Monaco winner Sacha Fenestraz (Tech 1 Racing) concludes his first year in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 with a win on the drying Estoril circuit. Starting form pole, the rookie triumphed in the final race of the season ahead of the 2016 champion, Lando Norris (Josef Kaufmann Racing) and Max Defourny (R-ace GP). However, the Frenchman’s victory wasn’t enough for his team to defeat Josef Kaufmann Racing, which has won its second consecutive team title in the category.
Fenestraz claims the final pole of the season...
In the morning, Sacha Fenestraz won the pole with a lap time of 1:42.068 at the end of a 4-minute sprint final after the red flag stoppage provoked by Ghislain Cordeel (GMMA Formula Racing). The French driver was followed by Max Defourny, Lando Norris, Henrique Chaves (AVF by Adrián Vallés) and Robert Shwartzman (Josef Kaufmann Racing) on the starting grid.
... and controls from the front
Following a pre-race shower, the majority of the field opted for rain tyres. At the first corner, Henrique Chaves got alongside Sacha Fenestraz, but the Frenchman held on to the lead from Max Defourny and the Portuguese native, who was overtaken by Lando Norris on lap five.
Lando Norris continued his march forward and found an opening on Max Defourny on lap 12, but he couldn’t catch the race leader, who took the flag three laps later.
Max Defourny completed the podium ahead of Dorian Boccolacci (Tech 1 Racing). Starting seventh, the Frenchman passed Henrique Chaves with two laps remaining, but that wasn’t enough for Tech 1 Racing to move ahead of Josef Kaufmann Racing in the general classification.
Robert Shwartzman finished sixth ahead of Hugo de Sadeleer (Tech 1 Racing), Harrison Scott (AVF by Adrián Vallés), Bruno Baptista (Fortec Motorsports) and wild-card entry Marcus Armstrong (R-ace GP).
Sacha Fenestraz: “To take my first ‘real’ pole position and win the final race of the season is a great way to conclude the year. It was a good weekend despite the difficult weather conditions. The hardest thing today was managing the tyres because the track dried between the start and finish. You had to find the few areas where it was possible to cool the tyres and I managed to do it. Overall, it was a solid first season even though I made mistakes, including this weekend. If I return next year, the goal will be to win the title.”
Lando Norris: “It wasn’t my best start to be honest! With the drying conditions, the pole came down to who crossed the finish line last. After the opening lap, I did the best I could to catch up and pass Max. I want to thank the team for this season. They allowed me to have a season that passed all my expectations in Formula Renault 2.0.”
Max Defourny: “We had a difficult season with a lot of setbacks and a few mistakes, but it was often out of our control. Nevertheless, the pace was there all year, we were often among the quickest and you have to know how to accept things when they don’t go your way. I think that we deserve better than third place overall, but we are already concentrating on the future.”
1. Lando Norris (Josef Kaufmann Racing) 253
2. Dorian Boccolacci (Tech 1 Racing) 200
3. Max Defourny (R-ace GP) 178,5
4. Harrison Scott (AVF by Adrián Vallés) 172
5. Sacha Fenestraz (Tech 1 Racing) 119,5
* Results subject to confirmation following technical and sporting verifications