The DAMS team that has not had much success recently in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series despite a good performance, got back on top in Russia. Arthur Pic scored his, and the team's, first victory in this year's FR3.5 Championship on the Moscow Raceway! It was a well-deserved reward for the team, which was among the pace setters all weekend.
In free practice DAMS was one of the front-runners with Arthur Pic always in the top 5, while Lucas Foresti's times were close to those of the first 10. The team's excellent form was confirmed in the first qualifying session in which Pic finished fourth and Foresti tenth's place demonstrated his improvement.
Although Pic lost a place at the start of race 1 he put on a great display matching the times of Bianchi and Bird just in front of him. He took advantage of a small mistake by Sorensen to snatch fourth in the closing minutes. Foresti was involved in a no-holds-barred fight for ninth place until he made a mis take in the final corner and collected the two cars in front of him. The result was a 5-place penalty for race 2.
The DAMS team continued the good work in the second qualifying session on Sunday in which Pic set the third-quickest time. Foresti was eleventh-fastest but his penalty dropped him back to sixteenth. Race 2 got off to a chaotic start and Pic was the only one of the leaders to emerge unscathed. This put him in first place early on and after a perfectly-judged race he took the chequered flag with over 12 seconds in hand. Thanks to his great weekend Pic has moved up into sixth place in the drivers' ratings. Unfortunately, Foresti stalled at the lights following a technical problem and then fought his way up to fourteenth after a faultless drive.
Jean-Paul Driot, CEO:
"Bravo to the whole team, which was finally rewarded for all its efforts. The car was quick and the pit stops impeccable. Congratulations to Arthur who h ad a perfect weekend. He was also the driver who scored the highest number of points in the two races. If he keeps on racking up such good results he can catch the first three drivers. I'd also like to congratulate Lucas who moved up a step and showed that he can now make it into the top ten."
"I'm really delighted with this victory. I'd like to say a big thank you to the whole team which has never given up and which gave me a great car. The first lap today was bit like a battle field but I managed to get through without damage; after that I had no problems at the front. We'll have to start off on the same bases in England next month."
"The results are disappointing as I didn't score any points this weekend, but I want to look on the positive side. My overall performance is improving and I know now that I can fight for a place in the top ten on a regular basis. A big thank yo u to the team for its support and the great job it's doing. I'm going to make a huge effort to reward them at the next round."
Next round: Silverstone 25-26 August 2012