’t help on the long straights of Paul Ricard but he would out up a good fight to hang on to 6th place and put points on the board on his debut in the championship. Not bad ey?
Having qualified 6th for race two, Oscar had given himself a good chance at improving on his impressive result of race one. Seemingly more confident with the car Oscar put himself with a lead group that had broken clear of the rest of the field with ease and despite the race not being the most memorable to the neutral viewer for YRDA and Arden it was an anxious watch as we all looked on waiting for that chequered flag. When it was eventually waved, Oscar took a 5th place finish, a fantastic result! He was unusually calm and consistent for someone racing in one of Europe’s most competitive championships for the first time and would now be one to watch, if he wasn’t already, going forwards!
The next stop for the season would immediately follow at the Autodromo Monza in Italy. The legendary circuit has a rich history of hosting Formula One and it’s unique layout had us all excited to see some close racing in Formula Renault. For Oscar, a chance to show off his overtaking skills which he had demonstrated in his first British F4 season last year.
For race one Oscar had put in yet another good qualifying performance putting himself 8th on the grid for race one. Oscar got off to a good start and was able to hold position but going into the lethal second chicane he was tipped into a spin dropping him to 28th and last place. So those afore mentioned overtaking skills were going to be required over the next 28 minutes and Oscar put in what could be his best performance of the season recovering to 12th place despite there being no safety car periods! It was a fantastic result and a shame that Oscar fell just short of the points he deserved!
However, Oscar would have to put that to one side and turn his attention to race two on Sunday where he would be starting from 7th place. It was a hectic start off the line with a big incident just to the outside of Oscar, but thankfully he got through safely and once the race got underway there was another incident just ahead which had promoted Oscar to 7th place.
A lap later and Oscar had passed Richard Verschoor for 6th with Victor Martins now immediately ahead. That led us into another safety car period as we approached half race distance. That of course bunched up the field with Oscar looking set to take another points finish. Not long after the safety car came in Oscar was on the move once again as he attempted to pass Victor Martins into Lesmo Two before completing the move into the Ascari Chicane.
From there Oscar should have been chasing a top three finishes but before he even started the next lap Oscar had come to a halt with a gearbox sensor failure forcing him to retire from the race. A huge shame for Oscar who had driven so well but on this occasion it was just not meant to be.
Although the results wouldn’t reflect a good weekend really it had been for Oscar who drove two brilliant races! That was hopefully the bad luck out of the way with Silverstone coming up next!