Doureid Ghattas has been crowned the 2018 Formula Renault Northern European Cup (NEC) Champion after claiming a fifth consecutive victory in the opening contest at the Hockenheimring this afternoon [22nd September].
R-ace GP’s Gabriel Gandulia took an early lead but the German Formula 4 graduate fought back, re-passing the Argentine at the Turn 5 Hairpin before extending his advantage to 4.2 seconds at the chequered flag.
It completes a remarkable run of form for Ghattas, with double victories at Budapest and the Nurburgring needing him to only finish the opening race in Baden-Wurttemberg to seal the title.
Gandulia would eventually round out the rostrum after Phil Hill battled through after a poor start to seize the runner-up spot on his first appearance for the ScoRace Team – equalling their best ever result.
That means Hill and Gandulia will dice for second spot in the overall standings in tomorrow’s finale around the 2.8 mile Grand Prix circuit, scheduled to get underway at 16:35 CEST.
Gandulia’s performance also means R-ace GP stand on the brink of back-to-back NEC Teams’ titles, with the French equipe now 27 markers ahead with a maximum score of 30 left on the table.
Sharon Scolari completed the Swiss outfit’s biggest ever haul of points with fourth.
Doureid Ghattas (1st) said, “It’s a nice feeling to have reached the goal, but now we’ve still got one more race to win. Overall, it’s been a great season for me, and thanks to Anders Motorsport for all their effort this year, it’s a fantastic result for them too.
“It was a very heavy race; there was a bit of contact and blocking and passing. At one point me and Gabriel [Gandulia] made contact, I was on the inside and I don’t think he saw me. It wasn’t what I wanted, but it happens sometimes.
“Tomorrow I can take a little bit more risk, but it will be the same objective as every race – to win.”
Phil Hill (2nd) said, “I had a bad start which made it pretty difficult at the beginning, then I just tried to get my head down and overtake but I had a lot of over-steer – more than I would usually get following another car. Then on one lap my wheel felt a bit loose – I decided to stay out on track, and it’s good to get a good result for ScoRace.
“It was good to see again that the difference between myself and the Eurocup guys is a little bit of experience – they’ve all done F4 or similar before this. It was an eventful race.”
Gabriel Gandulia (3rd) said, “I’m very happy to extend my run of podiums to seven races, a result that puts R-ace GP close to winning the Teams’ title. It was a busy race with lots of action; hopefully tomorrow we can end the season on a high and get a first victory in the NEC.”