Karl-Oscar LiivMP Motorsport came extremely close to earning its first podium finish of the 2011 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 season at the Nurburgring in Germany last weekend, 18th/19th June, with Estonian teenager Karl-Oscar Liiv just missing out on third place during the final lap of race two.

The second of the weekend’s encounters was by far the best for the Dutch team with Liiv almost managing to grab the last podium place on lap 12. In the end, he took the chequered flag just 0.1 seconds adrift to secure his first championship points of the season in the ultra-competitive series.

Starting seventh on the grid, Liiv – who celebrated his 18th birthday on Sunday – moved into the top six on lap one before taking fifth place on lap five. Dicing with Miki Weckstrom over fourth position for a couple of laps, Liiv made the place his own on lap nine before then challenging Timmy Hansen for third all the way to the finish.

Fellow Estonian Johannes Moor excelled in the tricky, wet conditions and sliced his way through the order fantastically well after being forced to start the race from the back of the substantial 34-car grid due to a mix-up during qualifying.

Several drivers, Moor included, were made to leave the track by a marshal and enter Parc Ferme before qualifying had ended so were prevented from finishing their flying laps. Seriously damaging Moor’s chances, the 18-year-old raced superbly and charged through into an exceptional 12th place.

Swedish team-mate Kevin Kleveros also had to start lower down the order for race two than would ordinarily be expected due to a few problems during the wet qualifying session. Lining up in 25th position, the 19-year-old made very good progress and his pace was impressive but all of his hard work was undone on lap six due to a fuel pump issue – easily costing him a deserved top 10 finish.

Team principal Sander Dorsman commented: “All three drivers did a fantastic job in race two, Karl-Oscar was so close to getting on the podium – he almost did it on the last lap but just missed out in the end. Fourth place though is still a great result for us.

“Johannes raced really well, he overtook a lot of cars in the 12 laps and really did do a great job to get as high as 12th place. Unfortunately, Kevin wasn’t able to complete the race because of the fuel pump breaking but without that big problem we’re sure he would have been in the top 10.”

Race one wasn’t as fruitful for MP Motorsport with Kleveros starting in 15th position, just over a second shy of pole position, ahead of Moor in 16th and Liiv in 19th place. In the end, Kleveros finished in 13th position just a fraction ahead of Liiv while Moor was 17th.

Little over a week remains until the next Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 race meeting which will be held at the Hungaroring in Hungary on 2nd/3rd July.

Provisional 2011 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 Driver Standings:
13th Karl-Oscar Liiv, 12pts; 21st Kevin Kleveros, 1pt; No score – Johannes Moor

Photo by Chris Schotanus/Essay Produkties.