Home Formula RegionalEurocup-3 Alexander Abkhazava wins rescheduled Eurocup-3 race in chaotic finish

Alexander Abkhazava wins rescheduled Eurocup-3 race in chaotic finish

by Ida Wood

Photo: Eurocup-3

Sainteloc Racing’s Alexander Abkhazava emerged on top in a chaotic final lap of Eurocup-3’s third race at Algarve to take his and his team’s first win.

The second-best laptimes from Q1 set the grid of the race, added to the weekend schedule after race two of the opening round at Spa-Francorchamps was cancelled, with Campos Racing’s Christian Ho starting on pole ahead of MP Motorsport’s Bruno del Pino, Abkhazava and Campos’s Valentin Kluss.

Ho darted to the inside at the start to defend from del Pino and then swept to the left to cover off Abkhazava, but ended up getting passed by both. Del Pino took the lead at turn one, then the safety car came out after Drivex School’s Joao Diaz and Campos’s Michael Shin clashed. Shin dropped to last place, and Diaz retired with broken front-right suspension.

Racing resumed on lap four, with Campos’s Suleiman Zanfari passing MP’s Dario Cabanelas for 10th. Abkhazava had to defend against Ho down the pit straight and into turn one on the next two laps, then Ho dived past him at turn four and went off but rejoined the track ahead.

Moments later his team-mate Noah Lisle got beached in the gravel after running in ninth and the safety car was summoned again.

The next restart was on lap 10, and MP’s Javier Sagrera passed Kluss for fourth before turn one. Sainteloc’s Jose Garfias tried to pass Kluss at that corner a lap later but briefly went off, then the race was neutralised once more as Ho retired his car on a patch of grass.

There was time for only one more lap of racing after Ho’s car was retrieved, and del Pino weaved down the pit straight on the restart. The result of that was almost squeezing Abkhazava into the pit wall and losing the lead to him, then falling even further down the order by the time he reached turn one.

Sagrera attacked Abkhazava at turn two, as Global Racing Service’s Isaac Barashi and a Sainteloc driver spin, then at turn five Garfias spun out of the race entirely.

Abkhazava won by 0.219 seconds, with Sagrera and Kluss completing the podium. Del Pino recovered to fourth ahead of team-mate Owen Tangavelou and Shin, who beat Palou Motorsport’s Theodor Jensen by just 0.026s.

There are now three drivers level on points at the top of the championship, with del Pino leading on fourth place countback against Sagrera, with Tangavelou in third.

Race results (15 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Alexander Abkhazava Sainteloc Racing
2 Javier Sagrera MP Motorsport +0.219s
3 Valentin Kluss Campos Racing +0.825s
4 Bruno del Pino MP Motorsport +2.255s
5 Owen Tangavelou MP Motorsport +2.867s
6 Michael Shin Campos Racing +3.497s
7 Theodor Jensen Palou Motorsport +3.523s
8 Nikola Tsolov Global Racing Service +4.090s
9 Garrett Berry Palou Motorsport +4.649s
10 George Zhuravskiy Drivex School +7.805s
11 Nick Gilkes Drivex School +7.908s
12 Emely de Heus Global Racing Service +8.972s
13 Gaspard Le Gallais Drivex School +9.223s
14 Emmo Fittipaldi MP Motorsport +9.682s
15 Suleiman Zanfari Campos Racing +11.765s
16 Dario Cabanelas MP Motorsport +12.849s
17 Diego de la Torre Sainteloc Racing +14.362s
18 Daniel Nogales Drivex School +15.905s
19 Isaac Barashi Global Racing Service +26.401s
Ret Jose Garfias Sainteloc Racing
Ret Christian Ho Campos Racing
Ret Noah Lisle Campos Racing
Ret Luciano Morano Palou Motorsport
Ret Joao Diaz Drivex School
DNS Victoria Blokhina Drivex School
DNS Finley Green Sainteloc Racing
Pole: Ho, 1m39.058s   Fastest lap: del Pino, 1m40.938s

Championship standings
1 del Pino 78   2 Sagrera 78   3 Tangavelou 78   4 Ho 66   5 Abkhazava 63   6 Kluss 58   7 Fittipaldi 44   8 Lisle 29   9 Shin 28   10 Kirill Smal 27