On the weekend of the 12th /13th of April 2014 I had the first races of the season. I started as a guest driver in the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC (Northern European Cup) in Monza, Italy.
On Friday we had two training sessions of an hour and also the qualifying in the afternoon. After I was the fastest in the first practice session in the morning, I was quite optimistic for the first qualifying session. Unfortunately, I never got a really clear lap, and I was the 7th on the grid for the first race. After a break of 5 minutes was the second qualifying session. This went much better and I made pole position for Sunday’s race.
The start of the first race was set at 2 p.m. on Saturday. The weather was again friendly with a few clouds around 20° Celsius as the drivers took their starting positions. I had a good start and I had good luck in the first turn that I was not hit by a driver who had lost control of his car. I was on P6 after the first lap. Soon I was behind my front car and tried to overtake it in the first chicane. I was next to him, but could not overtake because the engine came into the limiter. Since I was on the worse side, I had no chance and lost this battle and also two positions. One of them I won back immediately. Then I drove very fast lap times and was soon able to unlock the front man again. This got technical problems and got slower. Therefore, I came a bit into the gravel and so I unfortunately lost one position again. I tried to get it back but unfortunately I didn’t succeed. So I finished the race as 7th.
However, the big day for me was Sunday, I had the pole position for this race which started shortly before 10:00 a.m. I had a little too much wheel spin at the start and therefore didn’t get off optimal. My team mate, Louis Delétraz, was next to me at the first turn, but I was able to maintain my position and led the race until the end. Round after round the distance to the second and third driver got slightly larger and I finished the race 3.5 seconds ahead. I drove the fastest lap of the race, although I had no wind shadow. The average speed was almost 190 km/h.
I am thrilled about my first win and this even on the traditional racetrack at Monza.