Ye Extends Championship Lead with Opening Hungaroring Victory

by Paul Hensby
Yifei Ye - Josef Kaufmann Racing - Hungaroring

Yifei Ye got the better start at the Hungaroring to overcome polesitter Christian Lundgaard, with the Chinese driver converting his first corner lead into a second victory of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 series season on Saturday.

The race was all but determined in the first few seconds as Ye put his Josef Kaufmann Racing car into the lead, while Lundgaard was forced to defend his position from his fellow Renault Sport Academy member Max Fewtrell.

It had appeared that Fewtrell would follow Ye through, but the R-ace GP driver found himself behind Lundgaard again exiting turn one as the MP Motorsport swept around the outside, and after then it was pretty status quo at the front of the field, at least in the front quartet that was rounded out by R-ace GP’s Victor Martins.

Logan Sargeant made it a hat trick of R-ace GP in fifth after the American youngest got ahead of JD Motorsport’s Lorenzo Colombo on the opening lap, while Oscar Piastri of Arden Motorsport got the better of Axel Matus of AVF by Adrian Valles for eighth.

Matus will be happy however to finally break into the top ten this season and score his first points, having shown improved pace in the recent events.  The Mexican had previously had a best finish of eleventh at the Red Bull Ring in July but took eighth on Saturday ahead of R-ace GP’s Charles Milesi and Tech 1 Racing’s Aleksandr Smolyar.

Thomas Maxwell failed to score points for only a third time in 2018, with the JD Motorsport driver finishing eleventh ahead of Tech 1 Racing’s Frank Bird, followed by Alex Peroni and Neil Verhagen.

The battle between the Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup racers was won by Anders Motorsport’s Doureis Ghattas, who finished twentieth overall, just ahead of team-mate Phil Hill, with R-ace GP’s Gabriel Gandulia completing the NEC podium.

Hill had a more eventful race than the other two when he collided with Malaysian racer Najiy Razak at turn one, breaking his front wing and earning him a two-place grid penalty for Sunday’s race two for causing a collision.

There was an early safety car when Thomas Neubauer crashed out on the exit of turn nine, but Ye was able to control the restart perfectly to extend his championship advantage over Lundgaard to seventeen points heading into the second race of the weekend on Sunday.

Hungaroring Race 1 Result

116Yifei YeCHNJosef Kaufmann Racing18 Laps
231Christian LundgaardDENMP Motorsport+1.076
31Max FewtrellGBRR-ace GP+5.674
44Victor MartinsFRAR-ace GP+7.865
52Logan SargeantUSAR-ace GP+8.981
661Lorenzo ColomboITAJD Motorsport+9.978
741Oscar PiastriAUSArden Motorsport+10.319
851Axel MatusMEXAVF by Adrian Valles+16.061
93Charles MilesiFRAR-ace GP+16.792
1022Alexander SmolyarRUSTech 1 Racing+17.200
1162Thomas MaxwellAUSJD Motorsport+18.210
1224Frank BirdGBRTech 1 Racing+19.216
1332Alex PeroniAUSMP Motorsport+20.027
1421Neil VerhagenUSATech 1 Racing+21.052
1553Eliseo MartinezESPAVF by Adrian Valles+22.977
1643Sami TaoufikMORArden Motorsport+23.789
1733Freek SchothorstNEDMP Motorsport+24.948
1811Clement NovalakGBRJosef Kaufmann Racing+25.923
1942Nikita VolegovRUSArden Motorsport+34.380
2091Doureis GhattasGERAnders Motorsport+35.807
2190Phil HillGERAnders Motorsport+38.587
225Gabriel GanduliaARGR-ace GP+42.001
2363Najiy RazakMYSJD Motorsport+47.820
RET54Christian MunozCOLAVF by Adrian VallesRetired
RET84Vladimir TziortzisRUSFortec MotorsportsRetired
RET87Arthur RougierFRAFortec MotorsportsRetired
RET85Raul GuzmanMEXFortec MotorsportsRetired
RET23Thomas NeubauerFRATech 1 RacingRetired

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