Paul Ricard: Technical gremlins all the way

01.09.2016

Putting it short – there is little to speak about Paul Ricard. Technical gremlins ruined Kevin’s weekend completely and as a result he lost his points lead in PRO classification.

Paul Ricard start
R-Ace GP had only three drivers available for Renault Sport Trophy round 4 at Paul Ricard and thus Kevin was entered as a sole pilot for car #3. It also meant he was going to start only in PRO Sprint and not in the endurance race (where AM drivers were awarded with points this time).

First free practice (or collective test, as it is officially labelled) was marred by engine problems and Kevin was down in P8, a whopping 1.2 seconds behind the fastest crew. Car lacked straight-line speed and while mechanics tried to fix the turbo, Kevin sat out second practice session. Third session ended with P4 and despite the gap to the leaders narrowing to 0.7 seconds, Kevin was not satisfied at all.

Come Saturday, Kevin put all his skills ta a good use in the qualification. He still lost a lot of time in fast sectors 1 and 2 but performed miracles in sector 3, resulting in P3 on the grid.

Hopes were boosted for the Sunday with Kevin receiving a new engine for PRO Sprint race. Mechanics changed the power unit and performed three test-runs in the pit – everything worked faultlessly. Once out on the track Kevin made another one of his trade-mark rocket starts and almost immediately was three-abreast with front-row starters. But it was as good as it got – suddenly Kevin started to lose the ground and one-by-one all his competitors went by. After three laps car #3 entered the pits and that was it.

While Kevin scored no points his closest rival Pieter Schothorst won the PRO race and also grab the points lead in the process. Kevin dropped to third but with three races to go and 75 points available nothing can be taken granted.

Kevin: „I really don’t know what to say. It was an unbelievable weekend – every session I had a problem. First it was turbo, which didn’t work properly. It was fixed and car set-up was great but I still lost time on straights. Then we finally received a new engine for the race and I got a mega run at the start. I was almost on the same level with the leaders but as soon as I changed to the higher gear I immediately lost about three car-lenghts. Gearbox problem worsened quickly and in the end I couldn’t change gears at all.“

Fifth and penultimate round of Renault Sports Trophy takes place at Spa on September 23-25. Kevin is now P3 in PRO classification and P4 in Endurance points standings.

Inside

Youngest driver to win a race in Formula Renault 3.5 Series.

Read more...