NEC 2.0: Series Hockenheim summary

Flying Finn Valtteri Bottas takes two wins at Hockenheim A very traditional German motorsport event, the 37th edition of the ADAC Rheintalrennen, organised by the RMSC Kirrlach-Wiesenthal im ADAC, marked the season finale of the 2007 Northern ...

Flying Finn Valtteri Bottas takes two wins at Hockenheim

A very traditional German motorsport event, the 37th edition of the ADAC Rheintalrennen, organised by the RMSC Kirrlach-Wiesenthal im ADAC, marked the season finale of the 2007 Northern European Cup Formula Renault 2.0. Finnish Koirainen Bros-driver Valtteri Bottas finally scored that long- awaited first victory and then doubled up with another win in the final round of the season. Paul Meijer scored a pair of second places for AR Motorsport, while AKA Cobra Racing's Adam Christodoulou finished third in both events.

Race 1: With temperatures only just above zero degrees Centigrade and a track that was still damp after a cold night, the Northern European Cup Formula Renault 2.0 kicked off the action on race day at the Hockenheimring Baden-Wurttemberg. All drivers bar David Sigacev opted for rain tyres and there were two formation laps to allow the drivers to get familiar with the situation on the wet track, all previous practice sessions having been held in the dry. Ryan Borthwick (AK Cobra Racing) was unfortunate enough to have to start from the pitlane as his engine stalled as he wanted to set off for the formation lap.

In spite of the early morning hour, the drivers were already wide awake, as they proved with spirited battles and exciting position fights throughout the field. Out in front, there was a nice fight with Nicky Catsburg (MP Motorsport), Steffen Moller (Team Formula Sport), Adam Christodoulou and Paul Meijer virtually changing positions on every lap. Man of the race, however, was a charging Valtteri Bottas. Having started ninth, the flying Finn lived up to his reputation and quickly moved up through the ranks, eventually taking the lead on lap seven. From then on, he made no mistakes and finally drove his maiden victory home.

Paul Meijer complained about massive understeer problems, but still came home second from British driver Adam Christodoulou. Apart from Bottas, whose maiden win was obviously also his best season result to date, there were also best results for Dutchman Nicky Catsburg in fourth place, Nathan Caratti (AKA Cobra Racing) in seventh and Mateusz Adamski (MP Motorsport) in tenth place. The Polish driver had stalled at the start and dropped back to the back of the field, but recovered quickly.

Valtteri Bottas: "Finally, my first victory! This has been a long time coming and I am really glad I pulled it off today. I had a good start, great speed, and everything just fell into place. It all just felt really good and I am very happy."

Paul Meijer: "The start was all right and on the first laps I could pull away. However, I had massive understeer so that I was not only fighting with Bottas, who was catching up very quickly, but also with my car. Eventually, there was nothing I could do to keep Bottas behind me, so I had to make do with second."

Adam Christodoulou: "My start was not very good, but the race was really exciting! There was so much overtaking going on during the first couple of laps that I wasn't able to keep track as to which place I was in. It was good fun and I am happy with my podium finish."

Race 2: For the second race, the final round of the season, the track was still wet after some rain showers earlier on, but rain had stopped. Having qualified second, Paul Meijer had a rather poor start due to lack of grip while Valtteri Bottas made the best use of his pole position and took the lead, well inspired by his win earlier on the day and eager to repeat that success. Gwendolyn Hertzberger (AR Motorsport) showed a remarkable performance. She had qualified 15th, but returned from the opening lap in ninth place, her best effort of the season. However, some unfortunate situations during the race made her drop back again and she eventually came home 15th. MP Motorsport's Nick Catsburg had bad luck, too: he had a good start, but spun and dropped back to 17th. He still gained a few places and finished 12th.

Meanwhile, Valtteri Bottas motored on to his second victory of the weekend, winning from Paul Meijer and Adam Christodoulou. Dimitri Rahklin (SL Formula Racing) scored his best season result in fourth from Nathan Caratti. A little bit further down in the field, there was some nice racing going on involving Steffen Moller, Daniel Aho (Koirainen Bros.) and Ryan Borthwick (AKA Cobra Racing) with a couple of position changes.

Valtteri Bottas: "I had a good start and really pushed on my first lap to get ahead of Meijer as he is always fast. Then the team indicated to me that I was six seconds ahead, so I took it a little bit easier and just drove a fast but safe race. As a rookie I am very happy with the overall result of the season and I really enjoyed racing in the NEC Formula Renault 2.0 this year."

Paul Meijer: "I had absolutely no grip at the start. I saw Bottas getting away. After the first race, we changed the set-up of the car so that I had no more understeer. In fact, I even had a little bit of oversteer, but that is easier to drive with. I spun once when I was pushing and didn't take care, but second place is still a good result. I have finished seventh in the champkonship, so I am quite happy."

Adam Christodoulou: "It was a bit of a lonely race for me. I had a good start and once I had overtaken Nathan Caratti I just kept my speed and had my second podium finish this weekend."


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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Valtteri Bottas , Paul Meijer , Nathan Caratti , Adam Christodoulou , Nicky Catsburg , David Sigacev
Teams MP Motorsport , Formula Racing