Brit be­comes youngest cham­pion de­spite neck in­jury

Motor Sport News - - Headline News - By Stephen Lick­o­r­ish Pho­tos: Dutch Photo Agency, Jakob Ebrey

Reign­ing MSA For­mula cham­pion Lando Nor­ris has be­come the youngest ever Eurocup For­mula Re­nault 2.0 ti­tle-win­ner af­ter tak­ing a sur­prise cham­pi­onship win at Spa last week­end.

The 16-year-old Brit was third in the open­ing race, while a sec­ond place in race two clinched him the crown. Ri­val Max De­fourny had a mis­er­able race fin­ish­ing 15th af­ter be­ing in­volved in two sep­a­rate col­li­sions.

“I didn’t think I would be wrap­ping it up this week­end as I would have to take a lot of points off De­fourny and con­sid­er­ing his pace all year I didn’t think I would be able to,” said Nor­ris, who has also won the New Zealand-based Toy­ota Rac­ing Se­ries this year. “I thought it was go­ing to be much tougher but he got caught up in a few things and it takes a lot of pres­sure off me as this is the main fo­cus this year.

“There’s a big list of very well known peo­ple who have won the ti­tle and to be the youngest of them is pretty cool. Hope­fully I can end up where they have got to [a num­ber of cham­pi­ons have made it to F1].”

But Nor­ris’ ti­tle win was far from straight­for­ward as he had to bat­tle with a neck in­jury in race two.

“My neck was fine on Fri­day and Satur­day but on Sun­day on the way to the track I must’ve made a slightly wrong move and done some­thing pretty bad to my neck,” he added. “I was in a lot of pain and didn’t think I would be able to go out – I couldn’t move my head to the left at all. I found a way of lay­ing my head on the head rest and it made it just about bear­able. I was suf­fer­ing quite a bit in qual­i­fy­ing and felt like I was a long way off. It was very dif­fer­ent to how I nor­mally drive and I was so sur­prised to be sixth. It wasn’t easy to drive but it paid off when I took the cham­pi­onship early.”

He was due to be checked by a spe­cial­ist on Monday ahead of the fi­nal round of the North­ern Euro­pean Cup at Hock­en­heim this week­end. He is set to take that ti­tle too, as he leads ri­val De­fourny by 48 points.

Josef Kauf­mann driver Nor­ris claimed ti­tle at Spa Brit took ti­tle with podium Squad has not run LMP3 car be­fore

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