Silverstone - Race 1
Robin Frijns (Josef Kaufmann Racing) emerged victorious for his third victory of the season, after a pulsating race in the rain at Silverstone. With the win, the Dutchman further extends his lead at the top of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 standings. Just a few turns from the finish, Alex Riberas (Epic Racing) grabbed second place from Will Stevens (Fortec Motorsports), who finished third in front of his home crowd.Carlos Sainz Jr. (Koiranen Motorsport) secured his third pole position of the season with a perfect lap in qualifying. The Spaniard started the feature race on the front row, alongside Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 championship leader Robin Frijns. Will Stevens (Fortec Motorsports) started in third, no doubt with high hopes of a strong performance with the British crowd roaring him on.The lights went out, and Carlos Sainz Jr. was immediately caught out by Robin Frijns, with the Dutch driver taking the lead in the early stages. Will Stevens, in third, found himself locked in a tussle with Alex Riberas and Javier Tarancon. The latter was involved in a collision before the end of the first lap, and rejoined the race all the way down at the back of the field.A few drops of rain began to fall at this stage, but it certainly did not dampen Sainz Jr.'s enthusiasm as he attempted to remove Frijns from first place. However, the Spaniard's hopes were dashed when he received a drive-through penalty for receiving a push from his mechanics at the start of the formation lap. As a result, he fell down to 22nd place and allowed Will Stevens to move up into second. The British driver had to be on his toes, though, with Riberas, Paul-Loup Chatin (Tech 1 Racing) and Stoffel Vandoorne (KTR) all in hot pursuit.Sainz Jr. was no longer in Frijns' rear-view mirror, but the Dutchman could not afford to relax with Stevens edging closer and closer. The track had started to become damp in places, but Frijns nonetheless picked up the pace and managed to establish a small advantage. Conscious of the gap, Stevens turned his attention to fending off the challenge of Riberas, Paul-Loup Chatin and Vandoorne. Chatin turned up the heat by overtaking Riberas, but the Barcelona native bounced back immediately, just before the safety car emerged to allow the stationary cars of Henrique Martins (Cram Competition), Yann Zimmer (Arta Engineering) and John Bryant Meisner (Koiranen Motorsport) to be removed from the track.Frijns resumed in first place at the restart, with Stevens following behind in second. The battle for third between Riberas and Chatin took an interesting turn when Vandoorne entered the fray on the penultimate lap and overtook the Frenchman. Stevens also tried his luck against Frijns. However, in a gripping final lap, it was in fact the British driver who found himself overtaken by Riberas just a few turns from the finish. Frijns held firm to record his third win of the season, with Riberas and Stevens coming home in second and third place respectively.What they said:
Robin Frijns: "I was quickly informed of Carlos's penalty, so I didn't take any risks when he came back to challenge me. The rain meant that it wasn't an easy race. When you're out in front, you never really know what to expect and you're the first to find out if there are any potential traps. It wasn't easy at the end. I've increased my advantage today, which is perfect."
Alex Riberas: "It's been a really good day for us. After a good qualifying session, we got a good result in the race. It was raining really hard at one point, so it wasn't easy. Paul-Loup Chatin was pushing hard behind me, but I fought him off and I tried everything in the last lap. It paid off and I got past, so that's great.
Will Stevens: "I'm obviously a bit disappointed. Robin [Frijns] has increased his lead, but on the plus side I've won points over Carlos Sainz Jr. and Daniil Kvyat. It's never nice to be overtaken on the final lap. I hope I can do better tomorrow."