Arden Motorsport headed to Paul Ricard, France for the eighth round of the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup Championship. Dan Ticktum and Zane Goddard were in attendance, whilst Ghislain Cordeel was forced to miss the round due to school commitments.
Qualifying saw Ticktum set the 10th best time in the overall classification for race one and Goddard would line up from 16th ready for the opening race of the weekend.
Ticktum made a good start to move past fellow Red Bull Junior Neil Verhagen into 9th position through the opening corners, whilst Goddard maintained him starting position as the field navigated the tight and twisty sector of the lap. Ticktum managed to make a bold move to vault himself up into 7th position just a lap later, moving ahead of Gabriel Aubry to continue his progress through the pack. Goddard made a move up the inside to claim 15th as the drivers began to settle into a rhythm in the 25 minute long race.
At half distance, Ticktum had maintained 7th position with teammate Goddard up to 14th and making up further ground on a top ten points paying position. With seven minutes to go, Ticktum went for move up the inside to claim 6th, however his rival shut the door on him - resulting in contact and dropping Ticktum down to 9th position. The incident however caused race ending damage for Ticktum, retiring shortly after.
Goddard continued on, setting a strong pace as he hunted down the points. A safety car with a couple of minutes to go bunched the pack up - with the lights going green again for one more lap before the end of the race.
An incident between the two leaders, resulting in a car upside down promoted Goddard up to 11th position - just missing out on points. However post race, a penalty applied to the winner meant Goddard was promoted to 10th, giving him a point for his efforts.
The grid for race two saw Ticktum line up 7th after a two place penalty from the opening race of the weekend. Goddard was due to start in 24th after technical issues in qualifying hampered his progress.
Ticktum regained his qualifying position by sweeping through to 6th position on the opening lap and hunting down the battle for the podium. Gabriel Aubry, Will Palmer, Dan Ticktum and Max Fewtrell diced throughout the race for the final spot on the podium - with Ticktum defending hard from Fewtrell for the lead of the Rookie Classification.
Despite having greater top speed than Ticktum, Fewtrell was unable to find a way past the Arden Red Bull Junior, as Ticktum held onto 6th and the Rookie Victory at the end of the 25 minute tense second race. Post-race, Robert Shwartzmann was excluded for a technical non-compliance, meaning Ticktum was elevated to 5th position.
Zane Goddard made good head way in the early stages of the race, before an engine issue resulted in a loss of performance and he was sadly required to retire the car, ending his weekend early.
Daniel Ticktum “We struggled a lot this the weekend to find the pace we wanted. Our only solution was to extricate the maximum from our package, especially in this intense race where I had to be 100% from the start to the end against Max Fewtrell, who was running less aero than I was. I did a good job in defending to win that battle. This is all the more positive as we knew that this circuit would be our weak point of the season. This is the best result I could get today, and it’s good to finish on a high note."
The Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup now heads to Spa-Francorchamps for the ninth and penultimate round of the championship on the 22-24 September, before heading to the Circuit de Catalunya for the final round of the 2017 Championship.