23 Apr Parry does the double!
20th-21st April, Nurburgring – A sunny Nurburgring in Germany played host to the second round of the Formula Renault Northern European Cup at the weekend. Jake Dennis and Ed Jones joined the eight-strong-Fortec team as they prepared for next weekend’s opening Eurocup round. They were also joined by Corrina Kampur, who is new to the team after missing the first round as she was unwell. The two challenging races produced some mixed results but it was Matt Parry who dominated the weekend and takes charge of the overall points standings after two race wins.
Starting from third on the grid Parry had a good start and was challenging pole sitter Oscar Tunjo (Josef Kaufmann Racing) into the first corner. Behind, Jake Dennis had also had a strong start from fifth, but as the field entered the bottle neck of the race an incident between Malija and Mavlanov sent Dennis off track. Despite the heavy impact both Dennis and the car survived, however the damage issued was too severe to be fixed in the short turnaround before race 2, seeing Dennis retire from both races. Further behind the rest of the Fortec squad kept out of trouble and powered through the first lap.
Back up front Parry had taken the lead by the second turn and continued to pull out a lead over Tunjo. Once in front he was never challenged, maintaining a comfortable advantage of around a second over Eurocup regular Esteban Ocon (who had gone into second) throughout the 13 laps and claiming his maiden Formula Renault NEC victory in only his fourth race.
As the chequered flag was flown the rest of the Fortec squad also finished with credible results. Parkari crossed the line in fifth whilst team-mates Aitken finished eighth, Engineer ninth, Jones eleventh, Celis twelfth, Armand seventeenth and Kamper twentieth. Tveter and Dennis did not finish the race due to car damage. Roman Beregech did not make the start of the race.
The second race of the day saw Matt Parry on pole and put in yet another stunning start to pull away with a significant lead on the opening lap.
As Parry left from pole the empty space left by Jake Dennis (who had retired due to damage to his car from race one) was soon filled by Pakari who quickly took third place. The start also went well for the rest of the Fortec team, with many improving from their start positions – notably Ed Jones who went from tenth off the start line up into sixth by the second lap. Aitken, Tveter, Celis, Beregech, Armand and Kamper all made it off the line safely. For Shahaan Engineer his race was not to go to plan as he ended up in the gravel and out of the race after contact was made.
As the race continued it was clear Parry was going to steal the show. He was able to stay out of harm’s way through the curling series of corners that start the lap and, as he had in the morning, was quickly able to extend an advantage over the chasing pack. This time, it was Eurocup entry Gustav Malja who kept the Sport Wales-backed driver honest, but he struggled in vain to close the one-second gap as the Parry controlled the race from the front and claimed his second maximum score of the weekend.
Also making the podium was Pakari who crossed the line in third. Jones took the chequered flag in very credible sixth place whilst team-mates Aitken was ninth, Tveter eleventh, Celis thirteenth, Beregech fifteenth and Armand twenty-second. Kamper pitted with just two laps to go and did not finish the race.
Commenting on his double win Parry said: “Winning once this weekend would have been great, but to win both races is beyond expectation, this is a strong field and the racing is very competitive, so I’m delighted with how things have gone. Fortec provided me with the perfect car, and it was just a question of making the most of it. I’m now looking forward to the rest of the season with increased confidence and can’t wait to get back on track.
The next round of the Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup takes place during the Blancpain Endurance Series at Silverstone on the 1st and 2nd of June.