Steijn Schothorst secured a season-best top five finish during the penultimate event of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 campaign at Paul Ricard HTTT on Sunday, 28th September, one week on from Manor MP Motorsport team-mate Andrea Pizzitola earning a superb victory on the final weekend of the sister Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup campaign – his maiden win in the NEC FR 2.0 Series.
After two fantastic back-to-back weekends with its 2.0-litre Formula Renault squad, the Anglo-Dutch team will go into the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 championship finale three weeks from now at Jerez in Spain with confidence as high as it’s been all year.
“We’ve had two really good weekends with Andrea and Steijn, it’s given everyone in the team a big boost and there’s now a great chance for Andrea to end the Eurocup season as Vice-Champion”, said team principal Sander Dorsman, “Steijn did a really great job in the second race this weekend, fifth was an incredible result from 11th place.”
Round 11 on Saturday, 27th September, was an uneventful affair for Pizzitola who, starting the race in fifth position, remained there throughout the 13 laps. Holding station off the start, the Frenchman wasn’t able to make early pressure on Egor Orudshev count and after seeing off the attentions of Gutav Malja at mid-distance, Pizzitola consolidated a nonetheless strong finish.
Schothorst, qualifying in 17th place, was determined to make good progress and did so to end the contest in 13th position. Gaining a place on the opening lap, he was edged back to 18th position but then recovered strongly during the second half of the encounter to carve his way into 13th place with a couple of laps to go.
Better was to come for Schothorst in round 12 on Sunday and after making a terrific launch from 11th place on the grid, he made excellent early progress to rocket into the top eight on the opening lap. Team-mate Pizzitola started directly behind in 13th position and the duo ran together in eighth and ninth but the action was red flagged soon after due to a multi-car tangle.
The race was eventually re-started behind the Safety Car, with Schothorst in eighth and Pizzitola ninth, and the former made outstanding progress. Into sixth by lap six, the Dutch youngster then broke into the top five a couple of laps later to cap a sensational performance. Pizzitola, meanwhile, ended the race in eighth position to maintain third place in the drivers’ championship and within just eight points of Dennis Olsen.
Jerez in Spain will host rounds 13 and 14 of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 season, the last event of the 2014 campaign, on 18th/19th October.
Provisional 2014 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Driver Standings (after Rd12):3rd Andrea Pizzitola, 108pts; 18th Steijn Schothorst, 12pts
Provisional 2014 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Team Standings (after Rd12):4th Manor MP Motorsport, 120pts