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Martins crushes Eurocup opposition in wet opening race at Barcelona

by Craig Woollard

Victor Martins won by almost 17 seconds in a sodden first Formula Renault Eurocup race at Barcelona, as title rival Caio Collet recovered to second after a poor start.

Collet started second on the grid but squandered it immediately and dropped to 10th. Martins led from pole after a good start and immediately opened up a gap to MP Motorsport’s Franco Colapinto.

ART Grand Prix’s Martins was lapping more than a second quicker than Colapinto on a regular basis through the 30-minute race, and his gap was up to 17 seconds with a third of the race to go.

R-ace GP driver Collet picked off the drivers in front one-by-one, and Colapinto was passed when Martins’ lead was beyond 18s.

The pair then lapped at roughly the same speed, with Collet taking fractions out of the lead until Martins responded with fastest lap. They regularly circulated a second quicker than the rest of the opposition, which battled closely in the rain, and Martins’ fifth win of the season came by a margin of 16.917s.

Colapinto held onto third until the final few laps of the race, when he went off at Turn 5. That promoted Arden’s Ugo de Wilde to the final podium spot, some 12.5s behind Collet.

ART’s Gregoire Saucy was a close fourth, ahead of MP’s rookie classification winner Hadrien David. After returning to track amongst the cars ahead and avoiding being hit in the spray, Colapinto salvaged sixth, narrowly ahead of Arden’s Alex Quinn.

Mercedes-Benz Formula 1 junior Paul Aron and MP debutant Kas Haverkort were eighth and ninth, but the duo are under investigation for an incident at Turn 10 in the early stages of the race.

FA Racing’s Tijmen van der Helm rounded out the points, passing JD Motorsport’s David Vidales late on.

All of the 18 runners finished the race, but Bhaitech rookie Nicola Marinangeli had several spins and offs on his way to last place.

Race results
Pos Name Team Time
1 Victor Martins ART Grand Prix 17 laps
2 Caio Collet R-ace GP +16.917s
3 Ugo de Wilde Arden +29.471s
4 Gregoire Saucy ART Grand Prix +30.303s
5 Hadrien David MP Motorsport +32.106s
6 Franco Colapinto MP Motorsport +34.578s
7 Alex Quinn Arden +35.033s
8 Paul Aron ART Grand Prix +35.654s
Kas Haverkort
MP Motorsport +40.626s
10 Tijmen van der Helm FA Racing by Manor +44.308s
11 David Vidales JD Motorsport +45.894s
12 William Alatalo JD Motorsport +54.184s
13 Amaury Cordeel FA Racing by Manor +54.894s
14 Lorenzo Colombo Bhaitech +1m00.108s
15 Petr Ptacek R-ace GP +1m02.184s
16 Laszlo Toth Bhaitech +1m18.178s
17 Reshad de Gerus Arden +1m20.432s
18 Nicola Marinangeli Bhaitech +1 lap
Fastest lap: Martins, 1m58.413s

Championship standings
1 Martins 201   2 Collet 192   3 Vidales 129   4 Colapinto 99   5 Quinn 75   6 Saucy 68   7 Colombo 66   8 Alatalo 60   9 de Wilde 39   10 Aron 37