Alex Peroni has established himself as a contender for the 2017 Formula Renault Eurocup title after a promising performance in the opening round at Monza last weekend
The 17 year-old Hobart driver was among the fastest drivers in Saturday’s first of two races at the legendary Italian racetrack.
He qualified fifth in the 30-strong international field, and held that position in the race until he was outjumped by experienced Belgian Max Defourny following the second of two Safety Cars.
Until then Alex had put up a spirited defence against the 2016 Eurocup third placegetter.
At one point he drove side-by-side on the outside of Defourny around the high-speed Curva Grande, and outbraked him into the Della Roggia Chicane!
Nevertheless he was the highest-placed Eurocup debutant.
Bad luck in qualifying for Sunday’s second race prevented Peroni from repeating the impressive result.
His fastest lap in the 15-minute session was affected by a full course caution for another driver’s incident. Consequently he started the race from 14th position.
An early-race clash with Portuguese Henrique Chaves eliminated both drivers.
Alex is ninth in the Eurocup pointscore despite finishing only one of the two races.
He’s confident that he can be competitive in the remaining nine rounds of the one-make Eurocup series, which has been a stepping-stone to Formula 1 for nearly three decades.
“I’m happy that I showed good pace and came away with a good result in Race 1,” he said.
“I’d hoped for a better starting position for Race 2, but yellow flags at just the wrong time in qualifying was a setback.
“Gaining race positions is always tough in such a competitive series as Eurocup – even more so when you’re trying to move forward from midfield.
“Contact with another car in the race was disappointing, but it’s always a possibility in that situation.
“Now I’m looking forward to the next round at Silverstone in a couple of weeks. I haven’t raced there before, so I’ll need to be on my game right from the start.
“Thanks to Fortec Motorsport and my sponsors Blundstone, RACT, United, Renault Australia and Richardson Devine Marine.”
ALEX PERONI’S 2017 FORMULA RENAULT EUROCUP RESULTS
ROUND 1 – MONZA (ITALY), APRIL 22-23
RACE 1: Qualifying – 5th; Result – 6th
RACE 2: Qualifying – 14th; Result – Did not finish (contact on lap 2)
POINSTCORE POSITION: 9th (8 points)
FORMULA RENAULT EUROCUP
Eurocup is Renault’s flagship series for its 2-litre openwheeler, which is raced in several Formula Renault national and international series.
The category has been a stepping stone in the Formula 1 careers of Australia’s Daniel Riccardo, Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, and Kimi Raïkkönen, and past F1 stars Alain Prost and Jacques Laffite.
This year’s 10-round Eurocup series visits the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix and classic Formula 1 circuits Monza, Silverstone, Hungaroring, Nurburgring, Red Bull Ring, Paul Ricard, Spa-Francorchamps and Barcelona.
Next event – May 13-14 Silverstone, Great Britain
The last three weeks have seen all teams in the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup taking part in collective tests at Magny Cours, Paul Ricard – Le Castellet and Nurburgring in preparation for the season start at Monza on the 22-23 April.
The tests involved two days of intensive work at each track with all teams preparing cars and drivers for one of the most competitive years in the Formula Renault 2.0 championship’s history. With 30 drivers and at least 15 capable of winning races, it will be tough.
Alex and his team are pleased with the work they managed to get through. Alex has re-acquainted himself with a racing car and the team has been able to work with Alex to understand his needs and how to extract the best lap times.
While there is still more work to do, particularly in learning the many new tracks, results from the test indicate that come the first race meeting Alex should be a contender, despite the very high level of competition.
It’s definitely going to be an exciting year!
Australian teenager Alex Peroni has signed with leading UK team Fortec Motorsport for this year’s Formula Renault Eurocup series.
Peroni, 17, graduates to Eurocup following his victory in last year’s French Formula Renault Monoplace Championship, and a competitive wild card appearance in the 2016 Eurocup finale at the Estoril circuit in Portugal.
Fortec offered him a place in its Eurocup squad after an end-of-season test session with the team at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.
Peroni is excited at the prospect of racing in Europe’s most competitive development series.
“Ever since I started racing karts as a seven year-old I’ve dreamed of following the drivers I look up to into Formula 1,” he said.
“Daniel Ricciardo raced successfully in Formula Renault on his way to F1, and I hope to do the same.
”Winning the Monoplace Championship last year was incredible, but Eurocup is the next level so I’ll have to work even harder.
“Having tested with Fortec last year, I’m confident that we can achieve great results together.
“Thanks to Blundstone and RACT, who have been fantastic supporters of my racing career.
“Now RACT’s partner, United Petroleum, and Renault Australia have come on board to provide the opportunity to make my dream a reality.”
An indication of Fortec Motorsport’s confidence in Peroni is the attendance of the team’s Formula Renault Eurocup manager, Martin Young, at today’s announcement in Hobart.
“We are delighted that Alex will be racing with Fortec Motorsport this year,” Mr Young said.
“He came to our notice during the Monoplace Championship last year. Winning that series at just 16 years of age was no mean feat.
“Alex’s subsequent performances at the final Eurocup round and our Spa test session showed us that he had the speed to step up to Eurocup.
“He also worked very well with our race engineers, which was equally important.
“Alex is an exciting young driver. We believe he has the ability to be among the Eurocup front runners and challenge for race wins right from the start of the series.”
Peroni will travel to Europe in early-March for pre-season testing at Magny Cours (France), Paul Ricard (France) and Nurburgring (Germany). The 2017 Eurocup series begins on April 21-23 at Monza in Italy.
2017 FORMULA RENAULT EUROCUP SCHEDULE
1. April 21-23 Monza, Italy
2. May 12-14 Silverstone, Great Britain
3. May 19-21 Pau, France
4. May 26-28 Monte Carlo, Monaco
5. June 30-July 2 Hungaroring, Hungary
6. July 14-16 Nurbürgring, Germany
7. July 21-23 Red Bull Ring, Austria
8. August 25-27 Paul Ricard, France
9. September 22-24 Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
10. October 27-29 Barcelona, Spain
ALEX PERONI PROFILE
DATE OF BIRTH: November 27, 1999
RESIDENCE: Hobart, Tasmania
RESIDENCE DURING EUROCUP: Daventry, UK
MOTOSPORT CAREER: 2007-2014 karts (numerous race and series wins), 2015 Italian Formula 4 Championship (14th), 2016 French Formula Renault Monoplace Challenge (1st)
Ph. +61.0407 334 020
It’s been a great summer break for Alex back in Tasmania catching up with family, friends and supporters and doing a bit of part-time work at Fish Frenzy restaurant.
Things will quickly start to ramp up from here as fundraising work is completed and Alex prepares for the busy year ahead. The plan is to wrap up the fundraising by the end of February and then head back to Europe in March ready for pre-season testing in France (Magny Cours and Paul Ricard).
This year Alex will be competing in the Formula Renault Eurocup Championship which comprises 10 rounds at some of the best race tracks in the world. The first round kicks off at Monza in Italy on 21 – 23 April.
Things then go up a gear and the program in May is crammed with races at Silverstone in the UK, the Pau street circuit in France followed by Monaco in conjunction with the Formula 1 Grand Prix.
The full program is as follows –
Monza April 21st-23rd (2 races)
Silverstone May 12th-14th (2 races)
Pau May 19th-21st (2 races)
Monaco May 26th-28th (2 races)
Hungaroring June 30th, July 1st-2nd (3 races)
Nurburgring July 14th-16th (2 races)
Red Bull Ring July 21st-23th (2 races)
Le Castellet Aug 25th-27th (2 races)
Spa Sept 22nd-24th (3 races)
Barcelona Oct 27th-29th (3 races)
There will be formal announcements in due course concerning who Alex will be driving with this year, major partners and sponsors.
Finally, a special thanks to Collins SBA (Michael, Bruno and team) who helped set up a company to manage Alex’s racing career. Having a formal company also makes it easy for anyone wanting to make a donation (no matter how small) to do so by direct deposit to –
Alex Peroni Pty Ltd
Account Number 299663
The link below takes you to a short video that Creative Grit produced for Alex and his management team to introduce who Alex is and what he intends to achieve to potential sponsors.
We hope you like it!
Teenage Tasmanian car racer Alex Peroni is the 2016 Monoplace Challenge champion after clean-sweeping the final round in Portugal.
Although the 16 year-old Hobart driver only needed a minor placing in one of the round’s three races to clinch the European series for Formula Renault openwheelers, he won them all!
Alex dominated the round at the 4.2km circuit, which was wet to varying degrees throughout the round.
He began by clocking the fastest qualifying lap on Friday by nearly four tenths of a second.
In Saturday’s first race he established a three-second gap on the first lap, added another two seconds over the next two laps, and took the chequered flag 4.121 seconds clear of Dutch driver Rinus van Kalmthout.
That sealed the title for Alex. His lead over the only other contender going into the finale, Frenchman Gilles Heriau, was an unassailable 205 points with only 120 available from the remaining two races.
His only anxious moment came after the race had finished, when officials investigated a possible jumped start. But the results remained unchanged, giving him the race and series victory.
Later on Saturday, Alex went further ahead by winning a crash-shortened second race.
Starting from second on the grid, he overtook pole sitter van Kalmthout on the first lap. He’d opened a 4.5-second lead over Frenchman Antoine Robert after three laps when a midfield pile-up at turn 1 brought out the red flags.
On Sunday Alex completed his second clean-sweep in the seven-round series with a crushing 14-second win, his 14th of the 21 races in this year’s Monoplace Challenge.
His final points margin over Heriau, after drivers’ two worst races were deducted from their scores, was 209 points. Third-placed Ukrainian Alexey Chuklin was a further 49 points back.
An elated Alex described what it was like to win an international car racing series in only his second season out of karts.
“I felt confident going into race 1, because the track was wet like it was when I raced here last week in the Formula Renault Eurocup round,” he said.
“It was a great way to clinch the championship!
“The track was even wetter in race 2, and I wanted to start well so that I could have a clear track ahead. I managed to pass van Kalmthout into the first corner and open up a gap.
“It was very satisfying to win in such difficult track conditions.
“Race 3 was amazing. The track was damp, but everyone had to use smooth dry weather tyres instead of treaded wet weather ones.
“Even though I was comfortable with the way the car handled the conditions, I was surprised that I could drive away from the others.
“It was great to finish the series with a win!
“Thanks to Stefano Turchetto and everyone at TS Corse for their perfect car preparation and technical support throughout the series.
“It’s incredible what we have achieved together, and I’ll always be grateful to them.
“I’m also very grateful to my parents and my Tasmanian sponsors who made this possible.”
Before returning to Australia, Peroni will test with the Fortec Motorsport team at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps racetrack in Belgium on Monday.
The test is part of his plan to contest next year’s Eurocup, the premier Formula Renault race series that launched the careers of several F1 stars, including Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo.
2016 MONOPLACE CHALLENGE FINAL ROUND – ESTORIL, PORTUGAL
1. Alex Peroni (AUS) 941
2. Gilles Heriau (FRA) 732
3. Alexey Chuklin (UKR) 683
* corrected points (worst 2 races deducted), subject to official confirmation.
ALEX PERONI’S RESULTS FOR ROUND 7
Qualifying: Pole position
Race 1: 1st
Race 2: 1st
Race 3: 1st
ALEX PERONI’S SERIES STATISTICS
Race wins: 14 from 21
Podiums: 17 from 21
Pole positions: 4 from 7
Even though Alex’s outright third place in race 1 was subsequently changed to fourth, he made it into third on the Rookies podium.
A fourth place in his first Formula Renault Eurocup race at Estoril has exceeded Alex’s expectations.
The 16 year-old Hobart driver was initially upgraded to the race 1 podium when third-place finisher Robert Shwartzman was penalised for overtaking under yellow flags, but the original finishing order was restored later after the Russian driver’s penalty was rescinded.
Alex’s placing among the other rookies in the race was also adjusted from second to third after Schwartzman’s reinstatement.
On a damp track, and with an injured right hand after an incident during Friday’s first practice session, Alex finished the opening race 10 places higher than he started.
Unfortunately the wrong car set-up for the constantly changing track conditions during the weekend prevented him from figuring in the race 2 results.
Nevertheless, Alex made the most of his wildcard entry at the 2016 Eurocup finale.
He startled the series regulars on Friday by clocking the fourth fastest lap in the first practice session.
But he was unable to post a competitive time in the second session due to a hand injury, suffered in a minor collision with another car in the first session.
Although damage to Alex’s car was minimal, his right hand was cut and bruised when the steering wheel whipped around suddenly.
Consequently he could only complete several slow laps in the second practice session, costing him valuable track time in his first appearance at the former Portuguese Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit.
On Saturday he ignored the pain to qualify 14th for the first race, although he was unlucky with the changing track conditions.
Early in the session he was sixth fastest when the track was wet, but he just missed a brief period of dry running when other drivers had changed to slick tyres.
He was bumped down the order as a result.
In the race, aggressive driving paid dividends, and with incidents taking out some of the front runners he ascended the order rapidly to claim almost a podium result.
It looked like he’d have to repeat his Saturday race comeback in Sunday’s second heat, after his eighth fastest time in the second qualifying session was scrubbed for a pit lane violation.
But any chance of another brilliant recovery drive from 12th on the grid disappeared when a gamble on car set-up for the drying track backfired.
He struggled for tyre grip throughout the race, and finished a lowly 18th.
Peroni had mixed emotions after sampling the premier Formula Renault series, which has been a stepping stone to Formula 1 for Daniel Ricciardo, Valtteri Bottas and others.
“I was really happy with race 1, especially after not being able to do any quick laps in the second practice session. It was a lot better result than I’d expected for my first Eurocup race!
“But I was disappointed that I didn’t get the chance to do anything in the second race. We thought that a dry set up would work as the track dried, but it didn’t.
“I fought as hard as I could, but it was all I could do to keep the car on the track.
“The best part of this weekend was knowing that I can be competitive at Eurocup level.
“It’s a step up from the Monoplace Challenge series that I’ve been racing in this year, but when you’re against tougher competition you just push yourself harder.
“I’m really looking forward to participating in the Eurocup 2017 Rookie Test here on Tuesday!
“Thanks as always to my sponsors and supporters for this fantastic opportunity, and to TS Corse for preparing the car.”
2016 FORMULA RENAULT 2.0 EUROCUP ROUND 7, OCTOBER 22-23 (ESTORIL, PORTUGAL)
ALEX PERONI’S RESULTS
Qualifying for race 1: 14th
Race 1: 4th
Qualifying for race 2: 12th (8th before pit lane infringement)
Race 2: 18th
ALEX PERONI’S CALENDAR
October 26 – Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup 2017 Rookies Test (Estoril, Portugal)
November 4/5/6 – Monoplace Challenge final round (Estoril, Portugal)
Alex Peroni’s website
Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup website
Monoplace Challenge website
Piero Peroni 0407 334 020 firstname.lastname@example.org
David Quinn 0418 123 282 email@example.com
A perfect performance in the penultimate round of the Monoplace Challenge at Magny Cours has put Alex within striking distance of the title.
The 16 year-old Hobart driver qualified on pole position and won all three races in round six of the international series for Formula Renault openwheelers.
His triple victory extended his points lead to 155 points over Frenchman Gilles Heriau, who is now the only other driver with a mathematical chance of winning.
With a maximum 180 points available for next month’s finale at Estoril, Alex only needs one 10th placing at the Portuguese track to guarantee the series victory.
His Magny Cours triumph was all the more impressive considering it was his first race meeting at the 4.4km former French Formula 1 Grand Prix venue.
“This was my most satisfying round of the series so far,” Alex said. “I’ve qualified on pole and won two races in other rounds, but something – or someone – always stopped me winning the third one.
“It’s tough racing for the first time at circuits where most of the other drivers have previous experience, but after five new circuits from six rounds I’m getting used to it!
“I was a bit worried when the first practice session was shortened from an hour to 40 minutes, which didn’t leave much time to set up the car.
“In the first race my start wasn’t great, and I had to work very hard to keep the lead until the finish.
“The track was damp for the second race, so it was a matter of how much to risk sliding off. But the car felt really good, and I was able to pull out a good lead and manage it to the end.
“Race 3 is always tricky with tyres at the end of their life, but I got a great start and pushed hard in the early laps to gain an advantage. It was just as well, because I lost some ground when I came up to lap a couple of backmarkers at awkward overtaking places.”
Even with one hand seemingly on the 2016 Monoplace Challenge trophy after his Magny Cours clean-sweep, Alex isn’t getting over-confident.
“It was an incredible round. Weekends like this are rare in such a competitive series,” he said.
“Thanks as always to TS Corse for their awesome car preparation and coaching, and to all of my supporters for this fantastic opportunity.
“We’ll celebrate this round, but we won’t relax until the series is won at Estoril.”
2016 MONOPLACE CHALLENGE ROUND 6 – MAGNY COURS, FRANCE
- Alex Peroni (AUS) 833
- Gilles Heriau (FRA) 678
- Alexey Chuklin (UKR) 572.5
* subject to official confirmation
ALEX PERONI’S RESULTS FOR ROUND 6
Race 1: 1st
Race 2: 1st
Race 3: 1st
ALEX PERONI’S SERIES STATISTICS
Race wins: 11 from 18
Podiums: 16 from 18
Pole positions: 3 from 6
November 4/5/6 – Estoril (Portugal)
The sixteen year-old Hobart driver dominated at the Italian circuit, one of four cross-border rounds in the French-based Formula Renault series.
Alex qualified on pole position for the first two races but had one time deleted by the stewards and had to drop back to grid seven in race two.
“In qualifying my fastest two laps were good enough to give me pole position in the first two races, but unfortunately one of them was deleted because the stewards said I’d exceeded the track boundary.”
Alex won the first two races, however the second victory came at a cost.
Despite starting the third race from pole position, Alex relinquished the lead to Ukrainian Alexey Chuklin.
Nevertheless he top-scored for the round and extended his championship lead over Frenchman Gilles Heriau from 53.5 to 112.5 points with two rounds remaining.
Afterwards Alex was elated to have gone further ahead in the series.
“My car felt great from the first practice session,” he said.
“Having one lap time deleted put me back to seventh on the grid for the second race.
“I didn’t think I was doing anything different from everyone else, but I had to accept the officials’ decision.
“In the first race I got a great start and pulled out a gap on the first lap.
“From then on I concentrated on managing the gap while looking after my tyres, knowing that in the next race I’d have to drive hard to recover from the fourth row on the grid.
“In race two I got a decent start and managed to get up to fourth place on the first lap with some aggressive passing moves.
“I worked hard to close the gap to Gregoire Saucy in third place, and passed him just before the Safety Car came out on lap three.
“That put me right behind the leaders, and a couple of laps after the restart I passed David Droux for second place.
“I was looking for an opportunity to pass Alexey Chuklin for the lead, but he made it easy for me by running wide on a corner!
“The third race was really tough. Even though my two wins put me on pole, my rear tyres had very little grip left.
“There was no way I could fight for the win; it was all I could do to survive in second place.
“Now I have a good points lead in the championship, but with two rounds remaining I still have to give 100 percent in every race.
“Thanks to my TS Corse team for their superb car preparation, and my supporters for enabling me to continue racing in Europe,” Alex said.
2016 MONOPLACE CHALLENGE POINTCORE AFTER ROUND 5*
1. Alex Peroni (AUS) 713
2. Gilles Heriau (FRA) 600.5
3. Alexey Chuklin (UKR) 480
* subject to official confirmation
ALEX PERONI’S RESULTS FOR ROUND 5
Race 1: 1st
Race 2: 1st
Race 3: 2nd
ALEX PERONI’S SERIES STATISTICS
Race wins: 8 from 15
Podiums: 13 from 15
Pole positions: 2 from 5
October 7/8/9 – Magny Cours (France)