Robert Shwartzman took his second win of the weekend at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Sunday morning, but Sacha Fenestraz’s second place saw him clinch the 2017 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 series title.
However the race was marred by a multi-car crash on the opening lap that ended with twelve drivers eliminated and several more with damage, with the incident causing a lengthy red flag period whilst the numerous cars were removed from the track and gravel trap at turn two.
Shwartzman got the jump at the start from pole position, with Fenestraz falling in behind, but the chaos began when Gabriel Aubry and Max Defourny clashed on the exit of turn one, which started a chain reaction that either ended or compromised the race of around half of the thirty-two car field.
When the dust settled, and after a couple of cars went briefly airborne, Defourny, Luis Leeds, Thomas Maxwell, Thomas Neubauer, Frank Bird, Najiy Razak, Sun Yue Yang, Jean-Baptiste Simmenauer, Julie Pankiewicz, Charles Milesi and Zane Goddard were all out of the race on the spot, while Thomas Randle retired in the pit lane before the race was able to resume.
Aubry initially got away with the incident, but also found his race ended on the first lap when he tangled with Will Palmer at turn five, with the Tech 1 Racing driver ending up beached in the gravel trap just as the red flags flew.
When the race resumed behind the safety car, Shwartzman was able to keep the lead, but it wasn’t long before the safety car was deployed again, when Raul Guzman and Neil Verhagen collided at turn two at the start of the lap four.
Despite these interruptions, Shwartzman was able to control the race from the front to take his sixth victory of the season, but Fenestraz took the title for Josef Kaufmann Racing with second place, while Red Bull-backed Richard Verschoor completed the podium for MP Motorsport.
Renault-backed Max Fewtrell just missed out on the podium in fourth for Tech 1 Racing, while Jarno Opmeer ended up fifth for MP Motorsport ahead of Palmer, who saw his chances of claiming the championship end thanks to Fenestraz’s runners-up spot.
Red Bull-backed Arden Motorsport driver Daniel Ticktum passed SMP Racing-backed JD Motorsport driver Aleksandr Vartanyan for seventh, while Logan Sargeant of R-ace GP and Yifei Ye of Josef Kaufmann Racing completed the top ten. With Sargeant eligible for points, Alex Peroni secured the final point on offer for Fortec Motorsports.
Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya Race 2 Result
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