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Colapinto victorious in shortened Eurocup opener at wet Spa

by Bethonie Waring

Photo: Renault Sport Series

Franco Colapinto won the shortened opening Formula Renault Eurocup race at Spa Francorchamps.

Heavy rain and a heavy crash just before the halfway point brought out the red flag with 13 minutes on the clock.

Colapinto, who snatched the lead off the line, picked up the win ahead of poleman and points leader Victor Martins.

Martins got a difficult getaway from pole and was forced to defend against Ugo de Wilde to retain second. He held off de Wilde, but Colapinto had already amassed a significant lead by going around the outside.

Rain, which had stopped shortly before the race start, returned halfway through the first lap, causing significant spray.

Martins was able to close back onto the tail of Colapinto, but a brief moment of aquaplaning sent him wide and dropped him back.

The MP Motorsport driver had no problems for the remainder of the race up front and was continuing to extend his lead when Arden’s Reshad de Gerus crashed into the barriers on exit of Eau Rouge.

De Gerus was able to get out of the car unaided, but the significant damage to the rear of his Arden-run car, as well as the barriers, necessitated the appearance of the safety car.

That brought Martins back onto Colapinto’s tail, but conditions were too bad for racing to resume and the race was red flagged late on lap five, with the result being taken from the lap prior and with de Gerus as classified finisher.

De Wilde took third having spent the latter part of the green flag action holding off Arden team-mate Alex Quinn.

MP’s guest driver Kas Haverkort picked up fifth ahead of FA Racing’s Amaury Cordeel and Martins’ R-ace GP-run title rival Caio Collet, who climbed up from 11th on the grid after a difficult qualifying.

Another driver forced to climb up through the field was David Vidales, who was sent to the back but managed to climb up to 10th before the safety car was brought out.

He finished just behind MP’s Renault juniorHadrien David and JD Motorsport team-mate William Alatalo.

Race results
Pos Name Team Time
1 Franco Colapinto MP Motorsport 4 laps
2 Victor Martins ART Grand Prix +0.936s
3 Ugo de Wilde Arden +5.358s
4 Alex Quinn Arden +7.233s
5 Kas Haverkort MP Motorsport +8.673s
6 Amaury Cordeel FA Racing by Manor +10.428s
7 Caio Collet R-ace GP +11.767s
8 Hadrien David MP Motorsport +14.305s
William Alatalo
JD Motorsport +15.430s
10 David Vidales JD Motorsport +17.035s
11 Gregoire Saucy ART Grand Prix +18.605s
12 Tijmen van der Helm FA Racing by Manor +22.314s
13 Petr Ptacek R-ace GP +25.790s
14 Reshad de Gerus Arden +27.738s
15 Laszlo Toth Bhaitech +32.950s
16 Nicola Marinangeli Bhaitech +39.365s
Ret Paul Aron ART Grand Prix
DNS Lorenzo Colombo Bhaitech
Fastest lap: Martins, 2m39.166s

Championship standings
1 Martins 244   2 Collet 218   3 Vidales 144   4 Colapinto 139   5 Quinn 87   6 Colombo 70   7 Saucy 69   8 Alatalo 70   9 de Wilde 54   10 David 48