After his disappointing opening race, Belgian Max Defourny (R-ace GP) fought back by winning the second Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup race on Sunday morning at Monza. Jehan Daruvala (Josef Kaufmann Racing) battled for podium positions and finally managed second place after having missed the podium with fourth spot yesterday. Will Palmer (R-ace GP), younger brother of Renault Formula 1 driver Jolyon, scored his first podium in third place. In fourth overall, Lando Norris (Josef Kaufmann Racing) led the Rookie drivers.
In sunshine and on a dry track, Defourny smoothly got away from Pole Position and led into the first chicane despite a little lock-up. It was the first and last time for Defourny to defend any attacks. With fights going on behind him, the Belgian pulled a gap and crossed the line with a four-second-margin. After becoming last with gearbox issues in race one, Defourny found an answer in ruling the second race.
DIVERSIFIED BATTLE FOR REMAINING PODIUM POSITIONS
Behind Defourny, Daruvala stayed in second at the start. His teammate Lando Norris surprised Will Palmer and Sacha Fenestraz (Tech 1 Racing) by passing them on the outside of turn one. Norris then also passed Daruvala on the opening lap.
Halfway through the race, the Force India Junior Driver fought back and went into second again. Will Palmer passed Norris in the heat of the moment to go back into third place where he started from. These three drivers kept fighting for the podium with Dorian Boccolacci (Tech 1 Racing), winner of race one, getting closer. The order though remained unchanged.
SIX DIFFERENT PODIUM SCORERS AT THE OPENING WEEKEND
With Daruvala and Norris forming the podium behind Defourny, the podiums of the two races covered entirely different drivers. Lando Norris makes a little exception as he added the Rookie trophy to his account in fourth overall. Scoring fifth place, Dorian Boccolacci leaves Italy as the championship leader.
Nikita Troitskiy (Fortec Motorsports) managed sixth place after position two yesterday. Gabriel Aubry (Tech 1 Racing), Alex Gill (Mark Burdett Motorsport), Vasily Romanov (Fortec Motorsports), and Henrique Chaves (AVF by Adrián Vallés) followed to complete the top ten. Russian Romanov had started from the second-last position.
Sacha Fenestraz (Tech 1 Racing) suffered front wing damage in a battle and reached 14th place after having left in fourth. Russian Robert Shwartzman (Josef Kaufmann Racing) was classified last after leaving the track in the Ascari chicane and sustaining consequential damage.
With an eventful and versatile Monza weekend done, Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup aims at its second weekend from 13 to 15 May at Great Britain’s motor racing milestone, the Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit.
Until then, you may find further information on the championship’s Facebook and Twitter profiles.
Max Defourny (R-ace GP): “We managed to get a good first lap and to pull a gap straight away, so I pulled out of the slipstream. I could manage the gap and take the win. Yesterday was just unlucky. The résumé remains positive as the pace was good. Now we have to catch up the points we lost.”
Jehan Daruvala (Josef Kaufmann Racing): “Lando had a better start and could pass me. Unfortunately, we fought a bit too much and let Max get away. The speed was okay and I could pass back Lando. In the end, I lost the rear tyres a bit and Max was already too far ahead. But we scored good points this weekend.”
Will Palmer (R-ace GP): “It was a lively race. I lost a position on the first lap and had to defend a lot. But then I managed to break clear and towards the end of the race I catched Lando and Jehan. The key was our good Qualifying for race two. In the midfield in race one, I damaged my front wing. Otherwise it would have been better. Now I’m really looking forward to my home race at Silverstone.”