29 Jul Strong results in Spa
Last weekend (24th-26th July) the Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup headed to Spa-Francorchamps to support the Blancpain Total 24 Hours of Spa. Racing on Friday morning and Saturday afternoon, the Fortec team of Ben Barnicoat, Seb Morris and Martin Kodric took home some solid results with Barnicoat taking the second step of the podium in race one.
The first race of the weekend saw good starts for the team as they all pulled off the start line maintaining their positions. Barnicoat chased Kevin Jorg (Josef Kaufmann racing), who started in pole, to take first but with a chasing pack the British racer focused on defending his second place position.
“I had a pretty good start and was able to stay in second place, unfortunately I didn’t quite have the pace to hang onto Kevin Jorg (Josef Kaufmann Racing) and he got away from me.” Commented Barnicoat. “After that I was under a lot of pressure from Deletraz (Josef Kaufmann Racing) but I managed to hold him off and maintain second.”
As the race continued Barnicoat kept pushing on and defended his position up until the chequered flag where he crossed the line in second. The NEC racer, who also races with Fortec in the Formula Renault ALPS, took the lead of the championship by one point after his podium finish.
Behind, teammate Morris crossed the line in 7th whilst Kodric took 18th.
Going into the second race on Saturday Barnicoat lead the championship with 140 points, just one point from second placed Steijn scothurst.
Lining up on the grid in sixth Barnicoat made a good getaway, shortly followed by Morris and Kodric. For Barnicoat a battle soon ensued and after trading places with Okeefe, and others who had worked their way up the grid, he settled into fifth.
Just as it looked as if Barnicoat was lining himself up to take fourth, the safety car was called out when Michele La Rosa (Euronova Racing) left the track at Les Combes and crashed into the tyre wall. At the restart the field were keen to make up for lost time and, as they all charged on, Barnicoat slipped back into sixth. For Morris the restart saw him get caught up with Raoul Owens (Mark Burdett Motorsport), sending them both out of the race and calling out a second safety car.
Under safety car conditions Barnicoat crossed the line in fifth whilst Kodric took 13th.
Reflecting on his second race Barnicoat said: “With two safety cars this race was quite stressful for me and saw me lose my championship lead…but it wasn’t a disaster and still gave me a decent points hall.
“I’m really looking to Assen as the pre season testing there went really well, it will be hard to beat my main championship rival Steijn as it is his home track but I am ready for the challenge.”
The next round takes place at Assen this coming weekend (2nd-3rd August).