Norris triumphs in wet Spa-Francorchamps opener

Lando Norris - Credit: Craig Robertson /

Lando Norris became the first driver in 2016 to win three times in the Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup as he took the victory in the opening race at a wet Spa-Francorchamps on Friday.

The British Josef Kaufmann Racing driver survived the early challenge from Dorian Boccolacci and the intervention of the safety car when Ghislain Cordeel crashed at Les Combes, pulling out a gap to take the victory by 8.155 seconds.

Boccolacci’s second place, coupled with Jehan Daruvala’s seventh place finish, ensured the Tech 1 Racing driver returned to the head of the championship standings, with the Frenchman having to hold off the challenge of JD Motorsport’s James Allen in the closing stages, the Australian driver finishing on the podium for the first time in his Formula Renault 2.0 career.

Alex Gill continued his ever-improving race craft with a strong drive to fourth for Mark Burdett Motorsport, his best finish of the season so far, with Henrique Chaves also bettering his best with fifth for AVF.

Robert Shwartzman was sixth for Josef Kaufmann Racing ahead of team-mate Daruvala, while Julien Falchero of R-ace GP, Antoni Ptak of Cram Motorsport and Sacha Fenestraz of Tech 1 Racing completed the top ten.

Max Defourny had a day to forget, with the R-ace GP driver unable to set a time during a red flag affected qualifying session, and then suffered with power loss that saw him make several visits to the pits.

Will Palmer was amongst three drivers who did not start the race alongside Bruno Baptista and Pietro Peccenini, who all damaged their cars in incidents during qualifying.

Spa-Francorchamps Race 1 Result

12Lando NorrisGBRJosef Kaufmann Racing25:16.371
29Dorian BoccolacciFRATech 1 Racing+8.155
318James AllenAUSJD Motorsport+9.173
427Alex GillGBRMark Burdett Motorsport+17.678
521Henrique ChavesPORAVF by Adrian Valles+21.016
63Robert ShwartzmanRUSJosef Kaufmann Racing+22.044
71Jehan DaruvalaINDJosef Kaufmann Racing+26.069
816Julien FalcheroFRAR-Ace GP+31.210
940Antoni PtakPOLCram Motorsport+33.154
1011Sacha FenestrazSWITech 1 Racing+33.947
1112Gabriel AubryFRATech 1 Racing+34.760
1262Ferdinand HabsburgAUTFortec Motorsports+39.053
135Vasily RomanovRUSFortec Motorsports+43.621
1496Bartlomiej MireckiPOLBM Racing Team+46.467
1577Laurents HorrGERDutt Motorsport+54.627
1610Hugo de SadeleerSWITech 1 Racing+55.456
177Nikita TroitskiyRUSFortec Motorsports+57.299
1832Kasper LarsenDENKEO Racing+1:10.964
1928Finlay HutchinsonGBRMark Burdett Motorsport+1:12.719
2036Thomas NeubauerFRAFormula Motorsport+1:16.641
2137Nicolas MelinFRAFormula Motorsport+1:25.763
2242Julia PankiewiczPOLAVF by Adrian Valles+1:32.855
2394Philippe HaezebrouckFRAFormula Motorsport+1:36.541
NC33Max DefournyBELR-Ace GPNot Classified
RET24Nerses IsaakyanRUSAVF by Adrian VallesRetired
RET17Aleksey KorneevRUSJD MotorsportRetired
RET35Ghislain CordeelBELJD MotorsportRetired
DNS6Bruno BaptistaBRZFortec MotorsportsDid Not Start
DNS14Will PalmerGBRR-Ace GPDid Not Start
DNS73Pietro PecceniniITATS CorseDid Not Start