After starting and finishing second in Race 1, Round 2 of the Formula Renault 1.6 Northern European Championship, 18 year old Australian Formula Ford Champion Anton DePasquale has pulled out a 17 point Championship lead, with another race today on the 7km Spa Francorchamps Grand Prix circuit in Belgium.
The race was won by former European Karting hotshot and 2013 Formula Renault 1.6 race winner Janneau Esmeijer, with a closing DePasquale just .3 second in arrears at the line, with team mate Florian Jantis rounding out the Top 3. After topping the time sheets convincingly on Friday, DePasquale was upbeat about taking the second step of the podium after enduring a somewhat perplexing Qualifying (2nd) and Race 1, unable to replicate or improve on his earlier impressive practice times.
His team, the in-form Lechner Racing squad is examining closely all performance aspects of yesterdays race, which saw DePasquale unable to effect the required 'tow' (an aerodynamic 'slingshot' delivered from the car directly in front), so valuable to racing and a quick lap of the Spa Circuit. Formula Renault 1.6 cars are at 100% throttle for a remarkable 35 seconds between Turn one, through the infamous 'Eau Rouge' and along Kemmel straight. As a consequence even a minor glitch can be somewhat magnified at Spa.
DePasquale commented from the Spa circuit last night: "Well done to Janneau, he is quick here and I had to work really hard for that one, so yeah, was a little frustrating, as close as I was I just couldn't latch on, get a tow and try a pass. But still great to get on the podium at this iconic circuit".
"With 21 cars and the best Nordic Championship guys competing here with us, there is no question the competition has raised the bar, so I need to do the same, and I'm hopeful the team will find and rectify our gremlin - I'm keen for race 2."
DePasquale will again start on the front row in Race 2 today in second position again alongside Esmeijer.