Albuquerque claims first win! Portuguese driver Filipe Albuquerque (Motopark Academy) claimed his first Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 victory. Laurent Groppi (Graff Racing) took an impressive second place on his return to the ...
Albuquerque claims first win!
Portuguese driver Filipe Albuquerque (Motopark Academy) claimed his first Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 victory. Laurent Groppi (Graff Racing) took an impressive second place on his return to the international championship. Chris Van der Drift's (JD Motorsport) third place draws him level with Dani Clos (Jenzer Motorsport) at the top of the overall standings.
After finishing third in qualifying, Stefano Coletti (Cram Competition) saw his times cancelled after Scrutineering revealed that his car's fuel tank did not contain the minimum quantity of petrol stated in the regulations. The Italian must therefore start from the back row of the grid for both of the weekend's races.
The first few corners were uneventful for the 39 drivers in the starting line-up. But on turn 6 Rahel Frey (Jenzer Motorsport) lost control of her single-seater, ran wide and was then hit by Malo Olivier (Hexis Racing) as she came back onto the track.
Up at the front, Filipe Albuquerque completed the first lap in the lead. He was followed by Laurent Groppi, Chris Van der Drift, Dani Clos, Kasper Andersen (JD Motorsport), Brendon Hartley (Motorsport Arena), Carlo Van Dam (SG Formula), Jean-Karl Vernay (SG Formula), Edoardo Piscopo (Cram Competition) and Jonathan Edwards (Motorsport Arena).
Lap three saw a clash between Oliver Campos (Twincam Motorsport) and Salman Al Khalifa (Epsilon Euskadi), resulting in a premature end to the race for both drivers.
At the five-lap stage, the top ten were still very tightly bunched: less than 7'' separated Albuquerque from Edwards.
The race sprang into action on lap 9 with a cutthroat fight between Van der Drift, Clos and Andersen for the third podium spot. But in the end, the positions remained unchanged, unlike the rest of the top 10: Van Dam grabbed 6th spot from Hartley and Edwards moved into 9th ahead of Piscopo.
Meanwhile Albuquerque moved clear of Groppi and eased to the win and the fastest race lap. A clean sweep for Portugal after Alvaro Parente's win in the World Series Formula Renault 3.5 race!
Filipe Albuquerque: "We knew we'd be quick this weekend. For the moment, everything has gone perfectly with two pole positions, a win and the fastest race lap. There is not much I can say about the race. Everything went according to plan."
Laurent Groppi: "Filipe was just too quick today. This second place is positive for me and the team, given that we have not raced at this circuit before. I think we will be able to improve on a few details in time for the second race."
Chris Van der Drift: "It was a good race which has enabled me to catch up some points in the championship as Dani Clos finished behind me."