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Formula Renault 2.0

The weekend’s first race turned into a celebration for Colombia’s Oscar Tunjo (Tech 1 Racing), who landed his maiden Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 win ahead of the championship-chasing duo of Stoffel Vandoorne (Josef Kaufmann Racing) and Daniil Kvyat (Koiranen Motorsport). Eleven points clear of the Russian at the start of the day, the Belgian now holds a 14-point cushion, ensuring that their compelling title duel will go right down to the last race of the season.

Oscar Tunjo starred in qualifying to seize his second pole of the year, while Stoffel Vandoorne was entitled to feel satisfied at joining him on the front row, especially with his rival Daniil Kvyat back in fifth.

After a clean getaway Oscar Tunjo took turn one ahead of Stoffel Vandoorne and Daniil Kvyat, who improved his race prospects by immediately diving past Oliver Rowland (Fortec Motorsports) and Alex Riberas (Josef Kaufmann Racing). Things were a good deal messier behind them, however, with an eight-car shunt involving Alexander Albon (Epic Racing), Guilherme Silva (Interwetten.com Racing), Andrea Pizzitola (R-ace GP), Egor Orudzhev (Fortec Motorsports), Leo Roussel (Arta Engineering), Patrick Kujala (Koiranen Motorsport), Jordan King (Manor MP Motorsport) and Kevin Jorg (Epic Racing) prompting the emergence of the safety car.

A long neutralisation period followed as the marshals cleared the stricken cars from the track. When racing resumed Oscar Tunjo maintained his lead from Stoffel Vandoorne, Daniil Kvyat, Alex Riberas and Oliver Rowland. The filling in a Josef Kaufmann Racing sandwich, the title-chasing Russian had his hands full trying to keep Alex Riberas at bay while also putting pressure on Stoffel Vandoorne.

The leading trio of Oscar Tunjo, Stoffel Vandoorne and Daniil Kvyat remained locked together as the race entered the final stages, while Alex Riberas continued to hold off Oliver Rowland. Sixth-placed Paul-Loup Chatin (Tech 1 Racing) had Melville McKee (Interwetten.com Racing), Josh Hill (Fortec Motorsports) and Steijn Schothorst (Manor MP Motorsport) nibbling at his heels, the Dutchman eventually ducking past Hill and into eighth on the penultimate lap.

Up ahead Oscar Tunjo successfully fended off the two leaders in the points to clinch his first Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 triumph and Tech 1 Racing’s first victory all season. In taking second ahead of Daniil Kvyat, meanwhile, Stoffel Vandoorne extended his championship lead by a mere three points, leaving everything to play for on the final day of the year.

What they said:

Oscar Tunjo: “We’ve been waiting for this win since the start of the season and today we finally got it, which is great for the team. It wasn’t easy holding off Stoffel and Daniil at the end. A pole and a win: I couldn’t ask for more.”

Stoffel Vandoorne: “Qualifying on the front row was the best thing I could have done today. The safety car was out for a long time and that made for a bit of a boring race. The main thing was to finish ahead of Daniil though, and take some points from him. It’s all going to come down to tomorrow. I just need to stay calm.”

Daniil Kvyat: “After starting fifth I was happy to take third, just behind Stoffel. I pushed as hard as I could, though the race was cut short because of the safety car. I took a few risks to try and get past Stoffel at the end, but the important thing was to stay focused and not give it all away.”

Official Renault Sport Press Release.

Posted: 20 October 2012
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