Robert Shwartzman gave himself a belated birthday present by taking his maiden Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup victory in Saturday’s opening race at the Nurburgring.
The SMP Racing-backed Russian, who turned seventeen on Friday, got the jump on Josef Kaufmann Racing team-mate Lando Norris into the first turn after making a superior start, and despite pressure from the championship leader, Shwartzman was able to hold on, clinching victory by 0.432 seconds.
The race was affected early by a safety car, with Nerses Isaakyan finding himself stranded at Dunlop-Kehre on the opening lap, with the first lap being a bad lap for the AVF by Adrian Vallés team, with both Isaakyan and Julia Pankiewicz retiring.
When the safety car left the track, Shwartzman held off the challenge of Norris until the chequered flag despite the Briton being on the Russian’s tail for much of the afternoon.
Max Defourny rounded out the podium for R-ace GP, shadowing Shwartzman and Norris duo throughout but at no point being close enough to challenge, with the Belgian denying Josef Kaufmann Racing a podium lock-out, with Jehan Daruvala finishing fourth.
Dorian Boccolacci finished fifth for Tech 1 Racing ahead of team-mate Sacha Fenestraz, who will be disappointed to fall to sixth after a sluggish getaway after starting third on the grid.
Alex Gill finished seventh for Mark Burdett Motorsport after getting the better of Hugo de Sadeleer of Tech 1 Racing, while Fortec Motorsports duo Bruno Baptista and Ferdinand Habsburg completed the top ten.
Nurburgring Race 1 Result
|1||3||Robert Shwartzman||RUS||Josef Kaufmann Racing||13 Laps|
|2||2||Lando Norris||GBR||Josef Kaufmann Racing||+0.432|
|3||33||Max Defourny||BEL||R-Ace GP||+2.204|
|4||1||Jehan Daruvala||IND||Josef Kaufmann Racing||+3.918|
|5||9||Dorian Boccolacci||FRA||Tech 1 Racing||+7.371|
|6||11||Sacha Fenestraz||SWI||Tech 1 Racing||+7.857|
|7||27||Alex Gill||GBR||Mark Burdett Motorsport||+10.712|
|8||10||Hugo de Sadeleer||SWI||Tech 1 Racing||+11.856|
|9||6||Bruno Baptista||BRZ||Fortec Motorsports||+14.330|
|10||62||Ferdinand Habsburg||AUT||Fortec Motorsports||+14.920|
|11||16||Julien Falchero||FRA||R-Ace GP||+17.892|
|12||96||Bartlomiej Mirecki||POL||BM Racing Team||+19.317|
|13||12||Gabriel Aubry||FRA||Tech 1 Racing||+19.716|
|14||18||James Allen||AUS||JD Motorsport||+20.292|
|15||15||Marcus Armstrong||AUS||R-Ace GP||+24.342|
|16||21||Henrique Chaves||POR||AVF by Adrian Valles||+26.684|
|17||17||Aleksey Korneev||RUS||JD Motorsport||+26.998|
|18||7||Nikita Troitskiy||RUS||Fortec Motorsports||+27.436|
|19||77||Laurents Horr||GER||Dutt Motorsport||+37.863|
|20||30||Aleksandr Vartanyan||RUS||Fortec Motorsports||+54.994|
|21||28||Finlay Hutchinson||GBR||Mark Burdett Motorsport||+57.806|
|22||32||Kasper Larsen||DEN||KEO Racing||+3 Laps|
|RET||24||Nerses Isaakyan||RUS||AVF by Adrian Valles||Retired|
|RET||42||Julia Pankiewicz||POL||AVF by Adrian Valles||Retired|