Formula Renault 2.0 NEC

Yifei Ye Claims Double Race Win as Benyahia Pips Magnus to Title

2 Mins read
Credit: Gregory Eyckmans

Yifei Ye claimed a double victory in the season finale at the Hockenheimring on Saturday, but Michael Benyahia is celebrating after becoming the 2017 Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup champion.

Ye led home two Josef Kaufmann Racing one-two finishes from team-mate Sacha Fenestraz, but two ninth place finishes were enough to give Benyahia the title ahead of R-ace GP team-mate Gilles Magnus.

Race one saw Ye retain the lead from pole position at the start, with Richard Verschoor jumping ahead of Fenestraz into second, and by the time the French-Argentine driver had worked his way back ahead of the Red Bull-backed MP Motorsport ace, he was too far off the back of Ye to challenge for the lead.

With Fenestraz now clear, Verschoor was left to defend his position on the podium from Gabriel Aubry, while the battle also allowed debutant Logan Sargeant and Aleksandr Vartanyan to close up, and after a few failed attempts on Verschoor, Aubry himself found himself shuffled down to sixth.

Jarno Opmeer finished seventh for MP Motorsport ahead of another series debutant in Oscar Piastri, with Benyahia taking ninth, and the lead of the championship, while James Pull completed the top ten for Josef Kaufmann Racing.

Bartlomiej Mirecki finished eleventh for his own BM Racing Team, ahead of R-ace GP duo Theo Coicaud and Charles Milesi, while the field was round out by Tech 1 Racing’s Thomas Neubauer and by Magnus, who had by far his worst outing of the season down in fifteenth.

Ye leads the field away in race two – Credit: Gregory Eyckmans

Race two saw Ye again maintain his lead at the start, with Fenestraz immediately slipping into second, and the two team-mates were again in a class of their own, finishing well clear of the rest of the pack.

Renault Sport Academy rising star Opmeer initially ran third ahead of Verschoor, but the Arden Motorsport machine of Vartanyan picked both of them off to claim his first Northern European Cup podium in third.

Mirecki finished behind Opmeer and Verschoor in sixth ahead of Pull, who claimed seventh despite starting down in eleventh, while Piastri again claimed eighth for Arden Motorsport.

The battle for ninth however had championship implications, with whoever would come out on top going onto being the champion, and it was Benyahia who withstood pressure from Magnus to claim both the position and the title, despite not having taken a race victory all season long.

Neubauer finished eleventh ahead of Coicaud and Milesi, with Sargeant the last classified finisher in fourteenth having pitted for repairs during the race, while Aubry retired with his own damaged car early on.

Michael Benyahia (3) claimed the 2017 Northern European Cup title in Germany – Credit: Gregory Eyckmans

Hockenheimring Race 1 Result

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Hockenheimring Race 2 Result

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