Seven podiums and fifth win for Nyck de Vries in Formula Renault 2.0 ALPS. At Spa, after having set his third pole position of the season, the Dutch driver racing for Koiranen GP managed to keep all behind in Race 1. It was not an easy race though for the winner, due to two safety cars and the rival constantly on his tail. In the chaser’s role there was once more the youngster Matevos Isaakyan (JD Motorsport). After having won both races at the Red Bull Ring 15 days ago, the Russian proved to be once more very fast ending up second. Third podium’s step for the Monaco driver Charles Leclerc (Fortec Motorsports), at the very last lap author of a contact with the Arta Engineering French driver Simon Gachet who was forced to retire while he was fourth. The two Tech 1 Racing drivers, Canadian Luke Chudleigh and Malaysian Akash Nandy, finished fourth and fifth.
At the start de Vries kept the lead chased by Isaakyan, Gachet and Leclerc. An early crash between Dario Capitanio and Raoul Owens (fifth and sixth on the grid) forced the first safety car. At the restart Leclerc made his move on Gachet taking the third place. With 7’ to go yet another safety car, this time to remove Pietro Fittipaldi’s car stuck on the Kemmel straight after a mistake from the driver. A real shame as the Brazilian of MGR Motorsport managed an astonishing recover from 21st to 10th. With the time running out the drivers were allowed to do the last lap with de Vries able to defend the lead from Isaakyan. Behind them ended Leclerc, while Gachet was forced to retire after the contact with the rival.
“My start was perfect, but the race was tough with the two safety cars that forced to remain focused till the very last”. - It was de Vries’ comment.
Penalties have been awarded for Race 2. The Austrian Cram Motorsport driver Stefan Riener, already fined with a 25” penalty (as Danyil Pronenko), will also slip back on the grid of 10 positions. Five positions for Capitanio as well, four for the Australian James Allen (Arta Engineering). Race 2 is set for tomorrow at 10.30. The race will still last 25’ plus a lap and will be live streamed on www.renaultsportitalia.it.
Race 1 (top 5): 1. Nyck de Vries NDL (Koiranen GP) 10 laps, 28’29”072; 2. Matevos Isaakyan RUS (JD Motorsport) 0”344; 3. Charles Leclerc MC (Fortec Motorsports) 1”637; 4. Luke Chudleigh CAN (Tech 1 Racing) 2”961; 5. Akash Nandy MAL (Tech 1 Racing) 4”349.
The Championship (top 10): 1. Nyck de Vries NDL (Koiranen GP) 155; 2. Matevos Isaakyan RUS (JD Motorsport) 86; 3. George Russell GBR (Koiranen GP) 69; 4. Charles Leclerc MC (Fortec Motorsports) 65; 5. Simon Gachet FRA (Arta Engineering) 62; 6. Sebastien Morris GBR (Fortec Motorsports) 31; 7. Luke Chudleigh CAN (Tech 1 Racing) 28; 8. Alessio Rovera ITA (Cram Motorsport) 26; 9. Alex Bosak and Andrew Tang SIN (Prema Powerteam) 24.