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Eurocup Clio

Azor Duenas (Milan Competition) set the seal on the 2011 World Series by Renault season by recording his maiden Eurocup Clio win in the final race of the year. The Spaniard kept his cool in an incident-packed race to come home first ahead of Nicolas Milan (Milan Competition) and Mike Verschuur (Equipe Verschuur), the top two in the overall standings.

Second in the championship, Verschuur headed the grid from 2011 title winner Milan, the duo heading into turn one in that order, while Duenas began his race by unseating Frederic Yerly (Fred Yerly Team) from third.

Milan upped the pressure on Verschuur on lap two, going through turns one and two side-by-side with the Dutchman, both men braking at the last moment and losing the racing line to allow Duenas to slip into the lead ahead of Milan. Yerly took advantage to tuck into third, with Verschuur slipping to fourth and Massimiliano Pedala (Rangoni Motorsport) lying fifth.

The race order changed again when Yerly went too light on the brakes and clashed with Pedala, Verschuur capitalising to move up to third while the Italian dropped down to seventh.

There was more bumping and barging to come as the field bunched up, Yerly and Pedala faring worse than most and slipping right down the order, and the safety car coming out after a series of spins and collisions. At that point Duenas led the way from Milan, Verschuur, Eoin Murray (Monolite Motorsport), Simone di Luca (Rangoni Motorsport) and Jordi Palomeras (Pujolaracing).

With team leader Milan covering his back, Duenas remained out front after a clean restart, and the only change in the leading group as the finish line neared was Palomeras’ move up to fifth ahead of Di Luca.

Though the third-placed Verschuur battled to the end, the Milan Competition duo had a comfortable advantage as they crossed the line, Duenas taking the flag from Milan in only his second Eurocup Clio appearance. Verschuur rounded off the podium, ending the season as the leading junior.

What they said:

Azor Duenas: “It feels very special to win in my second Eurocup Clio race, even more so because it’s at home. It was a tough race and I’m very pleased to have won it.”

Nicolas Milan: “I’m thrilled to finish second behind a team-mate in my last Eurocup Clio race. Now I’ve got a new adventure in the Eurocup Megane Trophy. It’s the first time I’ll be competing in a rear-wheel drive and for a team other than my own.”

Mike Verschuur: “That wasn’t the easiest race of my career because the steering went all out of line after my clash with Nicolas Milan. I had a lot of partners here this weekend and they want to see me back in the Eurocup Megane Trophy. Let’s see what kind of programme we can put together for 2012.”

Official Renault Sport Press Release.

Posted: 09 October 2011
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