Christian Lundgaard did everything he could to keep himself in the championship battle during Saturday’s opening Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 series race at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with his victory leaving him twenty-three and a half points behind Max Fewtrell with twenty-five on offer in Sunday’s final race of 2018.
Starting from pole position, MP Motorsport driver Lundgaard survived an early, somewhat extended safety car period and pulled away impressively from the rest of the field to take the chequered flag 3.907 seconds clear of R-ace GP’s Logan Sargeant for his fourth triumph of 2018.
Sargeant had one attack on the safety car restart but was unable thereafter to maintain the same kind of pace as Lundgaard, while Lorenzo Colombo kept the American honest to take third for JD Motorsport.
Fewtrell could have secured the title by finishing on the podium but the British R-ace GP racer could only finish fourth, but he knows a ninth-place finish or better on Sunday will bring him the title.
Charles Milesi secured fifth for R-ace GP after a good pass on the safety car restart on Tech 1 Racing’s Alexander Smolyar, while another Tech 1 Racer, Red Bull Junior Neil Verhagen, placed seventh ahead of Josef Kaufmann Racing’s Yifei Ye.
Ye had qualified down in fourteenth position and needed a top six position of his own to maintain his own championship ambitions, but the Chinese driver dropped out of the reckoning after only getting up to eighth, just ahead of MP Motorsport’s Alex Peroni.
Frank Bird took the final point for Tech 1 Racing after a final lap tangle between Oscar Piastri and Raul Guzman eliminated both drivers. Piastri was attempting to pass Guzman for the final point but struck the rear of the Mexican’s car at turn two, allowing Bird to come through for the position, just ahead of AVF by Adrian Valles’ Eliseo Martinez.
The safety car was needed at the beginning of lap two after a number of incidents at turn one, with Piastri colliding with Thomas Maxwell before a collision between Nikita Volegov and Freek Schothorst ended with both cars stranded in the run-off area of the turn.
The safety car was forced to remain on track longer after Sami Taoufik embarrassingly spun into the turn nine gravel trap whilst trying to warm his tyres up.
Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya Race 1 Result
|1||31||Christian Lundgaard||DEN||MP Motorsport||31:46.770|
|2||2||Logan Sargeant||USA||R-ace GP||+3.907|
|3||61||Lorenzo Colombo||ITA||JD Motorsport||+4.831|
|4||1||Max Fewtrell||GBR||R-ace GP||+5.251|
|5||3||Charles Milesi||FRA||R-ace GP||+7.563|
|6||22||Alexander Smolyar||RUS||Tech 1 Racing||+8.625|
|7||21||Neil Verhagen||USA||Tech 1 Racing||+13.410|
|8||16||Yifei Ye||CHN||Josef Kaufmann Racing||+17.597|
|9||32||Alex Peroni||AUS||MP Motorsport||+17.965|
|10||24||Frank Bird||GBR||Tech 1 Racing||+18.620|
|11||53||Eliseo Martinez||ESP||AVF by Adrian Valles||+19.385|
|12||54||Christian Munoz||COL||AVF by Adrian Valles||+23.190|
|13||84||Vladimir Tziortzis||RUS||Fortec Motorsports||+23.983|
|14||23||Thomas Neubauer||FRA||Tech 1 Racing||+34.204|
|15||85||Raul Guzman||MEX||Fortec Motorsports||+1 Lap|
|16||41||Oscar Piastri||AUS||Arden Motorsport||+1 Lap|
|RET||11||Clement Novalak||GBR||Josef Kaufmann Racing||Retired|
|RET||51||Axel Matus||MEX||AVF by Adrian Valles||Retired|
|RET||43||Sami Taoufik||MOR||Arden Motorsport||Retired|
|RET||62||Thomas Maxwell||AUS||JD Motorsport||Retired|
|RET||4||Victor Martins||FRA||R-ace GP||Retired|
|RET||63||Najiy Razak||MYS||JD Motorsport||Retired|
|RET||42||Nikita Volegov||RUS||Arden Motorsport||Retired|
|RET||33||Freek Schothorst||NED||MP Motorsport||Retired|