A two-second time penalty for track limits abuse could not stop Vlad Lomko from taking victory in the first of Euroformula’s reversed-grid Red Bull Ring races.
From fourth on the grid, Lomko’s path to victory was established on lap five when his CryptoTower Racing Team team-mate Josh Mason forced Drivex School’s race leader Ayrton Simmons off the track.
Simmons immediately plunged down the order, while Mason soon came under attack from Lomko and was then given a 3s penalty for the incident.
That meant Lomko already had a comfortable advantage once he got to the head of the race by darting down Mason’s inside at turn three, but repeated track limits violations meant he soon got a 2s penalty of his own.
That put the spotlight on Motopark’s Frederick Lubin in third place, but he did not have the pace to stay with the cars ahead and was only spared attacks on his third place for much of the race because of the intense battling happening behind between Christian Mansell, Francesco Simonazzi and Oliver Goethe.
Mansell went off at turn three on the opening lap having jumped ahead of Lomko and Lubin, but with his off putting him back behind them, while Goethe moved from the back of the grid past Alex Garcia and Simonazzi.
Another turn three off on lap five allowed Goethe to attack Mansell, but their squabbling brought Simonazzi back into play and he passed Goethe a lap later. Simonazzi then began to really pressure Mansell, but could not find a way through and Goethe got back ahead of him at turn four on lap nine.
Goethe then dropped back behind, but later in the race Mansell tried passing Lubin at turn three but forced him off and it allowed Simonazzi to breeze through and for Goethe to get by as well. Lubin passed him back, and now Simonazzi was in clear air he set the fastest lap of the race.
There was more drama to come, as Goethe rear-ended Lubin and Simonazzi got a 2s penalty for track limits abuse as he hunted down Mason.
He could not quite catch him by the time the race finished, but once the penalties were applied it meant he snatched second place from Mason by a quarter of a second.
Lubin finished fourth, and Mansell pulled off a great move on Goethe at Turn 7 to take fifth.
Simmons finished a distant seventh, while Garcia retired in the pits with an issue and Drivex’s Daniel Nogales started from the pitlane then had his race end with a car issue once he eventually got out on track.
Race result (21 laps)
|2||Francesco Simonazzi||BVM Racing||+4.055s|
|7||Ayrton Simmons||Drivex School||+12.749s|
|Ret||Daniel Nogales||Drivex School|
|Fastest lap: Lomko, 1m24.577s