Josh Mason won a dramatic Euroformula race on Sunday morning at Monza, as only four drivers finished on the lead lap.
Oliver Goethe was supposed to start on pole for the reversed grid race, but car issues pre-race meant he was wheeled off the grid and started from the pitlane a lap down.
Mason, second on the grid, made the most of a clear track ahead to lead lights-to-flag for his third win.
Initially it was CryptoTower Racing Team team-mate Christian Mansell in second, having passed BVM Racing’s Francesco Simonazzi and Motopark’s Frederick Lubin on a hectic opening lap.
Lubin had several off-track moments that soon put him out of podium contention, while Vlad Lomko ran third.
Mansell chased Mason up front and by lap six of 17 was close enough to think about making a move. His attempt to go for the lead did not come until the next lap though, when he locked up both front brakes at turn one, went across the chicane and lost several seconds.
He then lost positions too, with Lomko passing and Simonazzi almost getting through after making it three-wide as they approached the second chicane.
Mansell had to get defensive thereon to keep his position, while at the back Effective Racing’s Vladimir Netusil had a high-speed spin at turn one and dropped behind Goethe after being stuck in the grass for a lap.
There were drama on lap 13 as Mansell had caught up with Lomko and tried diving down his inside at turn one for second place. He got the move done, but Lomko cut back inside through Curva Grande, then Mansell did the same at the first Lesmo corner.
This battling allowed Mason to break away and Simonazzi to get involved, and the Italian took the inside line entering the Ascari chicane. Mansell ran into the gravel slightly on the outside, both drivers got loose, then Mansell’s rear wheels started spinning in the gravel and his car rotated around before the wheels on the right-hand side dug into the gravel and flipped him into the air, upside down and then skating on his rollhoop into the gravel on the other side of the track.
The race was red flagged and a lap was added as the restart took place behind the safety car, and Mason had to defend from Lomko to keep his lead when racing resumed. Goethe went off at the Ascari chicane, Simonazzi attacked Lomko through the della Roggia chicane and Lesmo 1 before being passed by Lubin at Ascari, then on the penultimate lap he reclaimed third by going all the way around the outside at della Roggia.
Lubin reclaimed the position by diving down the inside of Parabolica, and Simonazzi’s attempt to get back by at turn one failed as he got loose, went off and dropped to fifth.
An off for Lubin at della Roggia meant Alex Garcia came through to pass both, and Simonazzi took back fourth when Lubin spun off at Ascari.
Race result (18 laps)
|Fastest lap: Mansell, 1m43.944s