Doureid Ghattas has been crowned the 2018 Formula Renault Northern European Cup Champion on a tense final weekend at the Hockenheimring, splitting the victories with compatriot Phil Hill on home turf.
The German F4 graduate joins an illustrious list of past winners, including Valtteri Bottas, Carlos Sainz Jr. and recently-announced McLaren F1 driver Lando Norris.
With a commanding 47-point advantage heading to the 2.8 mile Baden-Wurttemberg circuit, Ghattas completed the job in style, re-passing a fast-starting Gabriel Gandulia (R-ace GP) at the Turn 5 Hairpin to take the chequered flag 4.2 seconds clear – his fifth win on the bounce – and write his name into the history books.
Gandulia would eventually round out the top three after being bested by Hill – who in second equalled the ScoRace Team’s best result on his first appearance for the Swiss outfit.
Hill would go one better the following day, putting ScoRace on the top step as he worked through to claim a third win of the campaign, passing both Gandulia and Ghattas, the latter hampered after front-wing damage picked up whilst fighting amongst the Formula Renault Eurocup runners prevented a fightback.
The eventual margin of victory was 4.1 seconds, with Vice-Champion Hill’s efforts – combined with a double fourth-place for Sharon Scolari – elevating ScoRace into third overall in the Teams’ Standings.
R-ace GP would not be denied back-to-back crowns in that respect, and their early season points haul paid dividends as they edged out a resurgent Anders Motorsport by 31 points to seize the Teams’ title.
The double-header rounds out another action-packed season for the category, with a total of 8 different pole-sitters and 6 different winners across the 12 round campaign.
News on the future of the Northern European Cup will follow in the coming months.
Doureid Ghattas said, “It’s a nice feeling to have reached the goal. Overall, it’s been a great season for me. We had hoped to end the year with another victory, but on a weekend where we sealed the championship and took my run of victories to five in a row, we can’t be too unhappy.
“A big thanks to everybody at Anders Motorsport for their effort this year, it’s been a great experience and overall I’m very pleased with how we’ve done.”
Phil Hill said, “It’s a fantastic way to end the season; there have been some highs and lows but it’s great to bow out with a victory at Hockenheim – my home event – as well as reward the ScoRace Team with their first win after a positive first season in single-seaters.
“Everything has been a good learning experience, from the car right down to the format and sharing grids with the Eurocup guys at four events – I’d like to say a big ‘thank you’ to everybody involved. It was an action-packed way to end the season with plenty of overtaking – there was so much going on in some ways the whole this is just a blur!”
Gabriel Gandulia said, ““Equalling my best result of the season with second is a good way to end the year – we’d have liked a victory but the positive is that R-ace GP are Teams’ Champions once again, so a big congratulations to them, and thank you for all their hard work over the year.”