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October 10, 2017

Podium for Vartanyan and Piastri stars in Formula Renault 2.0 NEC Debut

Alex Vartanyan took an excellent podium finish for Arden Motorsport at the Hockenheim finale of the Formula Renault 2.0 Nothern European Cup

Alex Vartanyan took an excellent podium finish for Arden Motorsport at the Hockenheim finale of the Formula Renault 2.0 Nothern European Cup, while teammate Oscar Piastri also put in a great performance on his Formula Renault 2.0 racing debut to come away with strong points scoring finishes.

The final round of the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC season took place at Hockenheim, Germany. Arden Motorsport had only entered certain rounds of the Northern European Cup - so the race was more about building up towards the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup finale as well as further developing the new for this season Formula Renault team.

Testing started well with both drivers and the team acclimatising to the Hockenheim circuit for the first time - as it was essentially a team debut for everyone involved.

British F4 regular Oscar Piastri on his maiden qualifying session set the 9th and 7th fastest times for his debut weekends in the series, all the more impressive given it was his first time at the track and in wet conditions in Formula Renault. Vartanyan also qualified inside the top ten, aiming to replicate that feat in the races and continue a consistent return to the championship this weekend.

Race one, now in dry conditions saw Piastri and Vartanyan make great starts running alongside each other into turn one. Piastri ran wide on the exit of turn two in the packed group just before the main straight cost him some time and a few positions. Vartanyan moved his way up the field in the opening corners and capitalised on his rivals running wide to bring himself up to 7th position. Piastri was now in 13th and immediately set about recovering lost ground.

Vartanyan made a bold move around the outside of turn 10 to seize 6th position at half distance, with Piastri making up ground back inside the points paying positions after his difficult start. A queue began to form behind Richard Verschoor for 3rd position - allowing Vartanyan to close onto the back of the chain fighting for the podium spot.
Gabriel Aubry went for a move on Logan Sargeant, opening the door for Vartanyan to slip inside and take 5th position. He held this to the chequered flag, just behind the battle for third and fourth. Piastri recovered brilliantly to recover 8th position on his Formula Renault debut and cap off a double points score for the team.

Race two took place late in the day on Sunday - with the risk of a shortened race due to time constraints. Piastri started from 9th position and Vartanyan from 11th. Both made similar starts in the short run into turn one and they moved themselves into 7th and 8th positions before the first drag race down the main straight into the hairpin. Vartanyan made the choice to go to the outside and reaped the risky rewards to emerge in 6th position, with Piastri in 8th position.
Vartanyan continued his strong race pace and run of form from race on by immediatley closing in on the battle for 5th position - taking Aubry just two corners later to complete a brilliant opening lap. Piastri dropped down to 9th but battled back to retake 8th position soon after.
Unfortunatley by then, the drivers infront had pulled away and out of the slipstream, making Piastri had a hard task ahead to make further ground.

Vartanyan was more fortunate as he was right in the battle for the podium as all drivers were running in close proximity. He continued his superb performance after biding his time and weighing up the oppourtunities, before putting moves on both Jarno Opmeer and Richard Verschoor to seize third position at the final race of the season to cap off a great drive. PIastri came home in 8th position to cap off a brace of points finishes in a very impressive debut and an overall very strong weekend for the team at Hockenheim.

Attention for the Formula Renault team now turns to the final round of the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup Championship in two weeks time at the Circuit de Catalunya, Spain on the 28-29 October.
All races will be live streamed and have live timing provided which will be shared via the Arden Motorsport social media accounts.

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