Théo Pourchaire will be facing a tough battle this weekend after Qualifying eighth for the Feature Race on Sunday. The result will of course put him third on the grid for Saturday’s Sprint, but with Championship leader Felipe Drugovich starting the Feature on pole, Pourchaire will need some strong results to keep himself within touching distance in the standings.

It was a disappointing day for ART Grand Prix, with the Frenchman’s teammate Frederik Vesti down in P14. Despite the difficult result on paper, Pourchaire insists that there’s plenty left to fight for and that a single Qualifying session won’t stop the team from fighting back.

“They did a great job, well done to MP Motorsport and Felipe. We’ll work very hard ahead of the race to find performance, new set-ups. We need to find what was wrong in Qualifying because P8 and P14 isn’t a great result for the team.

“We will bounce back and work hard. We are ART Grand Prix, I know the capacity of the team. For the Feature Race, anything can happen. I’ll stay calm and focus on myself.”

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Turning his attentions to the Sprint, Pourchaire is expecting a lot of action as is usually the case around the Spa-Francorchamps circuit. With the long tow up to Les Combes and DRS assistance, overtaking is more straightforward than many other circuits on the F2 calendar.

His last podium finish in a Sprint Race came at the Red Bull Ring where once again, he Qualified behind Drugovich for the Feature. Despite that, the Frenchman outscored his rival across the weekend, something that he will be aiming to replicate in Belgium this time around.

Weather is never too far away in the Ardennes region and can easily turn a race on its head. Being in the right place at the right time will help, as will a light touch with the tyres. Pourchaire believes that tyre degradation, or a lack thereof, will be a deciding factor come the Sprint and Feature Races.

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“We can get a good result and score some good points in the Sprint. It will be a very spectacular race at Spa because you can always overtake a lot. Let’s see how it goes with the tyre deg and the weather as well. It should be sunny, dry at least, so I’m hoping for a good result, maybe a win.

“It was a tough Quali for myself and the team as well. Tough conditions, not easy to know what set-up we could put on the car, where we could brake and turn because it was raining a bit. The position is not too good but not too bad for myself because, P8 means I’ll be P3 on the reverse grid. We can still score some good points.

“It’s very challenging because we don’t have tyre blankets either. We started on cold tyres and had to warm them up and then we needed to push. I had some moments, close to spinning or almost crashing, but that’s part of the job to push the limits. I love driving around Spa so it was even more fun for me.”