1 January 1901
Parente podium enough to take title.
Alvaro Parente is the new World Series by Renault Champion after third place in the penultimate race of the season at the Circuit de Catalunya proved good enough to claim the title slightly early.
Finishing a place lower than he started, Parente went into the race needing a minimum of fifth to claim the title, and that was only if arch-rival Ben Hanley could win it – something made all the more difficult when he only qualified 15th.
Unsurprisingly, with Hanley finishing just ninth, Parente made no mistake to take the final spot on the podium and therefore ensure the title would be out of reach for anyone else.
The race itself was won by Miguel Molina, after he managed to produce the perfect pit-stop to deny Salvador Duran a second win of the season.
Forced to start on the damper side of the circuit, Parente couldn't quite jump pole sitter Duran on the long run down to the first corner, slotting into second place and following the Mexican over the first part of the race.
Indeed, the pair were comfortably faster than those directly behind, that group consisting of Molina, Milos Pavlovic, Giedo van der Garde, Mikhail Aleshin and Robert Wickens. Although a mistake for Duran allowed Parente to try an attack, the Interwetten Racing driver remained in the lead as the first round of pit stops got underway.
Keen to keep out of trouble, Parente was the first to make his stop on lap seven, allowing Duran – who now had Molina for company – to build up a good lead on a clear track.
Their battle came to a head on lap 13 when both Duran and Molina entered the pit lane at the same time, making it a battle of the pit crews to decide who would come out on top. Cheered on by the home fans, the Pons Racing team got Molina out ahead of Duran, much to the Mexican's frustration.
That was how the top order stayed, with Molina adding to his maiden victory last time out at Estoril and moving up to seventh place in the standings as a result.
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