In a virtual re-run of Saturday’s events in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, Daniil Kvyat (Koiranen Motorsport) jumped into the lead at the start of Sunday’s race and stayed there all the way to the line, despite the rain and a series of attacks launched by his championship rival Stoffel Vandoorne (Josef Kaufmann Racing). In posting his fifth win of the season, the Russian has now moved a solitary point clear in the standings. Completing the podium for the second day running was Britain’s Oliver Rowland (Fortec Motorsports).
Vandoorne proved his excellent form once again by clinching his fourth pole in a row in the category. Sharing the front row with him was arch rival Kvyat, while Norman Nato (RC Formula) and Nyck de Vries (R-Ace GP) formed the second row.
The race began just as Saturday’s had, with Kvyat diving past Vandoorne as the lights went out. Behind them, Rowland put in a perfect opening lap to move from fifth to third and past Nato and De Vries.
The leading six of Kvyat, Vandoorne, Rowland, Nato, De Vries and Stefan Wackerbauer (Koiranen Motorsport) opened out a considerable gap on the rest of the field in the first few laps, while Patrick Kujala (Koiranen Motorsport) led the chasers in seventh, followed by Ed Jones (Fortec Motorsports) and Melville McKee (Interwetten.com Racing).
Vandoorne continued to heap the pressure on leader Kvyat at the midway stage of the race, as the front two began to pull away, with Rowland holding off De Vries, Nato and Wackerbauer behind him. Rain began to fall as the race entered the closing stages, the tension cranking up in the pit lane as every member of the front five ran wide at some stage or other.
Having tried but failed to get past Kvyat, Vandoorne began to hedge his bets and settle for what he had. The same could not be said of De Vries, who kept looking for a way past Rowland right till the final corner. The action was just as intense behind them, with Nato and Kujala coming together, the Finn eventually coming home fifth and Nato dropping down to ninth.
There was no stopping Kvyat, however, as he completed a weekend double on home soil, with the Russian national anthem bringing the inaugural World Series by Renault meeting at the Moscow Raceway to a close. The Red Bull Junior Team driver’s back-to-back wins have catapulted him to the top of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 standings, where he holds a slender one-point lead over Vandoorne, which should make for quite a duel in the second half of the season.
What they said:
Daniil Kvyat: “What a dream weekend. It still hasn’t sunk in what it means to win twice in Russia. Just as I did yesterday, I managed to make the perfect start and then keep Stoffel at arm’s length, though things got very tricky when the rain came. I think the title is definitely between Stoffel and me. I’m in the lead by just one point, but I’ve won five races to his two so I think I’m pretty well placed.”
Stoffel Vandoorne: “I spent the whole race looking for an opening and waiting for Daniil to make a mistake, but it never happened. Then I just started thinking about the championship and said to myself that I needed the points.”
Oliver Rowland: “Fifth on the grid and third at the finish: that’s a good effort on a track where overtaking is not easy. I need to keep on working, and I’m getting closer and closer to the leaders. A race win is not far away.”