Fenestraz Wins Foggy Opener, Aubry Strikes in the Sun


Gabriel Aubry took victory in race two - Credit: Gregory Lenormand / DPPI

Current Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 championship leader Sacha Fenestraz and Gabriel Aubry shared the race victories at Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday, albeit in completely different circumstances.

Fog surrounded parts of the Belgian track on Saturday morning, and it left the race officials to force the start to be undertaken behind the safety car, and with conditions not improving, the red flags were flown with only three laps completed, with the running order at the start the result at the end, with half points being awarded.

This left Fenestraz to stand on the top step of the podium ahead of Robert Shwartzman and Yifei Ye, with Max Defourny, Max Fewtrell, Aubry, Richard Verschoor, Neil Verhagen, Will Palmer and Thomas Randle completing the points scorers.

Luckily the weather cleared for race two, and Fenestraz got the jump on fellow front row starter Aubry heading into La Source, but the Tech 1 Racing driver managed to get ahead of the Josef Kaufmann Racing star heading into Les Combes, just as the safety car boards were displayed for a heavy first lap crash at Radillion for Gilles Magnus.

Magnus was trying to attack one of the Red Bull-backed MP Motorsport drivers heading through Eau Rouge, only to lose control on the exit of the turn, with the R-ace GP racer hitting the barriers on the outside of the track viciously, with the Belgian being taken to the medical centre after being helped from his car.

Aubry controlled the restart superbly, and despite making a few attempts down the Kemmel Straight, Fenestraz could not find a way through, and a penultimate lap move saw him not only fail to pass Aubry but also fall behind Defourny after running off track at Les Combes.

Aubry took his third win of the season by 0.633 seconds from Defourny, while Fenestraz was able to extend his championship advantage by claiming the bottom step of the podium, but he will be disappointed not to convert his pole position into a second victory of the day.

Shwartzman’s season continues to fall away from him, with the Russian receiving a twenty-five second time penalty post-race for overtaking during the safety car period, which relegated the R-ace GP driver from fourth down to twenty-fifth, and it was his third penalty in four races after losing two race wins at Paul Ricard.

The ever-consistent Fewtrell inherited fourth for Tech 1 Racing ahead of Randle of AVF by Adrian Vallés, while Palmer kept himself in the championship battle by securing sixth for R-ace GP, with his race marked by an excellent and brave move on Ye into Eau Rouge.

MP Motorsport duo Verhagen and Jarno Opmeer finished eighth and tenth respectively, either side of Portuguese racer Henrique Chaves of AVF by Adrian Vallés, with Daniel Ticktum just missing out on points in eleventh ahead of fellow Red Bull junior Verschoor.

The final race of the weekend takes place on Sunday, and Fenestraz has a 45.5 point advantage over Palmer, but the battle will go down to the final event of the season at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya regardless of the result.

Charles Milesi took his first Northern European Cup victory of the season in race two – Credit: Gregory Eyckmans

Northern European Cup

In a race within a race, the Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup quintet were fighting for honours in Belgium, and Magnus was victorious thanks to his better starting position in race one ahead of team-mates Charles Milesi, Michael Benyahia and Theo Coicaud, and BM Racing Team’s Bartlomiej Mirecki.

With Magnus crashing out of race two, it left Milesi in control of the race, only to make a mistake to allow Mirecki through, but the Polish driver was unable to retain the lead due to a gearbox issue that saw him lose pace.

This allowed Milesi back through to take his first NEC victory ahead of Benyahia, while Coicaud took his first podium of the year in third as Mirecki slipped to fourth by the chequered flag.

Spa-Francorchamps Race 1 Result

POSNO.DRIVERNATTEAMTIME
111Sacha FenestrazFRAJosef Kaufmann Racing13:02.343s
210Robert ShwartzmanRUSR-ace GP+1.055s
31Yifei YeCHNJosef Kaufmann Racing+2.612s
49Max DefournyBELR-ace GP+4.395s
57Max FewtrellGBRTech 1 Racing+6.367s
64Gabriel AubryFRATech 1 Racing+8.505s
729Richard VerschoorNEDMP Motorsport+10.936s
831Neil VerhagenUSAMP Motorsport+12.125s
98Will PalmerGBRR-ace GP+14.197s
1016Thomas RandleAUSAVF by Adrian Valles+15.070s
1130Jarno OpmeerNEDMP Motorsport+17.331s
1213Henrique ChavesPORAVF by Adrian Valles+19.575s
135Thomas MaxwellAUSTech 1 Racing+21.256s
1444Gilles MagnusBELR-ace GP+22.635s
1517Alex PeroniAUSFortec Motorsports+24.993s
1612Raul GuzmanMEXR-ace GP+27.988s
1715Axel MatusMEXAVF by Adrian Valles+29.687s
1833Daniel TicktumGBRArden Motorsport+34.560s
1918Aleksey KorneevRUSFortec Motorsports+37.234s
2026Presley MartonoINOMark Burdett Motorsport+41.735s
2114Xavier LloverasESPAVF by Adrian Valles+43.767s
2223Aleksandr VartanyanRUSJD Motorsport+46.224s
2340Charles MilesiFRAR-ace GP+47.741s
2493Zane GoddardAUSArden Motorsport+50.269s
256Thomas NeubauerFRATech 1 Racing+53.276s
2622Jean Baptiste SimmenauerFRAJD Motorsport+55.901s
2742Michael BenyahiaMORR-ace GP+58.277s
2841Theo CoicaudFRAR-ace GP+1:00.828s
292Luis LeedsAUSJosef Kaufmann Racing+1:03.075s
3096Bartlomiej MireckiPOLBM Racing Team+1:05.815s
3125Julia PankiewiczPOLMark Burdett Motorsport+1:08.422s
3219Frank BirdGBRFortec Motorsports+1:11.556s
3320Najiy Ayyad bin Abd RazakMALFortec Motorsports+1:14.958s
3421Sun Yue YangCHNJD Motorsport+1:17.008s

Spa-Francorchamps Race 2 Result

POSNO.DRIVERNATTEAMTIME
14Gabriel AubryFRATech 1 Racing26:26.126s
29Max DefournyBELR-ace GP+0.633s
311Sacha FenestrazFRAJosef Kaufmann Racing+1.910s
47Max FewtrellGBRTech 1 Racing+3.880s
516Thomas RandleAUSAVF by Adrian Valles+5.299s
68Will PalmerGBRR-ace GP+5.954s
71Yifei YeCHNJosef Kaufmann Racing+6.820s
831Neil VerhagenUSAMP Motorsport+7.100s
913Henrique ChavesPORAVF by Adrian Valles+9.745s
1030Jarno OpmeerNEDMP Motorsport+12.048s
1133Daniel TicktumGBRArden Motorsport+13.568s
1229Richard VerschoorNEDMP Motorsport+14.265s
135Thomas MaxwellAUSTech 1 Racing+14.753s
1415Axel MatusMEXAVF by Adrian Valles+16.631s
1518Aleksey KorneevRUSFortec Motorsports+20.257s
1617Alex PeroniAUSFortec Motorsports+20.533s
1726Presley MartonoINOMark Burdett Motorsport+21.152s
1893Zane GoddardAUSArden Motorsport+21.482s
1923Aleksandr VartanyanRUSJD Motorsport+21.977s
2040Charles MilesiFRAR-ace GP+23.001s
2114Xavier LloverasESPAVF by Adrian Valles+23.893s
2222Jean Baptiste SimmenauerFRAJD Motorsport+24.470s
232Luis LeedsAUSJosef Kaufmann Racing+24.619s
2442Michael BenyahiaMORR-ace GP+25.436s
2510Robert ShwartzmanRUSR-ace GP+27.333s
2621Sun Yue YangCHNJD Motorsport+30.035s
2719Frank BirdGBRFortec Motorsports+30.558s
2820Najiy Ayyad bin Abd RazakMALFortec Motorsports+34.740s
2925Julia PankiewiczPOLMark Burdett Motorsport+35.254s
3096Bartlomiej MireckiPOLBM Racing Team+35.291s
3141Theo CoicaudFRAR-ace GP+51.315s
3212Raul GuzmanMEXR-ace GP+1:11.764s
336Thomas NeubauerFRATech 1 Racing+1:37.993s
RET44Gilles MagnusBELR-ace GPRetired