Briton leads from lights to flag in Germany
Jon Lancaster has claimed his second sprint race victory in a week with a strong, mature race this morning at the Nurburgring, leading all the way from the start to win ahead of countryman James Calado and Fabio Leimer.
The Hilmer driver lined up on the front row next to poleman Tom Dillmann, outdragged the Frenchman when the lights went out, and claimed a lead which would not be challenged into turn one, with Dillmann clearly holding up Calado, Leimer, Marcus Ericsson, Sam Bird, Felipe Nasr and Stefano Coletti.
Calado was all over the back of Dillmann but was unable to find a line through when Daniel De Jong and Stéphane Richelmi came together behind them, with the Monegasque driver stuck in the middle of the circuit to bring out the safety car as the marshals got to work. The race ran live two laps later, with Calado claiming P2 at the hairpin next time through.
Further back Robin Frijns was on a charge: he disposed title leaders Coletti and Nasr with ease to put himself behind Bird: with teammate Dillmann slowing ahead, the Briton was looking to get past Ericsson when Frijns went for a gap which probably wasn’t there and spun to the back from the inevitable collision before retiring with damage shortly afterwards.
As the laps wound down, those with fresher tyres were given a clear advantage: Dillmann dropped like a stone before eventually retiring, while Nasr dispatched Bird and Ericsson with ease, with Cecotto following suit. But at the front it was Lancaster who had the pace left to repel a late race challenge from Calado to win by 1.5 seconds, with Leimer out of tyres but able to hold on for third because his rivals were held up for so long.
Nasr turned around his recent misfortune for a strong race to P4, with Cecotto running through his rivals late in the race for fifth, ahead of Alexander Rossi, Mitch Evans and a clearly struggling Bird. Coletti holds on to the title lead on 135 points, ahead of Nasr on 108, Bird on 90, Leimer on 88, Calado on 84 and Lancaster up to 6th on 65 points. Carlin retake the lead in the teams’ title from Rapax, 147 points to 143, ahead of RUSSIAN TIME on 137, Hilmer Motorsport on 112 and Racing Engineering on 110 points ahead of the next round in Budapest.