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Colombo fends off champion Martins in final Formula Renault Eurocup race

by Craig Woollard

Photo: Marc de Mattia / DPPI

Lorenzo Colombo resisted race-long pressure from Formula Renault Eurocup champion Victor Martins in the category’s final race at Paul Ricard as Alex Quinn wrapped up the rookie title.

Bhaitech driver Colombo started on pole and had a strong opening lap to create a gap to ART Grand Prix’s Martins.

But as the 30-minute race headed towards the midpoint, Martins was able to close the gap to just a few tenths of a second.

Martins challenged throughout as the race came to its conclusion but was unable to force Colombo into an error.

Colombo’s victory is his third in succession, adding to his wins at Hockenheim and at Ricard on Saturday. It elevates him to fifth in the championship.

Martins rounds out his successful campaign with second position, with MP Motorsport’s Franco Colapinto taking the final podium spot, fending off series runner-up Caio Collet of R-ace GP.

With the drivers’ and teams’ titles both wrapped up, only the top rookie honour was to play for. Quinn held a comfortable advantage over JD Motorsport’s David Vidales coming into the race, and started ahead on the road.

By finishing ahead, with Quinn fifth and Vidales fighting from 13th to ninth, Quinn was able to secure the rookie title.

Opening lap incidents at Signes and Le Bausset dropped Reshad de Gerus, Hadrien David, Paul Aron and Gregoire Saucy down the order, opening the door for others to take the lower points finishes.

Saucy and Aron were able to continue but finished 15th and 17th, while David and de Gerus were forced to retire.

R-ace’s Michael Belov took sixth, ahead of JD’s William Alatalo, who gained nine spots in the opening stages of the race to vault into the points.

In his first race meeting (and only in FRenault), R-ace’s Elias Seppanen took points with eighth, ahead of Vidales and FA Racing’s Amaury Cordeel.

After losing out in the chaotic first-lap, Vidales moved into the points with a mid-race pass on Ugo De Wilde, who is one of several drivers under investigation. De Wilde is so for exceeding track limits, while David and Saucy, and well as de Wilde and FA Racing’s Tijmen van der Helm, are so for contact on the opening lap. As all finished outside of the points, the points standings are not expected to change.

Race results
Pos Driver Team Time/Gap
1 Lorenzo Colombo Bhaitech 16 laps
2 Victor Martins ART Grand Prix +0.768s
3 Franco Colapinto MP Motorsport +3.355s
4 Caio Collet R-ace GP +4.541s
5 Alex Quinn Arden +8.107s
6 Michael Belov R-ace GP +12.368s
7 William Alatalo JD Motorsport +16.863s
8 Elias Seppanen R-ace GP +19.396s
9 David Vidales JD Motorsport +21.865s
10 Amaury Cordeel FA Racing by Manor +23.104s
11 Ugo de Wilde Arden +23.862s
12 Tijmen van der Helm FA Racing by Manor +26.864s
13 Petr Ptacek MP Motorsport +30.173s
14 Nicola Marinangeli Bhaitech +35.105s
16 Gregoire Saucy ART Grand Prix +38.973s
15 Laszlo Toth Bhaitech +43.715s
17 Paul Aron ART Grand Prix +1m25.477s
18 Hadrien David MP Motorsport
19 Reshad de Gerus Arden
Fastest lap: Colombo, 2m00.530s

Championship standings
 Martins 348   2 Collet 304   3 Colapinto 213.5   4 Quinn 183   5 Colombo 170   6 Vidales 165   7 Saucy 97.5   8 Alatalo 92   9 de Wilde 84.5   10 David 71