In front of packed grandstands, Max Defourny (R-ace GP) won the second Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup encounter at Assen. Starting from fifth on the grid, the Belgian made his way through the pack and closed down a three-and-a-half seconds gap to Lando Norris (Josef Kaufmann Racing). Defourny’s third win of the season keeps the last year’s Rookie champion in the overall title hunt. Finishing second, Norris still leads the championship. Jehan Daruvala (Josef Kaufmann Racing) held off Dorian Boccolacci and Sacha Fenestraz (both Tech 1 Racing) for the last step on the podium.
As in the weekend’s first encounter on Saturday, Norris made a perfect start from pole position and pulled away from his pursuers. From fifth on the grid, Max Defourny quickly took the better of both Tech 1 Racing drivers in the first lap and closed the gap to Jehan Daruvala.
DEFOURNY AND NORRIS THRILL THE CROWDS
Shortly before the halfway point, Max Defourny made a successful pass on Jehan Daruvala to move up into second place. By then, Norris had built up a three-and-a-half seconds lead. Three laps from the end, Defourny had Norris in his sight. The young Briton managed to fend off Defourny’s first overtaking attempts. But coming into the final chicane on the penultimate lap, Defourny passed Norris on the inside and never gave him the chance to recover.
DARUVALA DEFENDS AGAINST TWO TECH 1 RACING CARS
After having lost second place to Max Defourny, Jehan Daruvala was pressed hard by Dorian Boccolacci and Sacha Fenestraz in the second part of the race. Daruvala managed to hold off the two Frenchmen and scored his second podium of the weekend. With Dorian Boccolacci crossing the line in fourth, the season’s main title contenders occupied the first four places in the race. Sacha Fenestraz finished a fighting fifth ahead of Britain’s Will Palmer (R-ace GP).
The top ten positions were completed by Robert Shwartzman (Josef Kaufmann Racing), Ferdinand Habsburg (Fortec Motorsports), Alex Gill (Mark Burdett Motorsport), and Vasily Romanov (Fortec Motorsports).
TITLE BATTLE STILL EXCITING WITH FIVE RACES TO GO
With a six-weeks-break coming up, the Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup will return with the two final rounds at the Nürburgring and Hockenheim in Germany with everything to play for. The first four drivers in the championship are within 45 points of each other and 150 points are up for grabs.
Max Defourny (R-ace GP): “The pace was strong all weekend. We were quick in free practice, but struggled in qualifying. The pace in race one was good as well, but I couldn’t overtake. Today, we managed to come back on Lando. It was a great battle. He was tough to pass, but we were able to overtake him on the last laps. That was a good race.”
Lando Norris (Josef Kaufmann Racing): “This race wasn’t perfect. From the start I knew Max would be fast. He was all weekend. I tried to pull a gap on the first three laps without overpushing my tyres. But Max caught me and I couldn’t keep him behind. There are still many races to go and I need to make sure to keep getting results like this weekend.”
Jehan Daruvala (Josef Kaufmann Racing): “After the two qualifyings, I expected better results. Our start today was better than yesterday and I could stay in second and keep Max behind me for a few laps. But he was quicker than me. I was struggling with my tyres. So he quickly pulled away. There was quite a big fight in the end. But I managed to hold my position. Third was the best I could do today.”