Young Anton De Pasquale has made a stout debut in Round 1 of the Formula Renault 1.6 NEC Championship by topping practice at Zandvoort.
De Pasquale guided his Lechner Racing Team machine to a 1:45s lap in the second of the two practice sessions to claim a .3s advantage over the field.
“Sure I'm happy and really happy for my team but it's early days yet,” a cautious De Pasquale said.
“It's only Friday and a long season ahead, and my focus now is only on qualifying and Monday's races.
“I'm not going to get ahead of myself. Looking at the times today, already it's likely the championship will be even closer than last year.
“ Both my team-mates are quick and TenVoorde and Esmeijer, both race winners from last year, showed real pace today, so we'll need to be really focused for qualy.”
Mark Larkham, who is mentoring DePasquale and manages his affairs under his Australian MotorSport Academy business, said: “Anton knew it was critical he set a very strong agenda from the outset.
“It's an important aspect of creating momentum on his side of the garage. But equally so, the ﬁeld has tightened considerably and Anton knows not to relish too much in success after a Friday practice session, it's not his style and it's a really good quality he has.”
Qualifying is later tonight with the two races scheduled for Easter Monday.