Le Mans victory for Vergne Jean-Eric Vergne (SG Formula) was longing for a win in front of his home crowd at the Le Mans circuit. Job done! The Frenchman led this first race of the weekend from start to finish, in spite of a strong comeback ...
Le Mans victory for Vergne
Jean-Eric Vergne (SG Formula) was longing for a win in front of his home crowd at the Le Mans circuit. Job done! The Frenchman led this first race of the weekend from start to finish, in spite of a strong comeback from Albert Costa (Epsilon Euskadi). The three leaders in the overall standings are getting closer and closer, with Antonio Felix da Costa (Motopark Academy), Albert Costa and Jean-Eric Vergne all within ten points now.
A few spots of rain fell to disturb drivers as they concentrated in the minutes before the race, but the track was dry when Jean-Eric Vergne made a perfect getaway as the lights went out, ahead of Albert Costa and Antonio Felix da Costa, who forced Arthur Pic (SG Formula) to cut the chicane. Pic kept in fourth ahead of Miki Monras (SG Formula), Nathanael Berthon (Epsilon Euskadi) and Kevin Magnussen (Motopark Academy).
Jean-Eric Vergne pushed hard early in the race to build up something of a lead over Albert Costa and Antonio Felix da Costa. The Portuguese driver had to keep a look out for Arthur Pic, ready to seize the least opportunity to move up to third place. But Antonio Felix da Costa was not for letting himself be put off and he held the Frenchman at bay, before pulling away by a few lengths.
With each lap, the gap between Jean-Eric Vergne and Albert Costa shrank, so that the Frenchman and the Spaniard were in the same second by the mid-way point, while Antonio Felix da Costa, Arthur Pic, Miki Monras and Nathanael Berthon lay some way back.
In lap 11, Nathanael Berthon drew level with Miki Monras. The two cars came together at one point, and each held his place. At the same time, fighting for 13th position, Adam Kout (Krenek Moorsport) and Adrian Quaife-Hobbs (Motopark Academy) attracted attention with successive overtaking maneuvers. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs thought he'd got the upper hand, only to see Kout reciprocate and take back his 13th place.
The whole SG Formula team held their breath to the finish, as Albert Costa pressed harder and harder in the last laps. But despite Costa's final rush, Jean-Eric Vergne drove to the win for the third time this season, though by only a few tenths of a second. The Frenchman crossed the line ahead of Albert Costa and Antonio Felix da Costa. Antonio Felix da Costa remains the overall leader of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 with just two points more than Albert Costa and ten points over Jean-Eric Vergne.
Jean-Eric Vergne: "I am very happy with this win on my home turf. For the moment, everything is going perfectly. Also, this is where I learned to drive at the Autosport Academy. It's thanks to them and to the FFSA that I'm now part of the Red Bull Junior Team. It's a very good school and I'd like to thank them all."
Albert Costa: "For me, Vergne is boss of the track now: all credit to him! He won pole position, he took the race win -- a bit like I did at Barcelona. I'm very happy because I'm on the podium again and I'm consistent. We'll have to carry on working to devise a way to win a race and hope to beat Jean-Eric tomorrow."
Antonio Felix da Costa: "I got off to a good start but I was struggling a little with the car in the first half of this season. Then I got back on course and the gap stabilised. It's not bad for the championship - it's always good to score points but from now on things are getting closer and closer. We're going to have to find a solution to get back to winning ways again."