NEC: Series Spa summary

NEC gets Danish Vice - Champion at Spa - Francorchamps After Antonio Felix Da Costa secured the 2009 title on the last racing weekend already, Kevin Magnussen is this season's runner up Champion. The Motopark driver has managed to be in podium...

NEC gets Danish Vice - Champion at Spa - Francorchamps

After Antonio Felix Da Costa secured the 2009 title on the last racing weekend already, Kevin Magnussen is this season's runner up Champion. The Motopark driver has managed to be in podium for the twelfth time this year, rightfully taking the second place in the Northern European Cup.

The Racing Festival at Spa - Francorchamps was the location for the last round of the Northern European Cup 2009. As usual in the Belgian Ardennes, the weather played a major part in the course of this weekend's events.

The seventeen Formula Renault 2 litres that had come to Spa, started off on Friday with lap times in the low 2 minutes 20 in the free practice. As EUROCUP did 2.18 during the World Series by Renault in May, the NEC cars still had some things to improve before going into qualifying later that day. Of course, the cool temperatures and wet track that come with racing on this track in October made the EUROCUP times, quite of reach, but in the end Antonio Felix da Costa managed a 2.20.868 as fasted driver in the qualification.

The start of race number one on Saturday the 3rd of October was marked as 'wet race' by the wise men in Race control. Although the track was drying and there was no further rain expected all teams started the race on slicks.

When the cars were all ready in their starting positions, moments before the lights would go off, Bart Hylkema took things into his own hands and drove off. This caused an abortion of the starting procedure and the Formula Renault 2 litres went for another formation lap instead. Because Kevin Korjus made a jumpstart as well, both cars had to start at the complete end of the grid.

When the starting lights finally switched off, Daniel de Jong had a great start and was in third place coming through for the second lap. Meanwhile, Felix Da Costa and Magnussen had been able to maintain their lead. A little further on in the field, Sorensen is able to take the position of Daniel de Jong in the second lap only to loose it again to Daniel further one in the race. At this moment, Adrian Quaife Hobbs takes the opportunity and is able to pass the driver from the Renault Development Programme as well.

In the middle of the field there was a fierce battle between seven cars for position eight to fourteen. Motopark driver Giermaziak and Derani in front, were at good speed but could not loose the faster Korjus. Hylkema, who was fighting his way back again after starting from last position, was very close to these three, and chased by Karl Oscar Liiv and two cars from the Koiranen Brothers. The seven cars continually competing for position, is another indication of the competitive nature of the Northern European Cup. Even though there was a lot of action in the back of the top ten, the first three did not change position anymore. Felix da Costa, Magnussen and De Jong could find there way to the podium on the Saturday afternoon.

The second race of the weekend was set for Sunday the fourth of October, at 14.10. Although there were many races before that day, the rain kept coming back and gave a complete wet track. As it kept poring down with water, all cars left on rain tyres.

Julian Eisenreich who did an excellent job in the first race by finishing on seventh place, could start from the second position on the Sunday afternoon. However, he lost his front wing by warming up in the formation lap, and by doing so he could see his chances for a good race result disappear. A shame for the youngest driver in the field, who has proven to be very fast and competitive during the rest of the season.

At the start of the second race, Marco Sorensen took the lead from Brazilian Derani. Antonio Felix da Costa coming from eight position had an even better start relatively speaking, overtaking six cars in the first lap, taking second position behind his young Danish team member. Another one of the Motopark cars has big problems; Kuba Giermaziak gets off track and damages his car too much to be able to continue the race. Best of the rest is at that moment Toomas Heikkinen for Koiranen Brothers, who can keep up quite well and manages to stay in fifth position for the duration of the race.

Adrian Quaife Hobbs had already done some good business at the start, by getting into third position in the field. He is very fast at that moment and comes closer and closer towards Antonio Felix da Costa, still in second place. Both front-runners are side by side in the sixth and seventh lap. The battle came to an end when Quaife made another attempt to overtake, but briefly lost control and also had to let Kevin Magnussen pass.

Sorensen could celebrate the last race of the season with his first win, joined on the podium by Antonio Felix da Costa and Kevin Magnussen. After sixteen races with eight different winners, the organization of the Northern European Cup can look back on a very competitive season, offering a good perspective for the season of 2010.

-credit: nec

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Adrian Quaife-Hobbs , Marco Sorensen , Antonio Felix da Costa , Kevin Magnussen , Bart Hylkema , Kevin Korjus , Toomas Heikkinen , Jakub Giermaziak