Tveter Finishes a Strong Fifth In Formula Renault 2.0 NEC Race at Spa
FRANCORCHAMPS, Stavelot, Belgium, July 28 — After topping the charts for a good portion of the first qualifying session, America’s Ryan Tveter finished fifth in Friday’s 25-minute Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup race at Spa-Francorchamps with his Game Ready Injury Treatment System #16, which is also supported by Switzerland’s Autobau conference center and racing museum.
The young driver from Oyster Bay, N.Y. qualified just 1.277 seconds off the pole at an average speed of 179.6 kilometers per hour (111.6 miles per hour) for the 20-turn, 7.004-kilometer (4.352-mile) road course that hosts the Belgium Grand Prix. That gave him the sixth starting spot in the 25-car field for the standing start for the first half of a doubleheader that supported the 24 Hours of Spa.
The driver who started third, Callan O’Keeffe, dropped to 13th on the first lap and that’s the only circuit he completed, so Tveter was scored in fifth place at the completion of the first of 11 laps turned in the event’s 25-minute time limit.
Seb Morris passed him working lap three to push him back to sixth, but Tveter got Morris back two laps later to regain fifth place. One of Tveter’s teammates, Gustav Malja, was 0.443 of a second behind Tveter in sixth place at the checkered, but the American brought his car home in fifth place despite all of Malja’s efforts.
It was a great day for their team, Josef Kaufmann Racing, as it had four cars in the top six and two on the podium. JKR driver Kevin Jörg led every lap from the pole to win the race over Ben Barnicoat with another JKR driver, Louis Deletraz, in third.
Tveter started 11th in Saturday’s race. He got a good start initially and moved into the top 10, but then was involved in a racing incident going into the last chicane and spun. He regrouped immediately without bringing out a full-course caution flag, dropped to the rear of the field, and started over.
He passed David Richert and O’Keeffe on lap two to rise to 20th, but then a full-course caution waved when Michele La Rosa backed into a tire wall in Les Combes. About 13 minutes remained in the race after the rolling restart, and Tveter passed Harri Salminen and Julio Moreno to rise to 18th. O’Keeffe got by him shortly thereafter but Tveter was back to 18th when Josef Zaruba dropped out with seven laps complete.
A little later Seb Morris and Raoul Owens made contact, with Owens backing into a wall in the same place La Rosa had earlier. The race ended under that full-course caution with eight laps complete and Tveter crossed the line in 16th.
Jörg led every lap of that race too but he was slapped with a 30-second penalty for jumping one of the starts, which gave the victory to Schothorst over Deletraz and Malja and advanced Tveter to 15th.
“Overall I’m very happy with the result we had in Race 1 on Friday,” Tveter said. “The pace was very good throughout the whole race and I was fighting for a podium position in the early laps, which was great. I had some very hard-fought battles with all the guys around me. It was fantastic and great competition and sport.
“The race was declared wet with just a few sprinkles on the track on the lap to the grid, but in the background there were massive clouds, and starting about halfway through the race, massive strikes of lightning around the circuit. It was quite surreal and something that can really only happen at Spa. It’s such a beautiful place with something you just can’t quite put your finger on. I really enjoyed all my time on track this weekend.
“The team did a fantastic job this weekend with all four cars in the top six in Race 1. A big thank you to everyone and congratulations to my teammate Kevin for winning Friday’s race. We all scored a lot of points over the weekend and extended the team’s lead in the championship by a good margin. I moved up two positions in the championship and am sitting tenth overall now. There are three more weekends to go and I will continue to push for consistently strong finishes and points.
The series’ next event is next weekend, Aug. 1-3, when it travels to Assen, Netherlands.
For more information on Tveter, who is currently on a leave of absence from his engineering studies at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., see his website at RyanTveter.com. He is also on Facebook at Facebook.com/RyanTveter and he’s @RyanTveter on Twitter. He posts on-board video on his YouTube channel too.
For more information on the team, see jk-racing.de. The series’ Web sites are at necup.com and renault-sport.de.