Arden Motorsport made a return to the rostrum in the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine courtesy of William Alatalo at Circuit Paul Ricard, France last weekend (29-30 May).
After a tough weekend in Monte-Carlo, the Banbury-based team journeyed west along the French Riviera to Le Castellet for the fourth stop on the calendar at the fast, flowing 3.5-mile circuit.
Practice and qualifying proved to be a battle for the team’s trio of Alatalo, Alex Quinn and Nicola Marinangeli, but all three cars made forward progress in the opening race, the former pair also adding points to their total in the process with sixth and ninth respectively.
It was Alatalo that led the charge from sixth on the grid during Sunday’s finale, and the Finnish racer made quick progress through to third on the road after the opening exchanges.
He then defended superbly from Hadjar behind for the race duration to seal the final spot on the rostrum and secure his first silverware of the 2021 season.
It proved to be a difficult end to the double-header for Quinn and Marinangeli, with both drivers receiving contact from behind, the former only able to recover to P21 at the chequered flag, whilst the contact ended Marinangeli’s race early.
The team’s combined efforts, however, have moved Arden back up in the top three in the Teams’ standings, and Quinn remains up at the sharp end in the Driver’s stakes, despite losing a little ground to points leader Saucy.
The next round of Europe’s premier single seater category takes place at Zandvoort in the Netherlands on 19-20 June.
Ben Salter, Arden Formula Regional Team Manager said:
“It’s been a difficult weekend for the team, to be honest, but to finish it with another trophy in the cabinet is something to be satisfied with, and we’re delighted to see William’s efforts paying off.
“Alex will have wanted more from this weekend, but solid points have kept him up there in the championship picture, which is something to build on, and after a problem in practice hampered his running, it was always an uphill battle for Nicola from there.
“It’s a positive for us to be back in the top three for the Teams Championship, but after a character-building couple of weekends we need to reset and make sure we’re ready to go again at Zandvoort next month.”
William Alatalo (#8) said:
“It’s been a positive weekend for me in Paul Ricard. Finishing the first race in P9 from P11 wasn’t too bad, and then for second qualifying we made some changes and the car felt much better.
“I made a good start in the race and was up to third within the first two laps, then I just tried my best to defend my position and it worked.
“There’s still a lot to improve and we need to do much better in qualifying, but a podium was definitely a nice way to go into the two-week break.”
Nicola Marinangeli (#14) said:
“I’ve made big improvements compared to our pre-season test days here at Paul Ricard, but unfortunately in qualifying I couldn’t get a clear lap in due to traffic to showcase that.
“I think our pace in both races was very good, so we have that to build on next time out at Zandvoort.”
Alex Quinn (#21) said:
“It’s been a really tough weekend this time out, but we will bounce back. I managed to get some points in race one, so it’s important to remember how crucial they might be in the long run.
“A big congrats to William on his first podium of the season, and thanks to the team for their hard work and effort.”