Carlin’s Devlin Defrancesco has proven his strong rookie speed once again this morning in the second Euro Formula Open qualifying session of the weekend at the Hungaroring.
The Canadian racer had been on the pace throughout the weekend and following a brilliant fight to eighth from the back of the grid yesterday, will now line up in third ahead of the second race of the weekend this afternoon – marking his best qualifying result of the 2017 season so far. Carlin team mates Ameya Vaidyanathan and Tarun Reddy will line up in ninth and 14th respectively this afternoon.
Unlike yesterday’s qualifying session it was a perfectly dry track awaiting the field as they sat patiently in the pit lane for the green light to mark the start of the second qualifying session. However it would soon become clear that once again track limits were to be the talk of the session with the race stewards keeping a close eye on the action and removing lap times from the very start.
Heading out on their first run Defrancesco, who raced hard yesterday from the very back of the grid to eighth, was keen to show his qualifying speed; the Carlin man was soon sitting nicely in third while Spa race winner Vaidyanathan was sixth and rookie Reddy in 12th. However it was around this mark that the times really began to drop; Defrancesco briefly moved up to the very top however had multiple drivers around him challenging him for that all important pole position.
However soon enough it was time for the three Carlin drivers to return to the pit lane for fresh rubber before waiting for the opportune moment to head out once again. By this point, with every single driver sitting in their pit boxes, Defrancesco was in second, Vaidyanathan in third and Reddy 13th.
The moment to head out on their second run came as the clock ticked down to show nine minutes remaining. In a flurry of activity Defrancesco, Vaidyanathan and Reddy all streamed out of the pit lane ready to push on their final run. Defrancesco again was on the pace to move to the top of the standings however came under pressure from Harrison Scott and Nikita Troitskiy. As the flag fell, Defrancesco secured a brilliant second row start to line up in third position for race two. Vaidyanathan will line up in ninth, having unfortunately lost his best lap to track limits, and Reddy in 14th.
Defrancesco said of his qualifying, “Yesterday was anything but straightforward for us but we pretty much nailed it today. The car felt great, the team have done a good job and I really feel as though I could have been on the front row had it not been for a small mistake in the middle sector. But overall we’ve closed the gap to Harrison [Scott] which is where we want to be. It’s all to play for this afternoon and even though it’s hard to overtake here, we’re going for full attack on lap one and two and aiming for that podium.”
The second and final race of the weekend gets underway at 13:15 local time.