Last year’s SMP and Spanish Formula 4 runner-up Bent Viscaal made the step up to Formula 3 in style in the Euroformula Open Winter Series at Paul Ricard, winning both races with ease.
The Dutchman took pole by half a second for Teo Martin Motorsport, with highly-tipped RP Motorsport driver Felipe Drugovich alongside him on the front row of the grid.
Drivex School duo Lucas Dunner and Jannes Fittje filled the second row of the grid, and the only other drivers to get within a second of Viscaal.
Viscaal’s focus for the first race was optimising the start, which he accomplished to great effect to establish himself in the lead ahead of Drugovich.
From there he was untouchable, even though Drugovich did up the pace in the middle part of the race, and Viscaal ended his first ever Formula 3 race with a 5.794 second victory margin.
Petru Florescu (Fortec Motorsports) and Matheus Iorio (Carlin) moved past the Drivex drivers at the start, but their time in third and fourth didn’t last long before they collided into each other.
Fittje inherited third, while team-mate Dunner, also in his first F3 race, held off Carlin’s Cameron Das for fourth.
Formula Renault Northern European Cup champion Michael Benyahia finished sixth for RP Motorsport, with Australian F3 champion Calan Williams, returning Drivex man Christian Hahn, Viscaal’s team-mate Moritz Muller-Crepon and Guilherme Samaia completing the top 10.
The second race used a reversed grid format, not used in a regular season race since 2011, with Venturi Formula E development driver Benyahia starting from pole. The Moroccan conceded the lead before the end of the first sector to Das, with Viscaal jumping past Fittje and Drugovich for third.
Viscaal and Drugovich didn’t take long to clear Benyahia, and swapped positions with one another in the process.
Drugovich’s time in second was shortlived though, and Viscaal broke through both his and Das’s defences to take a second win by over four seconds.
Drugovich finished second for a second time, with Das claiming the last podium spot. Fittje and Iorio finished fourth and fifth, meaning Benyahia finished sixth once more.
Fortec’s Florescu and Alexey Chuklin, who has been racing in EF Open since 2013, finished seventh and eighth, ahead of Williams and RP Motorsport debutant Julia Pankiewicz.
Race 1 (14 laps)
1 Bent Viscaal Teo Martin Motorsport 27m53.197s
2 Felipe Drugovich RP Motorsport +5.794s
3 Jannes Fittje Drivex School +11.749s
4 Lucas Dunner Drivex School +17.057s
5 Cameron Das Carlin +17.912s
6 Michael Benyahia RP Motorsport +23.762s
7 Calan Williams Fortec Motorsports +30.403s
8 Christian Hahn Drivex School +38.444s
9 Moritz Muller-Crepon Teo Martin Motorsport +50.817s
10 Guilherme Samaia RP Motorsport +54.071s
Pole: Viscaal, 1m57.656s
Fastest Lap: Viscaal, 1m58.054s
Race 2 (14 laps)
1 Viscaal 27m54.893s
2 Drugovich +4.245s
3 Das +5.422s
4 Fittje +6.346s
5 Matheus Iorio Carlin +13.518s
6 Benyahia +15.485s
7 Petru Florescu Fortec Motorsports +16.015s
8 Alexey Chuklin Fortec Motorsports +27.526s
9 Williams +27.849s
10 Julia Pankiewicz RP Motorsport +33.564s
FL: Viscaal, 1m58.167s