A week before the next round of the Formula Renault Eurocup, Tech 1 Racing was back at the Nürburgring for an NEC event. In free practice, Aubry was among the front-runners after a productive session on a cool circuit. Unfortunately, the French outfit met with mixed results in qualifying. In tricky track conditions the Tech 1 Racing drivers failed to break into the top 5 in Q1 before improving in Q2 with third place for Aubry and fifth for Neubauer.
In the first race Aubry had a clutch problem at the start. The Frenchman lost a place and then got stuck in traffic. But he fought his way back in the closing laps to snatch fifth place, while Neubauer scored his second top-10 finish of the season. On Sunday, both drivers made excellent starts and were involved in the scrap for second place. Aubry found an opening on the outside, but Neubauer’s hopes of a top-3 finish were shattered when his rival’s car was destabilised by a kerb and punted him upside-down in the fourth corner. Aubry saw the flag in second place and Maxwell came home eighth.
“It was a below-par weekend,” summed up Sarah Abadie, the Tech 1 Racing team manager. “We didn’t do very well at the Nürburgring in the Eurocup so we were motivated by revenge from Friday onwards. Despite a cold greasy drying track in the first practice sessions we were on the ball and we made constant progress throughout the day.”
“We met with mixed results in qualifying. In Q1, Gabriel got caught up in traffic while Neubauer didn’t manage to fulfil his potential. On a dry track in Q2 both drivers were much more at ease. Pole looked on the cards, but Gabriel had to be satisfied with third because of a full course yellow on his last lap. On the other hand, Neubauer achieved his best performance of the year by qualifying fifth! It’s great to see that things are starting to fall into place for him.
“On Saturday Gabriel’s car had a minor clutch problem at the start. It cost him a place before the first corner, but he was able to match the pace of the leaders as soon as he extricated himself from the traffic. He proved it again the next day as he shot past Ticktum and took second place on the first lap. Unfortunately, in trying tried to take advantage of the situation Neubauer gave himself a big scare as Ticktum punted him off! It’s frustrating as he could have scored his first podium finish.”
Gabriel Aubry leads the overall NEC classification despite taking part in one meeting less than the regular runners in the championship. In the teams’ classification Tech 1 Racing is lying third before competing in the next round of the Eurocup this coming weekend at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit (22-24 September).
“So we met with contrasting fortunes,” summed up Sarah Abadie. “We had to cope with difficult tricky conditions, but it was the same thing for everybody. Even though Gabriel Aubry and Thomas Neubauer were not always at ease they put on pretty good performances clinching a podium finish for us. But, we’ll have to analyse Thomas Maxwell’s loss of confidence and find a solution. The track was extremely cold in the second session and he lost all his bearings, which affected the rest of his weekend. However, we're heading for the Spa-Francorchamps round of the Eurocup this coming weekend full of confidence as we scored victories and top-3 finishes there last season.”
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