In taking his fourth pole position and fifth triumph of the season, Lando Norris (Josef Kaufmann Racing) clinched rookie of the year honours in grand style at Circuit Paul Ricard. Victorious ahead of Max Defourny (R-ace GP) and Dorian Boccolacci (Tech 1 Racing), the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 leader increased his lead in the general classification. Only his rivals on the podium and Harrison Scott (AVF by Adrián Vallés), ninth today, are the only drivers who can now prevent him from taking the title.
Norris takes the pole
In the morning, Jehan Daruvala (Josef Kaufmann Racing), Lando Norris and Will Palmer (R-ace GP) took turns at the top of the time sheet in qualifying. The championship leader accelerated the pace on new tyres and beat Max Defourny to the pole. Dorian Boccolacci, Gabriel Aubry (Tech 1 Racing) and Harrison Scott completed the Top 5.
The grand slam for Norris
Lando Norris firmly maintained the lead at the start while Dorian Boccolacci surprised Max Defourny before the Belgian driver retook second place on the opening lap. Further back, Harrison Scott got past Gabriel Aubry, who was followed by Jehan Daruvala and Ferdinand Habsburg (Fortec Motorsports).
In the lead, Lando Norris built a gap thanks to a series of fastest race laps. Behind him, Dorian Boccolacci outbreaked the chicane without consequence, while his team mate Sacha Fenestraz (Tech 1 Racing) overtook Jehan Daruvala and Ferdinand Habsburg in two laps.
At the conclusion of lap 13, Lando Norris took a comfortable win ahead of title rivals Max Defourny and Dorian Boccolacci. Long-time fourth place runner, Harrison Scott spun on lap 10, promoting Gabriel Aubry and Sacha Fenestraz into the top five ahead of Ferdinand Habsburg, Jehan Daruvala and Hugo de Sadeleer (Tech 1 Racing). Harrison Scott dropped to ninth place ahead of the final point scorer Will Palmer.
Lando Norris: “I didn’t get a great start and Max was by my side at turn one, but I was able to hold him off. The goal was then to stay ahead while also making the most of our good race pace, which we saw yesterday. I avoided mistakes and I am thrilled with the progress we’ve made on our race performance. What awaits us will also be hard. Max was fast at Spa in the NEC last month, but I will do my best to take the title.”
Max Defourny: “It was a difficult weekend. We didn’t always have the pace, but we found more rhythm today. I am generally pleased with how I did. I tried to get the better of Lando at the start, but Dorian took advantage. When I regained the position, Lando was already far ahead and uncatchable. I am looking forward to Spa. We do well there and I will give it my all to get the best possible result.”
Dorian Boccolacci: “After a difficult qualifying session yesterday followed by a nice move up the order by always taking controlled risks, I only had two drivers to pass today in starting third. I got a better exit out of turn two than Max before he retook the spot. It was fun to be side by side all the way through the Signe corner. I tried to comeback late in the race, but I couldn’t find an opening on Max! A big thank you to the team for their work during the weekend. I promised them that we will return stronger in order to step on to the top step of the podium before the end of the season.”
Provisional General Classification *
1. Lando Norris (Josef Kaufmann Racing) 202
2. Max Defourny (R-ace GP) 162,5
3. Harrison Scott (AVF by Adrián Vallés) 148
4. Dorian Boccolacci (Tech 1 Racing) 133
5. Sacha Fenestraz (Tech 1 Racing) 62,5
* Results subject to confirmation following technical and sporting verifications