The final race of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 season saw Ben Barnicoat (Fortec Motorsports) finish his first campaign in style as he converted pole position into his third victory of the year. The Racing Steps Foundation protégé finished ahead of Anthoine Hubert (Tech 1 Racing) and Ignazio D’Agosto (Manor MP Motorsport). Sixteenth at the end of the race, Jack Aitken (Koiranen GP) won the 2015 championship, one week after winning the Formula Renault 2.0 ALPS crown on the same Jerez circuit. Switzerland’s Louis Delétraz and Kevin Jörg led Josef Kaufmann Racing to the team title. The best placed newcomer, Harrison Scott (AVF) clinched rookie of the year honours.
Under the morning downpour, Ben Barnicoat claimed his second pole position of the season ahead of Anthoine Hubert and the best placed of the three title contenders on the grid, Louis Delétraz, Kevin Jörg qualified 12th, Jack Aitken started 25th.
Stress at the start
On a still partially wet track surface, everyone in the field, except Kevin Jörg opted for slick tyres. The Swiss driver wagered on more rain to come. After suffering a problem during the formation lap, Jack Aitken had to start from pit lane.
At the start, Ben Barnicoat held off Anthoine Hubert and Louis Delétraz who maintained third place from Ignazio D’Agosto (Manor MP Motorsport). The contact between Simon Gachet (Tech 1 Racing) and James Allen (ARTA Engineering) resulted in retirement for the Australian driver and the intervention of the safety car. At the re-start, Louis Delétraz was overtaken by Ignazio D’Agosto.
Delétraz and Jörg retrograde
The safety car was back out on lap seven for the removal of the car of Vasily Romanov (Cram Motorsport), then that of Jehan Daruvala (Fortec Motorsports). Meanwhile, his team mate Kevin Jörg dropped to the bottom of the running order Louis Delétraz saw his last hopes of a title disappear when the racing resumed when he was overtaken by Jake Hughes, who started eighth and Ukyo Sasahara (ART Junior Team).
After 13 lap, Ben Barnicoat took the win ahead of Anthoine Hubert and Ignazio D’Agosto. Jake Hughes and Ukyo Sasahara rounded out the top five. They were followed by Louis Delétraz, Matevos Isaakyan (JD Motorsport) and rookie of the year Harrison Scott (AVF). Martin Kodrić (Fortec Motorsports) and Dennis Olsen (Manor MP Motorsport) completed the top ten. Jack Aitken finished 16th and Kevin Jörg came home in 24th place.
Ben Barnicoat: “It is fantastic to end the season with a victory. The rain made qualifying very tricky with the standing water and red flags. As a driver, you never know what to expect, but the team did a great job. After the start, I went a little wide, but the safety car was deployed, so I was able to keep my position. For sure, I am a little disappointed for the overall classification. Without a few errors and a little bad luck, I could have hoped for more than three wins and six podiums.”
Anthoine Hubert: “We came to win and the strategy in qualifying yesterday ruined our hopes. The incident in race 2 saw my final chances disappear. I wanted to do my best to finish on a high note, but after dominating my group by 7/10ths of a second, the track dried out for the others. Now we have to see what the future has in store for me!”
Ignazio D’Agosto: “The year didn’t begin ideally and I am thrilled to finish on the podium for the third time this weekend. I want to thank the team for all the hard work it has done all season long. We were fast on both a dry and wet track. I hope these results will allow me to continue my career in motor racing.”
Provisional general classification * : 1. J. Aitken – 206 points, 2. L. Delétraz – 193, 3. K. Jörg – 193, 4. B. Barnicoat – 174, 5. A. Hubert – 160… *Subject to confirmation of the results following the technical and sporting verifications