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Pizzitola Makes Winning Start To Eurocup FR Season
Old 28 Apr 2014 15:05
 
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Manor MP Motorsport got the 2014 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 season off to a winning start at Motorland Aragon in Spain over the weekend, 26th/27th April, with Andrea Pizzitola claiming his first ever win in the championship after a tremendous performance in round two.

Sealing pole position after an incredibly tight qualifying session on Sunday morning at the Alcaniz track, the French 21-year-old made no mistakes at the start of the race and although under pressure during the early running he didn’t put a wheel wrong.

With mere fractions separating Pizzitola and Kevin Jorg for the first six laps, as the encounter passed mid-distance the Manor MP Motorsport driver managed to up the advantage to a full second before eventually taking the chequered flag three seconds clear to cap a stunning victory. The result places Pizzitola third in the drivers’ championship and puts the team fourth in the entrant standings.

While team-mate Steijn Schothorst had a much tougher task, starting round two from 24th on the grid after a difficult qualifying, his race performance was no less spectacular as the Dutchman sliced his way through into 13th position at the finish – just four seconds outside the points-paying top 10.

Gaining three places on lap one alone, Schothorst had moved into 18th position by the end of lap two and had broken into the top 15 at the halfway point. Slicing his way into 14th place on lap eight, he was then elbowed back a couple of positions following a moment on lap 10 but recovered well.

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“Andrea and Steijn both had great pace this weekend, if qualifying had gone right for Steijn we almost certainly would have seen each of them in the points”, said Manor MP Motorsport’s Tony Shaw, “To win on the first weekend of the season is fantastic, Andrea put together a perfect race, didn’t panic under pressure, and then controlled things at the end – absolutely superb.

“With Steijn and Andrea we know we have two drivers who can challenge for the podium all year in Eurocup [Formula Renault 2.0]. It’s so important to make a good start to the season, now the aim is to get both drivers on the podium at Spa.”

Unfortunately for the Anglo-Dutch squad, round one on Saturday was less pleasing but Schothorst again produced a very strong drive through the order. From an uncharacteristic 17th on the grid, the Dutch 19-year-old carved his way to within a couple of seconds of the coveted top 10.

Rising into 14th position on the first lap, incredibly, by the start of lap three, he was into ninth place and pressuring reigning Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup Champion Matt Parry. As he defended, Schothorst was held-up but the pair gained a place each when another car dropped back.

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On lap seven an unfortunate moment after being tagged by another driver undid Schothorst’s hard work as he slipped outside the top 10, but 11th position was, nonetheless, a strong result from row nine of the grid. Pizzitola, meanwhile, was forced to retire following an incident on lap nine – frustrating for team and driver as his pace was just 0.1 seconds shy of the best of the race.

Rounds three and four of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 season will take place over the weekend 31st May/1st June at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium. Before then, the 2014 GP2 Series will resume on 10th/11th May at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain.

Photos: Dutch Photo Agency

Provisional 2014 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Driver Standings (after Rd2):
3rd Andrea Pizzitola, 25pts; No score – Steijn Schothorst

Provisional 2014 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Team Standings (after Rd2):
4th Manor MP Motorsport, 25pts
Tags: 2014 worldseriesbyrenault formularenaulteurocup




 
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