Despite losing the lead on the opening lap, Robert Shwartzman fought back to take a comfortable victory in the second Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 race from Silverstone. The R-ace GP driver leaves the weekend just 15 points behind Will Palmer, who finished second.
The second qualifying session had seen a surprise showing from a number of drivers with Shwartzamn putting in the times when it counted to better Max Defourny‘s original benchmark.
It was a surprisingly clean start from the field as Daniel Ticktum took the lead from second on the grid, due to a penalty for Defourny after Quali. Polesitter Shwartzman was not about to lie down though, edging the Arden International driver wide at Club and bringing Sacha Fenestraz and Palmer into the fight.
With Fenestraz running wide at Maggots and Ticktum getting caught up in the battle for third with the fast starting Defourny, damaging his nose, he dropped back from the top two as Shwartzman held off the attacks of Palmer.
Henrique Chaves was lamenting a poor qualifying where he’d started sixteenth, but it got worse for the Mexican as he was forced to pull off in the opening laps, bringing out the safety car. Gabriel Saucy and Fenestraz would also pull into the pits to retire during this time.
As the safety car pulled in, Palmer was immediately back of Shwartzman, but the Russian kept him at bay with a trio of British talent chasing him down.
Defourny had been running second, but ran wide at Club, while being chased by Max Fewtrell, spinning on the astroturf and dropping out of the points.
All of this saw Shwartzman take a clean and decisive second victory of the year from championship leader Palmer in second. The result moves the Russian back into second in the championship proving himself to be a real threat to the faultless Brit.
Ticktum would collect his first podium of the year, with Fewtrell maintaining his lead in the rookie standings. Raul Guzman would eventually have a quiet ride to fifth, benefiting from the retirements ahead.
Richard Verschoor had been challenging Guzman in the early stages, only to drop back into the clutches of the Australian’s Luis Leeds and Thomas Maxwell who were clearly fighting over national pride. The top ten were rounded out by Aleksey Korneev and F4 SEA champion Presley Martono who both collected their first points of the season.