Assen NEC: Norris keeps points lead, shares wins with Defourny
Lando Norris took a dominant win in Race 1 of the Formula 2.0 NEC's Assen weekend, while Max Defourny outduelled the Briton for victory in Race 2.
Norris held the lead at the start of Race 1 as Josef Kaufmann teammate Jehan Daruvala dropped two places to fourth going into Turn 1.
Meanwhile, Tech 1 Racing’s Dorian Boccolacci made a perfect start to gain two places to second with R-ace GP’s Defourny keeping third.
Up ahead, championship leader Norris’ lead was under no threat as he took his fifth win of the season at ease, with Boccolacci unable to mount a challenge, finishing 4.388s adrift.
It was a close fight behind, with Indian Daruvala completing the podium, having fended off race long pressure from Sacha Fenestraz.
Both Daruvala and Fenestraz gained a place on Lap 9, when Defourny lost two places in a space of few corners, the trio separated by a mere 0.988s over the finishing line.
Fortec’s Nikita Troitskiy originally finished sixth, keeping teammate Ferdinand Habsburg behind, but the Russian’s five-second time penalty for a jump start meant he dropped to 10th.
As a result Habsburg was sixth, the Austrian overtaking Josef Kaufmann Racing’s Robert Shwartzman at the start, with the Russian unable to get back ahead, ending 0.648s off.
Fortec’s Bruno Baptista made up four places to finish eighth, with Tech 1 Racing’s Hugo de Sadeleer ninth.
Defourny supreme in Race 2
Only last weekend Norris and Defourny had engaged in an epic duel at Spa-Francorchamps, where the British driver came on top.
But fast forward to Assen’s Race 2, it was Defourny’s turn to get the better of Norris, in yet another fantastic battle between the two.
Norris got a perfect start to lead the race going into Turn 1, with teammate Daruvala holding second.
It was Defourny who had the best getaway, moving ahead of Boccolacci and Fenestraz, to slot himself behind the Indian Daruvala.
The R-ace GP man was clearly the faster driver in the battle for second and after few laps, Defourny swept past Daruvala.
It was then nearly four seconds between Defourny and Norris for the race lead, but within a few laps, the Belgian was all over the British driver.
Defourny tried a few moves on Norris and finally made it stick on the penultimate lap in the final chicane, going around the outside of Norris to take the lead.
The Belgian was then able to keep Norris behind to take his third win of the season, with Daruvala completing the podium, fending off the immense pressure from Boccolacci, as just 0.293s separated the two.
Tech 1’s Fenestraz was fifth ahead of Will Palmer, the latter having passed the Frenchman at the start, only to yield position later on.
Josef Kaufmann Racing’s Shwartzman won the battle this time to keep Habsburg behind for seventh, while Alex Gill and Troitskiy completed the top 10.
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