SMP Racing junior driver Alexander Smolyar took part in the fifth round of the Formula Renault Eurocup, which took place on July 26-27 at the Belgian Spa-Francorchamps circuit.In the two races of the weekend, Alexander managed to gain around ten positions, compared to his place on the starting grid, and score points for the overall standings.
In the first race on Friday, Smolyar started seventeenth and by the end of the race moved up to ninth place after overtaking two rivals on the last lap.
On Saturday, the Russian made a significant breakthrough, gaining fifteen positions in the first half of the race. On the final lap, Alexander was in sixth position, however, he had an incident with a car ahead that turned in front of him. Smolyar's car rolled twice, the driver was not injured. The stewards stopped the race with a red flag and made a decision to take the standings of the previous lap as the final results. Thus, Alexander kept sixth place.
Smolyar takes the fourth place in the overall standings with 126 points in total.
“The whole weekend in Spa turned out to be difficult, although today in the race I had a great pace: from last place I moved up to sixth position,” SMP Racing driver Alexander Smolyar said. “Unfortunately, the accident ruined everything, but there was nothing I could do to prevent an accident. The collision looked quite dangerous, but I'm fine. Talking about the pace in qualifying, we simply didn’t have it. The car setups weren’t perfect, the tires were heating and wearing off pretty quickly on such a long track, and I made mistakes. I managed to recover during the races. Having started both times outside the top ten, I was able to gain a lot of positions and earn points, which is very important for the fight in the championship.”
"Despite the problems in both qualifying sessions, the weekend turned out to be productive, in two races we finished scoring some points," Petr Aleshin, the director of the SMP Racing junior program, added. “I was particularly pleased with the second race, in which Alexander managed to finish sixth, driving from last position on the grid. And if it were not for the mistake of one of the rivals, it would have been possible to achieve even greater results."
The sixth round of the Formula Renault Eurocup will take place on August 30 - September 1 at the Nürburgring in Germany.