Paul Ricard, France – August 28 2016: Team Marc VDS Estrella Galicia 0,0 suffered a weekend of frustration at Paul Ricard, the fourth round of the Renault Sport Series. Fabian Schiller, sharing with Renaud Kuppens, retired from the endurance race, before finishing fifth in his solo race. Kuppens finish eighth in his sprint event.
With regular pro driver Markus Palttala unavailable with other commitments, it was always going to be a difficult weekend for the Marc VDS team. Ex-Marc VDS GT1 driver, and friend of the team, Kuppens was chosen to fill in.
Starting second for the endurance race, Schiller moved into the lead and was in control, but a puncture on the sixth lap ended his and Kuppens’ race. The duo therefore scored no points.
Sunday’s sprint races were also full of drama for both drivers. Schiller’s Am race started well, and he was fighting for the lead when contact damaged his Renault R.S.01. He continued, but was then assaulted a second time, this time with more serious consequences; his second puncture of the weekend, and a car he could limp only to fifth position.
For Kuppens, who had barely driven the car over the course of the weekend, a race in the competitive Pro field was a daunting prospect. Despite a disappointing qualifying, he showed strong pace in the race and had climbed to P7 when contact with a competitor lost him a big chunk of time and he had to settle for an eighth place finish.
The weekend’s results are good news for Palttala; the Finn still shares the endurance standings lead with Schiller, whose dropped points see him now sit second in the Am category. Team Marc VDS EG 0,0 continues to lead the teams’ classification.
Renaud Kuppens, Renault R.S.01 #9
“It was really great to be back with Marc VDS again. The team spirit is fantastic, as I expected it would be, and the work rate is exceptional. It’s just a shame that the results were not a little better. I was obviously frustrated to get no laps in the endurance race. In my sprint, I was frustrated again! I lost some time avoiding a collision at the start, and then had some contact from behind which dropped me even more time… I want to thank Marc van der Straten for once again trusting me with his racing car. It’s always fun to race for him.”
Fabian Schiller, Renault R.S.01 #9
“The weekend started well, because our pace in free practice was good and I qualified on the front row. In the endurance race, I was feeling great but then I had a puncture out of nowhere. These things happen in racing, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying. My sprint was really similar – things were going great, despite a bit of contact, but then another driver missed his braking point and clattered me, and my car was heavily damaged. I’m amazed we salvaged some points. Now we have to look forward to Spa.”
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