Christian Lundgaard admitted it was a tough opening race of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 weekend at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Saturday, but the Dane did everything he needed to do to keep himself involved in the championship battle into the final race of the season.
The Renault Sport Academy-backed MP Motorsport driver took pole position in a damp Qualifying session at the Spanish track and then converted that into a comfortable first corner lead, but the early introduction of the safety car for stranded cars in the turn one run-off area bunched the field up again.
However, despite an initial attack from R-ace GP’s Logan Sargeant, Lundgaard was able to maintain his lead and then pull away from the American to win by almost four seconds, while Max Fewtrell’s fourth place result ensured the title battle goes down to the wire.
Lundgaard sits twenty-three and a half points behind Fewtrell heading into the final race of the season with twenty-five on offer, so he knows his job will be to win race two on Sunday and hope that the Briton does not finish higher than tenth.
“It was a tough one out there today, but it’s a good win,” said Lundgaard. “I had a lot of rear and front locking into turn one throughout the race and I was scared Logan might come up the inside on the safety car restart.
“But I managed to keep him behind and then took it lap by lap from there, trying to be as consistent as possible to bring it home. I stayed quite calm and managed it well to the end.
“We have the rookie title now and the big title is still on the line. I have to do my job tomorrow. I need to win the race and the rest is out of our hands. Maybe everything will fall into place afterwards.”