Vandoorne claims 2.0 race

Stoffel Vandoorne of Josef Kaufmann Racing claimed his first victory in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0.

Eurosport

Vandoorne drove a perfect race at the Nurburgring, having earlier secured his maiden pole position in the discipline.

“I had a very good weekend last week in the FR 2.0 NEC on this very same track, with two poles and two victories, so I came here full of confidence,” he said.

“It’s important to have finally taken this maiden victory and pulled back some points on Daniil Kvyat. It’s the perfect outcome for me today.”

The RACB National Team driver was joined on the podium by Norman Nato (RC Formula) and Paul-Loup Chatin (Tech 1 Racing), with overall championship leader Daniil Kvyat (Koiranen Motorsport) down in fifth.

After a strong start from the front qualifiers, Vandoorne, Nato, Chatin and Nyck de Vries (R-Ace GP) began to pull away.

In the chasing pack, Matthieu Vaxivière (Tech 1 Racing) was forced to retire after colliding with William Vermont (Arta Engineering). Stefan Wackerbauer (Koiranen Motorsport) and Pieter Schothorst (Josef Kaufmann Racing) were the other drivers to capitulate in the early part of the race.

At the midpoint of the race, Vandoorne and Nato picked up the pace and began to stretch their lead.

With the order at the front seemingly set in stone, Kvyat threw caution to the wind in the closing laps as he pushed for fifth place. In the penultimate lap, the Russian found the opening and successfully passed Guilherme Silva (Interwetten.com Racing).

Oscar Tunjo also tried his luck, but Silva held firm to stay in sixth. In the final lap, however, the Brazilian went off the track and fell towards the back of the field.

The win puts Vandoorne within 12 points of Kvyat.

Nato said: “Having retired from the second race at Spa-Francorchamps, it was vitally important for me to bounce back today and get a podium finish at the very least. It’s a job well done and tomorrow I’ll try to do even better.”

Chatin added: “It’s all going well in the Formula Renault 2.0 Alps, but things are a bit more difficult in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0. We’re improving with every race and this podium finish is a nice reward, as it’s my first of the season. It’s an encouraging sign for things to come.”

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