DE VRIES WINS, TECH 1 RACING TAKE TEAM TITLE
Nyck de Vries (Koiranen GP) enjoyed a Saturday to remember at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Starting in pole after beating the lap record, the Dutchman was in dominant form as he won the first Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 race of the weekend. Finishing behind him were title rivals Oliver Rowland (Manor MP Motorsport) and Pierre Gasly (Tech 1 Racing), with the Frenchman seeing his championship lead trimmed to eight points. Meanwhile, Tech 1 Racing picked up the points they needed to seal the team title.
Nyck de Vries began the day by seizing his first pole in the category, the McLaren Young Driver Development Programme member heading the grid from the leading trio in the championship standings: Pierre Gasly, Oliver Rowland and Esteban Ocon (ART Junior Team).
The polesitter held on to his lead when the lights went out, with Oliver Rowland catching Pierre Gasly off guard to jump into second behind him. Shunted on to the grass by Esteban Ocon, Oscar Tunjo (Josef Kaufmann Racing) lost nine places, while a three-way collision on lap one meant early retirements for Ukyo Sasahara (Euronova), Yu Kanamaru (KTR) and Roman Beregech (RC Formula).
The leader maintained a fierce pace, posting one fastest lap after another. To his rear Oliver Rowland gradually extended his advantage over Pierre Gasly, while the battles raged in the pack behind them.
Untroubled out front, Nyck de Vries eased over the line to score his second win of the year from Oliver Rowland and Pierre Gasly. The fourth man home, Esteban Ocon picked up a ten-second penalty for his manoeuvre at the start and dropped down to seventh behind Egor Orudzhev (Tech 1 Racing), who got past Andrea Pizzitola (ART Junior Team) on lap 12, and Ignazio D’Agosto (KTR). Oscar Tunjo, Kevin Jorg (Jenzer Motorsport) and Victor Franzoni (Koiranen GP) were the other drivers to make the top ten.
Thanks to the points scored by Gasly and Orudzhev, Tech 1 Racing clinched a second team crown to go with the one they won in their first year in the category in 2010.
What they said
Nyck de Vries: “I’m thrilled at winning one of the last races of the season, especially as they’re the ones people tend to remember more. We didn’t get off to the best start this weekend, but our teamwork paid off with the pole and the win.”
Oliver Rowland: “We saw last year that anything can happen. We managed to limit the damage thanks to one of my best starts, but we have a lot of work ahead of us tonight to find the performance levels we need to win.”
Pierre Gasly: “The goal is to maintain my advantage. I made a bad start and I wasn’t going to try and do the impossible. It was difficult to stay close on the fast turns. It’s an important third place for me and it’s up to us to go and get pole tomorrow.”