Paul Meijer amazes It was a frantic start which dealt each driver a new hand. The leaders closed the door from the first lap, benefitting Paul Meijer (MP Motosport) who claimed his first victory in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 beating Cesar Ramos...
Paul Meijer amazes
It was a frantic start which dealt each driver a new hand. The leaders closed the door from the first lap, benefitting Paul Meijer (MP Motosport) who claimed his first victory in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 beating Cesar Ramos (BVM Minardi Team) and Daniel Zampieri (BVM Minardi Team), both of whom were on the podium for the first time.
In the Belgian sunshine, Valtteri Bottas (Motopark Academy) and Daniel Ricciardo (SG Formula) made up the front row ahead of Andrea Caldarelli (SG Formula) and Roberto Merhi (Epsilon Euskadi). The forty eight Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 single seaters were ready for the second race of the season.
Valtteri Bottas made a false-start. He climbed the raidillon leading the rest of the pack. Andrea Caldarelli and Albert Costa (Eppsilon Euskadi) touched, creating confusion in the main field. Roberto Merhi damaged his front wing, Andrea Caldarelli, Albert Costa, Mathieu Arzeno (Espilon Sport) and Adrian Quaife-Hobbs (BVM Minardi Team) held on to their positions, while Valtteri Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo lost places. Cesar Ramos took advantage and completed the first lap in the lead, ahead of Paul Meijer, Daniel Zampieri, Roberto Merhi, Valtteri Bottas, Daniel Ricciardo, Michel Facin (Jenzer Motorsport) and Siso Cunil (Jenzer Motorsport).
The positions changed and Daniel Ricciardo, now fourth, began to make progress, whilst Nelson Lukes (SG Formula) lost his front wing at Eau Rouge. The safety car then came out to allow the race marshals to clear the debris from the circuit.
Paul Meijer took control, just before the Safety Car was brought out, leading Cesar Ramos, Daniel Zampieri, Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas.
After the restart, the race order remained the same. Cesar Ramos tried to pass Paul Meijer. Daniel Zampieri's third place was equally hotly contested by Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas, both determined to make up places. Valtteri Bottas picked up a 'Drive Through' for his false-start, leaving the two Daniels to fight for the remaining place on the podium.
The battle for sixth place was equally undecided. Tobias Hegewald (Motorpark Academy), Siso Cunil, Pal Varhaug (Jenzer Motorsport), Tristan Vautier (Epsilon Sport), Michel Faccin and Antonio Felix Da Costa (Motorpark Academy) changed positions several times.
Ahead, Paul Meijer opened up the gap on Cesar Ramos who himself had a comfortably lead over Zampieri and Ricciardo. The Australian was keen to pass the Italian, but the latter managed to hold him off, not making the slightest mistake. Daniel Ricciardo took enormous risks, especially at the La Source hairpin or at the bottom of the Raidillon at Eau Rouge, but to no avail as Daniel Zampieri held on to his first podium place in the category.
In the end Paul Meijer claimed his first victory in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, negotiating the pitfalls and driving a faultless race right to the finishing line. Cesar Ramos gave a good performance, finishing second ahead of Daniel Zampieri who did a magnificent job of holding off Daniel Ricciardo in fourth place. Tobias Hegewald completed the top five.
In the overall standings for the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, Daniel Ricciardo leads with 22 points above Daniel Zampieri with 18 points and Cesar Ramos 17 points.
Paul Meijer: "From the fifth row I made a good start. Then I saw the collision ahead of me, with cars all over the place. I managed to avoid it and found myself in second place. After that I overtook Cesar one lap before the Safety Car. I still don't know if I can do this all season, but I hope this win will help."
Cesar Ramos: "The first lap was crazy! I'm pleased for the BVM Minardi team. This is my first podium place, it's a great feeling."
Daniel Zampieri: "I don't really know what happened to get through the other cars at the start. At the end of the race it was really difficult to hold off Daniel Ricciardo who was really quick. I stayed focused, because I wanted my first podium place."