Arden Motorsport endured a difficult weekend in theFormula Regional European Championship by Alpine at Circuit deSpa-Francorchamps, Belgium last weekend (23-25 July).
The Banbury-based team made the journey out to the 4.3-mileArdennes circuit looking to halt a run of mixed results in Europe’s premier single seater series.
Whilst Finnish rising star William Alatalo turned in two solid points hauls at Le Castellet and Zandvoort, his team-mates Alex Quinn andNicola Marinangeli have found front-running opportunities few and far between in recent rounds.
Again, a combination of luck and circumstances seemed to stand in the Red Arrows’ way of a return to the front-running form of earlier in the season, as traffic in qualifying prevented the trio from converting their practice pace into a similar starting slot for both races.
The opening race was solid enough, with Alatalo and Quinn able to hang on to their ninth and tenth spots respectively at the foot of the top ten, whilst further back Marinangeli – one of the standout performers in practice – made up three spots to P26.
Alatalo continued to lead the team’s charge in Sunday’s finale, moving up superbly from P17 on the grid to register the final points-paying position in tenth, all the while holding his own wheel-to-wheel with several of the series’ other headline names.
For Quinn and Marinangeli, it would be a disappointing end to the double header, with the former suffering a mechanical breakdown that side lined him early, whilst Nicola was caught up in an incident at La Source and forced to retire.
The team will now look to re-group, with the next round on the calendar currently scheduled for 11-12 September at the Red Bull Ring,Austria.
Ben Salter, Arden Formula Regional Team Manager said:
“It’s not the weekend we’d hoped for, but that’s motorsport sometimes. There are a lot of positives for us to concentrate on though, our pace in practice was good, it just didn’t come together in qualifying, mostly due to traffic on the drivers’ best laps.
“With a field as competitive as this, that effectively put us on the back foot for the entire weekend, and I think all three did very well to fight back from where they were.
“We’ll keep working at it and the results will come, but it’s a frustrating one to take at the moment.”
William Alatalo (#8) said:
“It’s not the weekend we wanted, so I think the key thing now will be to move on from this weekend quickly and look at what we can improve.
“There were some positives, and we managed to fight back to some extent, but it was always going to be difficult from where we started.
“My focus has already switched to the Red Bull Ring inSeptember.”
Nicola Marinangeli (#14) said:
“We showed strong pace during practice pre-event, and I was quite happy with where we were heading into the weekend.
“But traffic in qualifying meant we struggled to get a good lap in, and from there it was an uphill task for us. I’m just looking forward to the next round at Red Bull Ring.”
Alex Quinn (#21) said:
“It’s been a very difficult weekend, overall. We struggled for outright pace and the weather conditions didn’t go in our favour.
“We know as a team what we need to improve, so the important thing now is we put this weekend behind us, and start putting things in place to ensure we can fight back, starting at the Red Bull Ring.
“A big thanks to everybody in the team for their hard work and support this weekend.”