The third round of the Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup saw only British winners. The first two races on Saturday were for Josh Hill, whilst Jake Dennis managed to take the victory during the last race on Sunday. With weather extremes, a lot of overtaking for podium places and a strong field of 30 cars, the NEC can look back on a very successful weekend.
Yellow flags marked the qualifying on Friday, the 6th of July. Several cars went just passed the limit of what was possible in their aim to set the fastest time. The ones, who did manage, were Jeroen Slaghekke for Van Amersfoort Racing in the first session (1.27.917) and Jake Dennis for Fortec Motorsport in the second, with a time of 1.26.936.
On Saturday morning, the first race was going to be run under wet conditions. It would be a first for many drivers, as all sessions before had seen dry tarmac. After switching off the starting lights, pole man Jeroen Slaghekke lost ground to Josh Hill and Alessio Picariello. Three cars next to eachother fought their way to the first corner, with Picariello as the winner and leader in front of 28 other competitors.
Not for long however, because Josh Hill found a better pace in the pooring rain and overtook Picariello in the third lap of the race. Behind the frontrunners, there was some heavy competition for the top ten positions in the field. Steijn Schothorst was battling with Slaghekke and Picariello for a place in the top five. Meanwhile, Jordan King for Manor MP Motorsport and Jake Dennis (Fortec) had settled for second and third place. Although the gap with Hill was decreasing and increasing on and off, his lead was never threatened, leading to his first win in the series.
Late that afternoon, under dry circumstances, the full field of NEC collected for the second race of the weekend. Signing for pole position seemed to go together with a bad start, as Jake Dennis also fell back and lost his lead in the first few meters. Again, it was Hill who managed to make the most of it, and was building on a gap to the others the rest of the race. The most interesting fight was taking place for third, as Picariello, Dennis and Kleveros were within a second of each other for the majority of the race. After successful defending of Picariello, he managed to secure a first podium place for him and his team SL Formula this season.
The third and last race of the weekend at the Motorsport Arena Oschersleben started early on Sunday morning. It proved that pole was not the place to be this weekend, as Picariello leaving from first place threw his race away before the first corner. It was Steijn Schothorst for Manor MP Motorsport who took the lead in the first lap, with Jake Dennis and Josh Hill on his tail.
The top three were involved in a fight that would last throughout the entire race. Dennis saw a chance to pass Schothorst in the sixth lap, when the latter had to focus immediately on Hill who was eager to take the second place as well. Schothorst lasted until the penultimate lap, when Hill took the opportunity and passed.
With his win, Dennis managed to secure the first place in the overall standings of the championship. With 164 points, he has a 20 point lead to Jordan King, followed by Hill in third place. As Josef Kaufmann will be back at Assen, the fight for the lead will continue during the fourth round of the championship.
The next round of the Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup will take place during the Gamma Racing Day, held at the TT track of Assen on the 4th and 5th of August 2012.
Result Race 1 (race 6 for NEC)
Josh Hill in 26 minutes and 00.439 seconds, 2. Jordan King + 3.792, 3. Jake Dennis + 5.027, 4. Steijn Schothorst + 11.415, 5. Jeroen Slaghekke + 25.581, 6. Alessio Picariello +31.924, 7. Gabriel Casagrande + 32.132, 8. Sandy Stuvik + 37.054, 9. Shahaan Engineer + 48.267, 10. Yu Kanamaru + 55.597
Result Race 2 (race 7 for NEC):
Josh Hill in 25 minutes and 5.810 seconds, 2. Jordan King +2.732, 3. Alessio Picariello + 11.210, 4. Jake Dennis + 11.791, 5. Kevin Kleveros + 12.422, 6. Jeroen Slaghekke + 13.940, 7. Sandy Stuvik +14.941, 8. Shahaan Engineer + 15.197, 9. Leopold Ringbom + 19.866, 10. Jakub Smiechowski + 24.765
Result Race 3 (race 8 for NEC):
Jake Dennis in 25 minutes and 5.627 seconds, 2. Josh Hill + 2.151, 3. Steijn Schothorst + 3.839, 4. Jeroen Slaghekke + 7.830, 5. Gabriel Casagrande + 9.845, 6. Sandy Stuvik + 10.326, 7. Shahaan Engineer + 10.501, 8. Kevin Kleveros + 12.496, 9. Meindert van Buuren + 15.878, 10. Ignazio d’Agosto + 17.262
Standings in the Championship after 8 races:
Jake Dennis with 164 points, 2. Jordan King 144, 3. Josh Hill 136, 4. Stoffel Vandoorne 122, 5. Jeroen Slaghekke 102, 6. Andrea Pizzitola 93, 7. Kevin Kleveros 92, 8. Sandy Stuvik 74, 9. Steijn Schothorst 70, 10. Shahaan Engineer 65.