Matt Parry emerged from the fifth round of the Formula Renault Northern European Cup with his 121-point championship advantage.
The Bury St Edmunds-based Caterham Racing Academy driver netted an eighth podium finish of the campaign in front of a 100,000-strong crowd at Assen in Holland.
Despite not building on his five wins so far this season, Parry did not take any unnecessary risks as he left the Dutch circuit still firmly in charge of the championship.
“I went to Assen with the aim of consolidating my advantage in the standings, and that is exactly what I did,” the Welshman concluded. “It was nice to get another podium finish, but there is still a job to be done and two more rounds to go.”
Having qualified on the second row for both of the weekend’s races, Parry finished fourth in Saturday’s event to end a run of consecutive podiums that had stretched back to the second race of the season at Hockenheim.
However, he was back in the top three on Sunday thanks to a pair of overtaking moves — on teammate Jack Aitken, who had passed him for third in the first race, and then Dennis Olsen.
“After the mistake I made in race one, I was determined to be error-free second time around,” the 19-year old admitted. “Despite having one eye on the championship, it was good to pass both Aitken and Olsen, but I wish I’d pushed a little harder in pursuit of Schothorst as he made a mistake on the last lap — I reckon a win might have been possible.”
Although Steijn Schothorst took advantage of his local experience to win both races, the Dutchman is not a factor in the battle for the Northern European Cup crown, having only contested the opening triple-header before concentrating on his Eurocup commitments.
Round six of the 2013 Formula Renault Northern European Cup, a triple-header event, takes place at Most in the Czech Republic over the weekend of August 30 and September 1.
n Former DTM champion Gary Paffett saw his hopes of regaining the title this year take a hit when he was only fifth in the latest round at the Moscow Raceway in Russia.
Paffett, who lives just south of Bury, lies third in the standings of the German touring car series, 37 points adrift of leader and Russian race winner Mike Rockenfeller.