NEC 2.0: Zolder race notes

Frank Kechele half-time champions after two wins at Zolder With another pair of wins at the race track of Zolder in Belgium, German driver, Frank Kechele, extended his lead in the points' standings of the Northern European...

Frank Kechele half-time champions after two wins at Zolder

With another pair of wins at the race track of Zolder in Belgium, German driver, Frank Kechele, extended his lead in the points' standings of the Northern European Cup Formula Renault 2.0. In both races, Kechele finished ahead of his team-mate and compatriot, Tobias Hegewald. After six victories from eight races, Kechele is now half-time champion in the series. In both races at Zolder, Briton Oliver Oakes finished third.

Race 1: Although he had troubles getting away as the lights turned out, pole-sitter Frank Kechele still hold on to the lead once the field was underway towards the first corner. Soon, he pulled clear of Fabio Onidi, who managed to maintain his second place in spite of tangling with a charging Oliver Oakes, who moved up from fourth to third at the start, pipping Finn Valtteri Bottas, who had trouble. After one lap, Kechele already had a 1.6 second lead over Onidi, but on lap five, the Italian made a mistake, locking up under braking for the Jochen Rindt corner, running wide and dropping back to fifth place. Thus, Hegewald inherited second place while Oakes moved up into third. The order remained like this until the chequered flag was out. Onidi still recovered to finish fourth from Valtteri Bottas.

Frank Kechele: "I did not have a good start but could just hold my position. I saw that Onidi disappeared from my rear view mirrors on lap five and I could pull a gap. The track was very dirty which did not make things easier but the race itself was not too hard."

Tobias Hegewald: "At the start I moved up from fifth to third as Onidi and Bottas tangled. When Onidi went off I could easily overtake. It was a bit scary and slippery on the

track because of the dirt but the car was fine in the end."

Oliver Oakes: "I went from fourth to third at the start but tangled with Onidi and dropped back to fourth. Then Onidi made a mistake and I was third again. The dirt on the track bothered me and I could not drive at the limit but at least I did drive a consistent race."

Race 2: The procedure in the second race of the weekend was more or less the same as in race one, with Frank Kechele turning his pole-position into the race lead and then leading all the way to drive victory home. Tobias Hegewald held on to second place from lights to flag, while Oliver Oakes was rewarded for a charging drive, overtaking Italian driver, Fabio Onidi for third place on lap 12 of 17. A couple of drivers scored their best result of the season so far, including Swede Alexander Haegermark in sixth, Finn Joonas Kostiainen in seventh, series' novice Pascal Kochem in eighth and Brazilian Pedro Nunes in ninth.

Frank Kechele: "I had a good start and could pull a gap very quickly. I am more experienced and am able to use this to my advantage and therefore can control my race. I am very happy with another two victories this weekend."

Tobias Hegewald: "I had problems with my dashboard and could not see which gear I was in and all that, so I was a bit confused in the beginning. It was more slippery on the

track than yesterday but I still managed to set the fastest lap time."

Oliver Oakes: "I had a tough first lap as I made a mistake in the chicane. The car had some understeer and the track was very slippery, even more so than yesterday, but

I did pass Onidi and then held on to finish on the podium for the second time this weekend."

Next races: August 25-26, N

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Series Formula Renault
Drivers Tobias Hegewald , Oliver Oakes , Valtteri Bottas , Pedro Nunes , Frank Kechele