Albuquerque puts an end to the suspense Filipe Albuquerque has taken the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 title after bagging another victory here in Barcelona. Having already added the North European Cup to his trophy cabinet, the Motopark Academy...
Albuquerque puts an end to the suspense
Filipe Albuquerque has taken the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 title after bagging another victory here in Barcelona. Having already added the North European Cup to his trophy cabinet, the Motopark Academy driver is a worthy successor to Kamui Kobayashi as the title-holder. He will receive a 200,000 euro grant to finance a drive in World Series Formula Renault 3.5 next season. In a repeat of yesterday, the Portuguese driver was joined on the podium by Tom Dillmann (SG Formula) and Kasper Andersen (JD Motorsport).
After race one, nine drivers were hit with 25-second penalties for having set their fastest laps while the yellow flag was out. The offenders were Van Dam, Campos, Maasen, Mustonen, Panciatici, Edwards, Marsoin, Werner and Alcaraz. Going into this final race, Van der Drift and Van Dam were tied for the lead in the overall standings with 86 points each ahead of Albuquerque (84 pts) and Baguette (82 pts)!
Filipe Albuquerque got off to an excellent start from pole position. He turned into the opening corner first ahead of Tom Dillmann and Kasper Andersen. Chris van der Drift (JD Motorsport) quickly moved up into fourth position. He was followed by Edoardo Piscopo (Cram Competition), Bertrand Baguette (Epsilon Euskadi) and Carlo van Dam (SG Formula), who had got boxed in on the brakes into the first bend. In the main field, things were got a little heated between John Edwards (Motopark Academy) and Daniele Zampieri (BVM Minardi), who ended up colliding.
It was Dani Clos (Jenzer Motorsport) who lost out most in the early stages, languishing back in nineteenth position! The Catalonian didn't really seem to be enjoying home advantage.
Chris Van der Drift lost two places on lap three as he was passed by both Piscopo and Baguette. Meanwhile, Albuquerque and Dillmann were opening up a slight gap over Andersen.
From here, things rapidly started to take shape: Van der Drift and Van Dam never really looked like they would be able to make it back up to the leaders. The title seemed to be going Albuquerque's way, though he remained under threat from Dillmann.
With twelve laps gone, Baguette had pulled right back up to Piscopo. But the Cram Competition driver was not going to yield to the pressure and held out until the finish!
After taking his fourth victory of the season (a record), Filipe Albuquerque exploded with joy and was able to take the opportunity to relish his title. Thanks to the points scored by Andersen and Van der Drift, the Team title went to JD Motorsport. The Italian team thus succeeds last year's title-holders SG Formula.
Filipe Albuquerque: "It's was just the perfect weekend for me. I came here to win both races and see what I could do in the Championship standings. Anything can happen in motorsport and what has just happened proves just that! The race was difficult, Tom was never far behind me but I had everything under control. My objective for next year is to make the move up to the World Series. I already had the opportunity to test the car last year. It is superb and I'm really looking forward to trying it again."
Tom Dillmann: "It's been a fine end to the season. I have always been quick since Zolder but often missed out on the podium. I have really appreciated this series of good results in recent weeks."
Kasper Andersen: "It's been a good end to the season for me with two wins in the French Championship and two podium places in the Eurocup. Filipe got in my way from the start. After that, I was a little quicker but it wasn't easy to do too much."