Boccolacci wins race but title goes to Norris

Dorian Boccolacci in front at Spa - Credit: Florent Gooden / DPPI

Dorian Boccolacci took his second Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 victory of the season at Spa-Francorchamps but the day belonged to Lando Norris, whose second place was enough to clinch the championship.

Boccolacci came out on top of a four car scrap for the win in the closing stages, with the Frenchman making a pass on long-time race leader Hugo de Sadeleer, who was unable to make it a double victory at Spa despite taking the lead on the opening lap after a great start from third on the grid.

De Sadeleer made the move to take the lead at Les Combes on lap one from pole sitter Max Defourny, with the two clashing that saw the Belgian’s challenge fade with a broken wing that required a pit stop and meant the opportunity to take the championship battle to Estoril disappeared.

Boccolacci was a man on a mission as he closed down the gap to Tech 1 Racing team-mate de Sadeleer before making a move stick to take the lead with just three laps to go, while Norris slipped through into second on the penultimate lap as de Sadeleer was delayed as he attempted to re-pass Boccolacci at Les Combes.

Sacha Fenestraz was the fourth car in the chain, and at one point Tech 1 Racing held the top three positions with Josef Kaufmann Racing’s Norris in fourth, but the last few laps saw the quartet battle for the race win and podium honours.

Harrison Scott drove a relatively quiet race to fifth for the AVF by Adrian Vallés team, but behind him it was often chaotic, with Nikita Troitskiy taking the chequered flag sixth only to be handed a two-place penalty for passing off-track, meaning R-ace GP’s Julien Falchero was promoted to sixth ahead of AVF’s Henrique Chaves.

Will Palmer recovered from an early spin while battling Fenestraz to take ninth for R-ace GP, slipping passed Ferdinand Habsburg on the approach to the chequered flag as the Fortec Motorsports driver slowed up.

Alessandro Perullo also got passed the Austrian, but unfortunately for the Italian, who looked as though he was set to score his first points of the season for his Technorace squad, he was handed a ten-second penalty for exceeding track limits that relegated him to thirteenth.

With Troitskiy again ineligible to score points due to being a wildcard entrant, Bruno Baptista claimed the final point despite being classified eleventh ahead of JD Motorsport’s Alexey Korneev and Perullo.

It was an eventful, if not short race for Jehan Daruvala, with the Indian racer penalised early for gaining an advantage while running off track at Blanchimont, before colliding with James Allen at Les Combes that ended both their days.

But no one could deny Boccolacci the race win, and for Norris it was a great effort despite suffering with neck issues to claim second, and become the 2016 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 champion. He has an eye on making it a double as he leads the 2.0 NEC standings as well with just one round to go.

Spa-Francorchamps Race 2 Result

19Dorian BoccolacciFRATech 1 Racing27:48.737
22Lando NorrisGBRJosef Kaufmann Racing+0.644
310Hugo de SadeleerSWITech 1 Racing+1.185
411Sacha FenestrazSWITech 1 Racing+1.645
522Harrison ScottGBRAVF by Adrian Valles+5.252
616Julien FalcheroFRAR-Ace GP+13.537
721Henrique ChavesPORAVF by Adrian Valles+16.479
87Nikita TroitskiyRUSFortec Motorsports+16.500
914Will PalmerGBRR-Ace GP+16.670
1062Ferdinand HabsburgAUTFortec Motorsports+17.700
116Bruno BaptistaBRZFortec Motorsports+18.196
1217Alexey KorneevRUSJD Motorsport+18.305
1335Alessandro PerulloITATechnorace+27.532
143Robert ShwartzmanRUSJosef Kaufmann Racing+35.186
1533Max DefournyBELR-Ace GP+59.436
1618James AllenAUSJD MotorsportRetired
171Jehan DaruvalaINDJosef Kaufmann RacingRetired
1812Gabriel AubryFRATech 1 RacingRetired
DNS45Guislain CordeelBELGMMA Formula RacingDid Not Start