Photo. Josef Kaufmann Racing
Frijns to the front. History may be repeating itself for the talented Dutch driver Robin Frijns. Last year he trailed Jack Harvey all season long in the Formula BMW Europe. When the English driver was knocked out in the penultimate race of the season at Monza, Frijns grabbed the opportunity and took the lead in the championship and sealed the deal in the final race.
Frijns and his German team, Josef Kaufmann Racing, entered Formula Renault Euro Cup for the 2011 season. Carlos Sainz Jr, son of Spanish rallying legend and Dakar winner, has been this season’s Harvey for Frijns.
Sainz Jr started the season in style, winning the season opener on home ground at Aragon Motorland, a new Spanish circuit located in between Barcelona and Madrid. Frijns kept close company with the race winner and was only 2.4s behind in second at the finish.
In the second race of the weekend, Frijns closed the gap to Sainz Jr and finished less than 1.2s behind to finish third. The race was won by the ex-karting star from England, Will Stevens.
Round two was at the mythical Spa-Francorchamps in the Ardennes forest. The Sainz Jr and Frijns show made its by now usual appearance on the podium – the Spaniard again winning over Stevens and his Dutch threat.
In the second race at Spa, the winner was Russian racer Daniil Kvyat, who is teammate to Sainz Jr and like him also a Red Bull Junior driver. Stevens was second. Sainz Jr’s third place finish made him the only driver to finish the first four races of the season on the podium.
Frijns was fifth, but in fighting spirit and eager to score his first win of the season. This would come in the next round at another legendary track, the Nürburgring. Sainz Jr pushed him hard in the 14-lap race but had to settle for second best, by only 0.74s, behind Frijns.
Kaufmann team’s home victory celebrations were enhanced by their second driver, the young and talented Colombian, Oscar Tujno, came in fifth.
The Red Bull Juniors, Kyvat and Sainz Jr, dominated race two and finished over 21s ahead of third place Timmy Hansen of Sweden. Frijns was fifth.
King Kaufmann. Team manager, Lars Kaufmann, celebrates his Hungarian ‘Whopper’ weekend with a quick pit stop at Burger King on their way back from Budapest.
Round four was at Hungaroring past weekend. This may turn out to be the event where the Spanish armada was sunk by the Kaufmann clan. For the first time this season, Sainz Jr failed not only to win a race but was also absent from the podium festivities.
Frijns won the opening race of the weekend ahead of teammate, Tunjo, and Kvyat. Sainz Jr was eighth, his championship lead now cut down to five points.
Swede Hansen captured his first win of the season in race two. Frijns second place finish and Sainz Jr’s 14th place finish was the Dutch treat the Kaufmann driver has been working and waiting for.
Frijns has now taken lead in the championship, 136 to 123 over Sainz Jr.
Frijns commented after his successful Hungarian uprising, “I knew Carlos Sainz Jr was pulling away, so I needed the points today. I managed a good start, but I couldn’t shake off Daniil Kvyat because we were on the same pace. He kept the pressure on all race.
“We’re making progress at every race. Remember it’s my first year in the category and the first year for my team. We won at the Nürburgring even though we weren’t quickest, but here we really closed the gap on Koiranen Motorsport, which bodes well for the races to come.”
Das future is bright.
— Nasir Hameed
Greetings and Firecracker regards.