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Collet victorious over Martins in Hockenheim Eurocup opener

by Bethonie Waring

Caio Collet managed two safety car restarts to take the victory in the opening Formula Renault Eurocup race of the weekend at Hockenheim.

Collet dominated the race, finishing more than two seconds ahead of second-placed Victor Martins to close the gap to the championship leader to 26 points with three races remaining.

The field made it to the first corner before the first incident of the weekend brought out the safety car. Ugo de Wilde was tagged by Petr Ptacek at Turn 1, sending him into a spin and leaving him stranded at the side of the track.

On the restart, Collet managed a superb getaway as Martins came under pressure from Alex Quinn. He had already begun to build a gap when another incident further back brought out the safety car less than a lap later.

Tijmen van der Helm, Gregoire Saucy and Reshad de Gerus were battling for position when David Vidales dived up the inside of the trio. He made contact with de Gerus, spinning the Arden driver.

De Gerus did manage to get going under his own power, but in the time it took him to get facing the right direction the safety car had already been called.

It was another strong restart for Collet, who managed to keep Martins behind him. Martins had a comfortable gap to Quinn in third and the top three remained locked in position until the chequered flag.

Colapinto spent the race running fourth, ahead of a battle between Paul Aron and Hadrien David. Aron and David enjoyed a good battle until the final lap, when a lunge up the inside of Aron by David caused Aron to spin.

David managed to continue, finishing five seconds behind Colapinto. Van der Helm took sixth ahead of Lorenzo Colombo and Vidales, while William Alatalo and Amaury Cordeel completed the top 10.

Later, David was given a 20-second penalty for the contact with Aron, demoting him to 10th, while van der Helm was penalised 10 seconds for a jump start, promoting Colombo to fifth. Cordeel also took a penalty for contact with Michael Belov. Petr Ptacek was given a two-place grid drop for his collision with de Wilde, while de Gerus got similar for passing Vidales under safety car.

Race results
Pos Driver Team Time/Gap
1 Caio Collet R-ace GP 19 laps
2 Victor Martins ART Grand Prix +2.055s
3 Alex Quinn Arden +3.441s
4 Franco Colapinto MP Motorsport +8.188s
5 Lorenzo Colombo Bhaitech +17.558s
6 David Vidales JD Motorsport +23.565s
7 William Alatalo JD Motorsport +24.763s
8 Tijmen van der Helm FA Racing by Manor +26.351s
9 Paul Aron ART Grand Prix +29.125s
10 Hadrien David MP Motorsport +33.537s
11 Laszlo Toth Bhaitech +35.366s
12 Amaury Cordeel FA Racing by Manor +36.783s
13 Nicola Marinangeli Bhaitech +47.765
13 Michael Belov R-ace GP + 1 lap
15 Reshad de Gerus Arden + 1 lap
Gregoire Saucy ART Grand Prix
Ugo de Wilde Arden
Petr Ptacek MP Motorsport
Fastest lap: Collet, 1m37.843s

Championship standings
 Martins 300   2 Collet 274   3 Colapinto 168.5   4 Vidales 151   5 Quinn 151   6 Colombo 95   7 Saucy 89.5   8 Alatalo 84   9 de Wilde 76.5   10 David 69