Campos Racing’s Esteban Masson claimed his sixth victory of the 2023 Eurocup-3 season in race one at Valencia to extend his championship lead.
Masson started from pole and drove unchallenged to the chequered flag. Behind him, MP Motorsport’s Jose Garfias fended off team-mate Mari Boya in the battle for second place. Boya is now back up to second in the standings as fellow title contender Sebastian Ogaard finished in fifth place.
A smooth getaway allowed Masson to open a gap ahead of the cars behind, which battled for position in the first corners of the race. In spite of that, only Campos Racing’s Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak made up places among those at the front. He overtook MP’s Bruno del Pino at the start, and went on to pass Ogaard at turn six right before the safety car was deployed.
Palou Motorsport’s Jorge Campos had missed his braking point at turn two and collected Drivex’s Nick Gilkes, who sustained rear-left suspension damage and retired as a consequence.
The track went green again five minutes later, but there were no position changes.
Garfias couldn’t keep up with Masson’s pace and started to drop lap by lap. Behind him, Boya was unable to make a move on his team-mate for second place despite having considerably more pace, which meant he couldn’t go and chase the Campos driver down for the race win.
Boya kept the pressure on until the last couple of laps, when he dropped back a bit and a battle for the fastest lap of the race was triggered. Boya reclaimed it from Masson, who had taken it away from the Spaniard mid-race, but the Frenchman got it back in the penultimate lap to earn an extra point.
Boya came close to losing third place in the end. He lost several seconds in the last lap and a one-second time penalty for track limits violations meant he ended up just 0.293 seconds ahead of fourth classified Inthraphuvasak.
Race result (22 laps)
|1||Esteban Masson||Campos Racing||32m32.810s|
|2||Jose Garfias||MP Motorsport||+1.346s|
|3||Mari Boya||MP Motorsport||+7.364s|
|4||Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak||Campos Racing||+7.657s|
|5||Sebastian Ogaard||MP Motorsport||+8.875s|
|6||Bruno del Pino||MP Motorsport||+11.618s|
|7||Suleiman Zanfari||Campos Racing||+14.688s|
|8||Sebastian Gravlund||MP Motorsport||+15.428s|
|9||Nikola Tsolov||GRS Team||+18.447s|
|11||Giorgis Markogiannis||Palou Motorsport||+30.131s|
|12||Francesco Braschi||Campos Racing||+36.832s|
|13||Dario Cabanelas||Sainteloc Racing||+41.354s|
|15||Jorge Campos||Palou Motorsport||+43.378s|
|16||Carl Bennett||GRS Team||+59.473s|
|Ret||Miron Pingasov||Palou Motorsport|
|Fastest lap: Masson, 1m28.525s