Huge weekend at the Geelong Revival Motoring Festival

Thanks to the invitation of Renault Australia, Alex took part in the Geelong Revival Motoring Festival as a brand ambassador in the last weekend of November.

As part of the weekend’s activities Alex was able to drive the exciting Renault Clio RS in the quarter mile dash, try the Renault simulator and meet many Renault staff and fans.

A highlight was also spending time with Renault’s other brand ambassador, V8 Supercar driver Dean Canto. An enjoyable time was had by all.

 

Top 10 finish in the Eurocup!

The last round of the Formula Renault Eurocup in Barcelona delivered points and a final placing of 10th in the 2017 Eurocup championship for Alex.

This is a great finish to an outstanding debut year that had as highlight the pole position, lap record and win on the streets of Pau in the south of France. The second half of the year proved to be tough but a great learning experience that will be of great help to Alex’s 2018 campaign in the Eurocup for which planning has already begun.

BARCELONA (ESP) OCT 27-29 2017 – Final round of the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup 2017 at Circuit de Catalunya. Alex Peroni #17 Fortec Motorsports. © 2017 Sebastiaan Rozendaal / Dutch Photo Agency

The Barcelona weekend could have been a very difficult one when there was a huge crash in race 2 that somehow Alex managed to avoid and finish in the points.

Alex  and his management team want to thank key sponsors Blundstone, RACT, Renault Australia, United Petroleum and Richardson Devine Marine, and the many people who donated time and funds to his campaign. Without all of these businesses and people the year would simply not have been possible. It has been an incredible feet to get from Tasmania to racing a season in Europe. Thank you to all and we look forward to 2018!

 

Still in 9th place in the Eurocup after SPA-Francorchamps

While Alex leaves SPA holding on to 9th in the championship, it was an event that followed a similar pattern to some previous events. The pace early on wasn’t quick enough which allowed only for a mid-field qualification. Some welcome changes made towards the end of the weekend delivered some much needed additional speed.

Spa-Francorchamps (BEL) Sep 22 – 24 2017 – Round 8 of the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup series at Circuit Spa-Francorchamps. Alex Peroni #17 Fortec Motorsport. Action. © 2017 Diederik van der Laan / Dutch Photo Agency

Alex started on grid 15 in race one but the race was called off due to fog after circulating behind the safety car for a few laps.

Race two proved to be very difficult with a car setup that just wasn’t suited to the track conditions and Alex struggled to finish in 16th.

For the final race Alex started 14th and was able to register good speed. He quickly moved into 11th place and then got stuck for some time behind Thomas Randle. When he finally got by he was able to pull away but the 9th placed car had by that stage an unassailable lead.

Spa-Francorchamps (BEL) Sep 22 – 24 2017 – Round 8 of the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup series at Circuit Spa-Francorchamps. Alex Peroni #17 Fortec Motorsport. Action. © 2017 Diederik van der Laan / Dutch Photo Agency

Alex finished 10th on the road but was handed a 5 second penalty after the race for having cut the chicane (to avoid an accident) and was classified 14th.

SPA FRANCORCHAMP (BEL) SEP 22-24 2017 – Round 9 of the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup 2017 at Spa Francorchamps. Alex Peroni #17, Fortec Motorsports. Action. © 2017 Klaas Norg / Dutch Photo Agency.

A challenging event at the Paul Ricard circuit

Alex returned to the track with the 8th event of the year in the Eurocup Championship held at the Paul Ricard circuit at Le Castellet in the south of France.

Alex was looking forward to the event but some wretched luck turned it into a difficult weekend which however allowed Alex to demonstrate his skills more than usual.

LE CASTELLET (FRA) AUG 25-27 2017 – Round 8 of the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup 2017 at Start of Race 2. © 2017 Diederik van der Laan / Dutch Photo Agency

A fuel pump failure right when Alex  was scheduled to leave pit lane to set a qualifying time meant that he didn’t register a time and would therefore start 32nd and last for race 1. Alex was determined to try and make his way up to the points (10th place and above).

By the third last lap Alex was 14th when a safety car bunched the pack up again and then releaed them with one lap to go. During the lap, a car in front of Alex retired which put Alex 13th and he made a passing attempt to get to 12th but narrowly missed out. On the last corner of the race, a very tight corner, a competitor  behind Alex bungled his braking and smashed into the back of Alex’s car, eliminating him from the race. An unbelievable effort that delivered no reward!

LE CASTELLET (FRA) AUG 25-27 2017 – Round 8 of the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup 2017 at circuit Paul Ricard. Alex Peroni #17, Fortec Motorsports. Action. © 2017 Klaas Norg / Dutch Photo Agency.

In Qualifying 2 Alex’s car had some handling issues and Alex managed to qualify only 15th. However, by the second lap of the race he was 10th and moving forward rapidly until  a nearly identical incident to race 1 occurred again. Alex retired after limping back to the pits. Very frustrating.

Coverage Race 2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9k0S3dr_TA

The last few races have certainly been difficult but they have added valuable experience to Alex’s racecraft that we sincerely hope he can continue to refine in the last two events and then put to good use next year. Some good luck must be due soon!

A character building event in Hungary!

Alex’s positive sequence of results in the Formula Renault Eurocup championship came to an abrupt end in Hungary, the first event of the year with three races. Alex took away no points but still hangs on to 7th place in the championship

Both Alex and his team struggled to find the rhythm they had become accustomed to in the first 4 events of the year. In race one Alex started 12th and after some incidents ahead was 6th at the end of lap 1. Unfortunately an out of control car behind Alex ran into him and forced Alex out with car and tyre damage.

Race 2 was uneventful and saw Alex finish outside the points in 12th and then receive a 10 second penalty for exceeding track limits in the race.

BUDAPEST (HUN) JUN 30 – JUL 2 2017 – Fifth round of the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup at the Hungaroring. Start of Race 3. © 2017 Diederik van der Laan / Dutch Photo Agency

Race 3 saw Alex start well back in 24th after having two of his fast qualifying laps deleted for exceeding track limits. It turned the race into an opportunity to work on different car settings and for Alex to build more experience at the Hungaroring. The final result was a 19th.

It certainly wasn’t the weekend everyone had hoped for but one that will make Alex more determined to bounce back at the Nurburgring.

POINTSCORE POSITION: 7th – 67 points (out of 30 drivers)

NEXT ROUND: Nurburgring 15/16 July

 

 

Alex maintains Eurocup debutants lead at Monaco

Solid results at Monaco have kept Alex the leading first-year competitor driver in the 2017 Formula Renault Eurocup series.

The 17 year-old Hobart driver posted a pair of sixth placings in his debut at the legendary Formula 1 street circuit.

Alex’s performance was all the more creditable considering the round’s unique format and his two-position starting grid penalty for the first race.

He raised eyebrows in the Formula 1 pit lane by clocking the second-fastest lap in Thursday’s single all-in practice session. That was followed by fifth of the 30 drivers after Friday’s split-field qualifying session.

MONACO (MC) MAY 25-28-2017 – Grand Prix de Monaco 2017. Alex Peroni #17 Fortec Motorsport. Action. © 2017 Diederik van der Laan / Dutch Photo Agency

In Saturday’s first race he held station throughout the 18 laps on the narrow 3.78km circuit, which is notorious for making overtaking virtually impossible unless the driver ahead makes a mistake.

After the race his seventh placing was upgraded to sixth when the fourth-placed driver received a time penalty for a false start.

Alex’s chances of replicating his Pau pole position for the second Monaco race were stymied by the principality round’s unique format.

Unlike the usual schedule of a qualifying session for each race, Monaco’s second race grid was set according to the Friday qualifying session but with each group on the other side of the track.

Consequently Alex lined up sixth, and with no opportunity to improve during the race he finished in that position, picking up more valuable points for the championship.

He is now in fifth position overall in the Eurocup pointscore after four of 10 rounds, and remains the series’ leading debutant.

MONACO (MC) MAY 25-28-2017 – Grand Prix de Monaco 2017. Alex Peroni #17 Fortec Motorsport. Action. © 2017 Diederik van der Laan / Dutch Photo Agency

Alex was relieved to have racked up points in both Monaco races.

“After being second-fastest in the practice session I was looking forward to the prospect of another chance of getting on the podium,” he said.

“Eurocup was the first practice session for the race meeting, so the track was really slippery. But by Friday there was more grip from the rubber laid down by the Formula 1s and other cars.

“Like the other teams we had to take a guess at car set-up for the different track conditions in qualifying. We got it close but not quite right.

“The Saturday race showed how important it is to qualify at the top of the field at Monaco.

“We’d improved the car’s set-up and I was able to hold my position, but there was no way to overtake.

“With no qualifying session for the Sunday race, and starting sixth, it was all about staying on the track and maintaining position.

“Even though it would have been nice to get a podium this weekend, racing at Monaco is amazing. There’s no other circuit in the world like it!

“Eurocup is incredibly competitive for newcomers, and even tougher here with only one practice session and one qualifying session. There’s no second chance.

“Thanks to Fortec Motorsport and my sponsors Blundstone, RACT, United, Renault Australia and Richardson Devine Marine.”

The 2017 Formula Renault Eurocup continues with round 5 at the Hungaroring on July 1-2.

ALEX PERONI’S 2017 FORMULA RENAULT EUROCUP RESULTS

ROUND 4 – MONTE CARLO (MONACO), MAY 25-28

QUALIFYING: 3rd in Group A

RACE 1: Starting position – 7th (2-position grid penalty); Result – 6th

RACE 2: Starting position – 6th; Result – 6th

POINSTCORE POSITION: 5th (67 points) of 30 drivers

NEXT ROUND: Hungaroring (Hungary), July 1-2

Alex breaks through with Eurocup race win!

Alex has scored a stunning maiden Formula Renault Eurocup race win at Pau in southern France.

Alex led all the way from pole position in Sunday’s second race in round 3 of Renault Sport’s flagship international openwheeler series.

He held fellow front row qualifier Sacha Fenestraz at bay for the entire 21-lap/58km distance on the 2.76km street circuit.

PAU (FRA) MAY 19-21 2017 – Third round of the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup at Grand Prix de Pau. Alex Peroni #17 Fortec Motorsports. © 2017 Sebastiaan Rozendaal / Dutch Photo Agency

It was no cruise for Hobart-born Alex, though.

After carving out a lead of almost two seconds in the latter stages of the race, he suddenly found Fenestraz less than half a second behind while cautiously lapping a tailender on the penultimate lap and also slowing for double waved yellow flags.

But he stayed cool until the chequered flag to score his breakthrough Eurocup race win by 0.52 seconds.

His success followed a solid fifth placing in Saturday’s first race, and vaulted him to fourth outright and first Eurocup debutant in the 2017 pointscore.

Alex’s results were all the more meritorious considering he hadn’t raced at Pau before.

He set the fastest lap in the first of Friday’s two practice sessions despite steady rain falling throughout the session.

PAU (FRA) MAY 19-21 2017 – Third round of the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup at Grand Prix de Pau. Alex Peroni #17 Fortec Motorsport. Action. © 2017 Diederik van der Laan / Dutch Photo Agency

On Saturday he was in the mix for pole position for race 1 until a minor error cost him the opportunity to set a final quick lap.

But on Sunday it all came together, starting with a new fastest qualifying time at Pau for the 2-litre Formula Renault category.

After winning race 2, an elated Alex described how Fenestraz’s constant pressure, the serpentine street circuit and warm weather made it a tough day at the office.

“I had to push very hard for the whole race, with Sacha just behind me,” he said.

“I love driving at Pau, but it’s a very demanding circuit.

“The guardrails on both sides of the track leave no margin for error, and they keep the heat on the track. It was hot out there!

“I was surprised to be so competitive here, considering the leading drivers have raced here before.

“And Friday morning’s practice session was wet, which wasn’t a lot of help for the dry weekend.

“Qualifying on Saturday was a bit disappointing. There was a chance of getting on the front row, but I broke my front wing on a kerb just before the end of the session when everyone was setting their best times.

“In the race I was held up, but it’s nearly impossible to overtake on a street circuit unless the driver ahead makes a mistake.

“The first 10 placings didn’t change for the whole race!

“Thanks as always to Fortec Motorsport and my sponsors Blundstone, RACT, United, Renault Australia and Richardson Devine Marine.”

The 2017 Formula Renault Eurocup continues next weekend with its showpiece round at the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix.

ALEX PERONI’S 2017 FORMULA RENAULT EUROCUP RESULTS

ROUND 3 – PAU (FRANCE), MAY 20-21

RACE 1: Starting position – 5th (3rd fastest in Group B); Result – 5th

RACE 2: Starting position – pole (fastest in Group B); Result – 1st

POINSTCORE POSITION: 4th (51 points) of 30 drivers

NEXT ROUND: Monaco (France), May 25-28