De Sadeleer clinches maiden win as Norris closes on title

Hugo de Sadeleer - Credit: Jean Michel Le Meur / DPPI

Hugo de Sadeleer stormed to his maiden Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 victory at Spa-Francorchamps, but Lando Norris’ podium finish moved him closer to the title on Saturday.

After Max Defourny was penalised for jumping the start, de Sadeleer swept into the lead having moved through from sixth on the grid, and was never threatened as the Tech 1 Racing driver won by 1.417 seconds from team-mate Dorian Boccolacci.

Defourny, who went into the race sitting second in the championship, jumped into the lead from third on the grid at the start, but only after moving well before the lights went out, and was rightfully handed a drive-through penalty that saw him fall out of contention not only for the win but also points.

De Sadeleer had worked his way up to second by this point, with his start enabling him to run third before a pass on the Kemmel Straight saw him pass Norris before inheriting the lead when Defourny took his trip through the pit lane.

Norris had already survived a first lap clash with fellow Briton Will Palmer, who broke his front wing against the rear tyre of the Josef Kaufmann Racing driver and fell to the back of the pack before retiring in the pits at the end of the lap.

Norris kept Boccolacci honest throughout the twelve lap race, but despite threatening to pass the Frenchman was forced to settle for third, but the fifteen points puts him 53.5 ahead of Defourny with three races of the season to go, and can clinch the title on Sunday.

Sacha Fenestraz made it three Tech 1 Racing drivers inside the top four, while James Allen drove one of his strongest drives of the season to take fifth for JD Motorsport, passing another Tech 1 driver in the form of Gabriel Aubry in the closing laps.

Ferdinand Habsburg was seventh for Fortec Motorsports ahead of team-mate Nikita Troitskiy, with Jehan Daruvala ninth for Josef Kaufmann Racing having found himself disposed in the closing laps by Troitskiy.

Julien Falchero was tenth for R-ace GP, while his team-mate Defourny could only recover to eleventh, which gave him a solitary point with wildcard racer Troitskiy eligible for points.

It was also a disappointing day for Harrison Scott, who failed to score points after a mid-race clash with Robert Shwartzman that resulted in the former taking to the pit lane for a new front wing and the latter retiring with a left rear puncture.

Spa-Francorchamps Race 1 Result

110Hugo de SadeleerSWITech 1 Racing27:57.292
29Dorian BoccolacciFRATech 1 Racing+1.417
32Lando NorrisGBRJosef Kaufmann Racing+2.204
411Sacha FenestrazSWITech 1 Racing+5.367
518James AllenAUSJD Motorsport+7.333
612Gabriel AubryFRATech 1 Racing+8.492
762Ferdinand HabsburgAUTFortec Motorsports+11.760
87Nikita TroitskiyRUSFortec Motorsports+15.325
91Jehan DaruvalaINDJosef Kaufmann Racing+16.774
1016Julien FalcheroFRAR-Ace GP+17.455
1133Max DefournyBELR-Ace GP+20.557
1217Alexey KorneevRUSJD Motorsport+30.305
1345Guislain CordeelBELGMMA Formula Racing+31.284
1422Harrison ScottGBRAVF by Adrian Valles+2:08.278
15/RET6Bruno BaptistaBRZFortec Motorsports+2 Laps
16/RET35Alessandro PerulloITATechnorace+3 Laps
17/RET21Henrique ChavesPORAVF by Adrian Valles+3 Laps
RET3Robert ShwartzmanRUSJosef Kaufmann RacingRetired
RET14Will PalmerGBRR-Ace GPRetired