Tech 1 Racing have surged into the lead of the World Series by Renault team standings, while Alvaro Parente retains the drivers' advantage, following their home round at Magny-Cours.
After a successful round at Donington Park, hopes were high that the team could replicate that form on home soil at the Nevers circuit, but a penalty for Parente meant he would line-up ninth for the first race, while his team-mate Julien Jousse was 14th.
Nonetheless, the first race – held in wet conditions – proved to be a strong one for the team, both drivers getting a good start to be running comfortably inside the top ten following the first lap.
Building on that, Parente and Jousse would eventually hold down sixth and ninth places at the chequered flag, placing them in good positions for the second race.
Starting second and fifth, both drivers made the most of their places to challenge up at the front, particularly Jousse, who was enjoying racing in front of his home crowd as he chased Guillaume Moreau for the lead.
However, Jousse made an error that was enough to let Miguel Molina to slip through, dropping him into the clutches of Parente. Nonetheless, any hopes from the Portuguese driver that he would be waved through were ended as Jousse robustly defended his position and held on for third, Parente finishing fourth.
Still, the weekend marked more success for the sophomore team, with Carlin Motorsport's poor run allowing Tech 1 to take a suddenly comprehensive 21 point lead. Parente meanwhile holds down a 15 point lead over Ben Hanley with only four races remaining.
"Julien did a great job to resist the pressure from Molina for 24 laps," team principal Simon Abadie said. "This second visit to the podium underlines just how much progress he has made over the course of the year.
“But I do not think it was right for the race marshals to allow Duran to come out of the pits just in front of the group that was fighting for second place – which is what caused Julien's mistake.
“With fourth place for Alvaro, we've scored enough points to take the lead of the team's championship with a healthy margin. Generally speaking it's been a very good weekend, which means that we can approach the rest of the year in a positive frame of mind."