Enzo Trulli won Euroformula’s 2023 season opener at Algarve, which only eight cars made the start of.
There were 10 cars entered for this weekend, but a gearbox problem prevented Effective Racing’s Vladimir Netusil from qualifying, and therefore racing, while Motopark’s single-seater rookie Jakob Bergmeister stopped on track during the formation lap and so also did not start the race.
That delayed the start, and meant Bergmeister’s seventh-placed grid slot was left vacant.
Trulli led away from pole, while his front row-starting team-mate Tim Tramnitz was passed by BVM Racing’s Francesco Simonazzi for second place into turn one and then by Motopark’s Noel Leon too.
Leon challenged Simonazzi through the lap, getting alongside at the turn five hairpin, the turn six left-hander and also turn seven. But Simonazzi managed to stay ahead and it then left Leon under attack from Tramnitz at the final corner.
Trulli led by 1.8 seconds at the end of lap one, and Leon finally passed Simonazzi at turn three on lap two after the latter locked up and went off. Tramnitz then pinched third exiting turn five by going around the outside.
The squabbling enabled Trulli to grow his lead to 2.228s, but then it started to come down by around a tenth of a second per lap. By the end of lap eight he was only 1.334s clear, with Tramnitz a further half-second behind in third.
Everyone but Trulli set a personal best laptime on the lap after, and the pace lowered further on lap 10. Tramnitz closed up to Leon in that time, and he overtook him into turn one on lap 11 then set about eating into Trulli’s lead even more.
In the next two laps he brought it down to 0.6s, before Trulli responded to the pace of his fellow CryptoTower Racing Team driver to maintain the gap for a few laps. Tramnitz was picking up track limits warnings too, but rather than back off he continued to push and on the last lap got within 0.369s of Trulli.
Leon finished 3.781s back in third, and could be the effective championship leader given neither Trulli or Tramnitz are set to race again in Euoformula after this weekend.
Imonazzi finished fourth, and Motopark pair Bryce Aron and Cian Shields were fifth and sixth on their debuts.
NV Racing’s Paolo Brajnik initially ran in seventh place before being passed by Noda on lap four. He then slowed dramatically and headed to the pits at the end of the lap to retire.
Race result (17 laps)
|1||Enzo Trulli||CryptoTower Racing||27m53.473s|
|2||Tim Tramnitz||CryptoTower Racing||+0.369s|
|4||Francesco Simonazzi||BVM Racing||+7.517s|
|7||Juju Noda||Noda Racing||+24.567s|
|Ret||Paolo Brajnik||NV Racing|
|Fastest lap: Tramnitz, 1m37.947s|