Nurburgring NEC: Shwartzman takes maiden win, Norris extends lead
Josef Kaufmann Racing duo Robert Shwartzman and Lando Norris claimed wins in Race 1 and Race 2 respectively in the Nurburgring Formula Renault 2.0 NEC weekend.
Norris lost his lead from pole at the start of Race 1, as front-row starter Shwartzman got a better getaway to take the inside line going into Turn 1.
The British driver fought back, but the young Russian had it covered as the two then were involved in a race-long battle for the win.
After a brief safety car period, Norris once again was on an attack mode but was held back by Shwartzman.
A last-gasp move from the British driver on the final lap didn’t work as the SMP-backed driver took his first FR2.0 NEC win by a mere 0.432s.
Behind, R-ace GP’s Max Defourny completed the podium, ahead of Josef Kaufmann Racing’s third car of Jehan Daruvala and Tech 1’s Dorian Boccolacci.
All three cars benefitted from a poor start from Sacha Fenestraz, who eventually finished sixth - unable to make a move on teammate Boccolacci towards the end of the race.
MBM’s Alex Gill made a place on Tech 1’s Hugo de Sadeleer to end up seventh, with Fortec’s duo of Bruno Baptista and Ferdinand Habsburg ninth and 10th - the latter overtaking Julien Falchero.
Norris survives safety car re-start to Race 2 win
The start of second race was delayed due to foggy weather at Nurburgring. Once it got going, Norris from pole got a good start to keep his lead, as fight ensued for second behind.
Front-row starter Daruvala and Defourny made slight contact going into Turn 1, pushing the Indian to third with the Belgian slotting in at second.
The field was bunched up together soon after Race 1 winner Shwartzman retired after tangling with three rivals on the opening lap, with a four-wide situation into Turn 1.
Ahead, Norris kept his lead at the re-start from Defourny, as Daruvala came under tremendous pressure from Tech 1 drivers de Sadeleer and Boccolacci along with rookie Marcus Armstrong.
The Force India protégé managed to hold on to third as Armstrong emerged in fourth, beating de Sadeleer and Boccolacci.
But, in a battle, the Frenchman went off-course and spun, losing his car's entire nose section as he collided with Habsburg, bringing out another safety car.
Once it was cleared, Norris also survived the second restart, keeping a fast Defourny at bay for the rest of the race, to take his sixth win of the season and extend his points lead.
Behind, Daruvala claimed the final rostrum spot with Kiwi debutant Armstrong in a strong fourth ahead of the lead Tech 1 of de Sadeleer.
Fenestraz finished sixth with Falchero seventh, Baptista making up four places to eighth, as James Allen took ninth and Alexey Korneev completed the top 10.
Paul Ricard Eurocup: Norris seals rookie title with dominant Race 2 win
Spa Eurocup: De Sadeleer takes maiden win after Defourny's jump start