Nato's hat trick in the last round Norman Nato finished the 2010 season as he had begun - with a victory! After setting pole he won the race bagging the fastest lap in the process. His second success helped him consolidate his runner-up spot ...
Nato's hat trick in the last round
Norman Nato finished the 2010 season as he had begun - with a victory! After setting pole he won the race bagging the fastest lap in the process. His second success helped him consolidate his runner-up spot in the F4 1.6 Eurocup Championship. Mathieu Jaminet was second in the final race and finished third overall, and Alexandre Mantovani rounded off his season with his third podium finish. Starting the next day these three drivers as well as Stoffel Vandoorne, Paul-Loup Chatin, Paul Lanchere, Jean-Baptiste Lahaye, Pierre Sancinena and Pierre Nicolet took part in two collective test sessions in the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup car. The aim was to give them their first taste of this single-seater in view of the 2011 season. Côme Ledogar, Auto Sport Academy member in 2008, set the fastest lap in 1m 46.231s.
The final race of the 2010 season was run in poor weather conditions. The Auto Sport Academy drivers took advantage of a lull, and pole sitter Norman Nato made a great flying start compared to his direct rival in the championship, Mathieu Jaminet. Alexandre Mantovani and Stoffel Vandoorne were already at it hammer and tongs, while Franck Matelli was locked in combat with Paul-Loup Chatin. The latter was in the running for the final podium and he tried to pull in the leading duo, not an easy task! With one lap gone Nato and Jaminet had already made the break, while behind them came a tightly-packed group led by Mantovani. Tristan Papavoine pitted and was unable to restart due to a holed radiator after contact with a rival's wheel. Sancinena was glued to Chatin's gearbox ready to attack - which he did next time round.
Nato had opened up a cushion, but Jaminet never gave up and pushed hard to catch the leader. Behind these two the battle raged all down the field, between Sebastien Lebras and Alexandre Anezo in particular as well as Giada de Zen and Pierre Nicolet. But all eyes were focused on the no-holds-barred scrap for third place between Mantovani and Vandoorne. The ACO-Auto Hebdo Volant winner did not crack under pressure from the 2010 Champion. Just after half distance, Alexandre Anezo retired due to mechanical problems after pulling back four places. Paul Lanchere also gained four places, and passed Maxime Raphoz to take eighth. But the latter fought back and tried to find an opening while fighting off Jean-Baptiste Lahaye who got past him on the last lap! Despite several attempts, Chatin did not manage to overtake Sancinena.
Nato went on to score his second win of the season followed by Jaminet, Mantovani and Vandoorne. Matelli rounded out the first five and he also finished fifth in the championship in front of Sancinena and Chatin, fourth in the F4 1.6 Eurocup. Behind came Lanchere, Lahaye and Raphoz. Just outside the top ten, Alexandre Jouannem-Sivan and Valentin Simonet had a race-long battle with the latter emerging on top.
Norman Nato : "It wasn't an easy race as the track was damp in several places. You really had to concentrate hard not to make a stupid mistake. It's good to be back on the topmost step of the podium but I'd like to have done it sooner!"
Mathieu Jaminet : "Today, I couldn't do any better than second against Norman, but I've no regrets as I've achieved the aim I set myself at the start of the year - to finish in the top three."
Alexandre Mantovani : "It's nice to finish the season on the podium, my third of the year. I lost contact with Mathieu after the start, and Stoffel put a lot of pressure on me. In addition, my tyres started to go off towards the end of the race, and I had problems changing down at one moment. In short it wasn't easy to hold onto third, but I managed."
-source: renault sport