Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 - Nürburgring - Race 2
Daniil Kvyat was victorious at Spa-Francorchamps a few weeks ago, and the Koiranen Motorsport man was on the money once again at the Nürburgring this afternoon. Despite the best efforts of team-mate Carlos Sainz Junior, who was in contention all the way to the final turn, the young Russian took the chequered flag having started on pole. Timmy Hansen (Interwetten.com Junior Team) finished on the podium for the first time in his career, after bravely resisting the challenge of Karl Oscar Liiv (MP Motorsport).
Daniil Kvyat handled wet conditions in qualifying superbly to score his first pole position in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0. The Russian shared the front row with team-mate Carlos Sainz Junior. The rain had stopped by the time the race was ready to start, but the 34-car field lined up on the grid on wet tyres.
While Kvyat made a solid start to the race, Sainz Jr. and Hansen were involved in an absorbing tussle in the opening stages. Swede Hansen got the better of the Spaniard to move up into second place, while Joni Wiman (Koiranen Motorsport), Denis Nagulin (Cram Competition), Oscar Andres Tunjo (Josef Kauffman Racing), Sandy Stuvik (Keo Racing) and Melville McKee (Arta Engineering) were all involved in collisions. Norman Nato (R-Ace Grand Prix) was another victim in the frantic opening exchanges, and fell all the way down to 17th place. The safety car was inevitably called out to restore some calm as the stationary cars were removed from the first bend.
Russian youngster Kvyat retained the lead at the restart, ahead of Hansen, Sainz Jr., Miki Weckstrom and Javier Tarancon (both Tech 1 Racing). Kvyat continued to dodge challenges well, while Hansen displayed equally strong resistance against Sainz Jr. before eventually losing second place to the Spaniard on lap five. From then on in, Sainz Junior’s only aim was to cancel out the three-second lead established by team-mate Kvyat.
With Red Bull Junior Team drivers Kvyat and Sainz Jr. setting the pace, third-placed Hansen had to keep a watchful eye on the following pack. Karl Oscar Liiv, who started in seventh, was gradually working his way up through the compact field. He began by leapfrogging Javier Tarancon into 5th place, before setting his sights on Wekstrom, who himself was involved in a full-on skirmish with Hansen. Robin Frinjs (Josef Kauffman Racing), Felix Serralles (Fortec Motorsports) and Come Ledogar (R-Ace Grand Prix) were also in the thick of the action in a race that was still a long way from being decided.
Sainz Jr. finally closed the gap on Kvyat and made his first charge for first place on lap eight. The Russian resisted, but his Spanish team-mate was not finished yet. Sainz Jr. kept pushing for an opening, but Kvyat – with his tyres now worn to the limits – had enough in the tank to see off the assault in the closing stages. He held on for his second win of the season, finishing ahead of Sainz Jr. and Hansen. The second-place finish saw Sainz Jr. maintain his 100 per cent record for podium finishes this season. For his part, Hansen held off the advances of Karl Oscar Liiv all the way to the final turn to finish on the podium for the first time in his career. Sainz Jr. leaves Germany with a 26-point advantage over Robin Frijns, while Kvyat moves up into third place in the l’Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 standings.
What they said
Daniil Kvyat: “Pole position and a win – I make that a perfect day. It was a difficult race because Carlos was quicker than me about half-way through the race. But I think he had problems with his tyres, so I was able to build a small gap and it turned out to be enough. The track was dry, and our tyres were completely shot by the end of the race.”
Carlos Sainz Jr.: “It was a tough race because the track dried out really quickly. I did all I could to get past Daniil, but he did what he needed to do to keep me in second. It’s a positive weekend for Koiranen Motorsport with this first double, and I’m pleased to have won the most points. Now we need to keep it going.”
Timmy Hansen: “We went for a set-up that was 100 per cent designed for the rain. So the more the track dried out, the harder it became. I didn’t have a single chance against Carlos. At the end of the race, I did what I could and I’m very happy to have defended third place. It was the most hard-fought race of my life.”
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