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Piastri extends Eurocup lead with victory in first ever night race

by Elliot Wood

Photo: Renault Sport Series

Oscar Piastri extended his Formula Renault Eurocup points lead with victory over title rival Victor Martins in the penultimate race of the season at Yas Marina.

MP Motorsport’s Martins started from pole but made a poor start, allowing R-ace GP’s Piastri and MP team-mate Lorenzo Colombo past into Turn 1.

He then lost further ground around the lap, and it wasn’t until lap five that he closed back in on his team-mate and completed a easy move for second place at the hairpin after MP ordered Colombo to let him through.

He was also helped by a brief safety car period to recover the stranded Global Racing Service car of Xavier Lloveras.

Martins then started setting fastest laps once in second place, but the gap between the top two was only getting smaller by thousandths of a second at first.

On lap nine of 15, Martins broke into the 2m08s and cut Piastri’s lead down to under two seconds, but the leader responded on the next lap. Martins then set fastest lap again, and had trimmed his rival’s advantage down to 1.24 seconds with two laps to go.

Piastri pushed once more on the penultimate lap, then cruised to the finish on the final tour to take his seventh win of the season and take a 20.5 point lead into the title decider.

Colombo finished a distant third, with R-ace GP’s Alexander Smolyar just holding off a late charge from Arden’s Sebastian Fernandez for fourth.

M2 Competition’s Kush Maini was in fifth for the first two thirds of the race but then dropped? pace and came under pressure from Arden’s Patrik Pasma for sixth late on. Caio Collet was eighth for R-ace GP, ahead of R-ace GP duo Amaury Cordeel and Matteo Nannini.

Frank Bird and Leonardo Lorandi had dramatic starts, one with a stall and the other with a pitstop, but recovered to 17th and 15th. Championship debutant Matthias Luethen finished last for GRS.

 

Race results
Pos Name Team Time
1 Oscar Piastri R-ace GP 15 laps
2 Victor Martins MP Motorsport +1.201s
3 Lorenzo Colombo MP Motorsport +8.202s
4 Alexander Smolyar R-ace GP +12.152s
5 Sebastian Fernandez Arden +12.821s
6 Kush Maini M2 Competition +17.060s
7 Patrik Pasma Arden +17.793s
8 Caio Collet R-ace GP +18.233s
9 Amaury Cordeel MP Motorsport +20.892s
10 Matteo Nannini MP Motorsport +21.606s
11 Petr Ptacek Bhaitech +26.056s
12 Gregoire Saucy R-ace GP +30.708s
13 Ugo de Wilde JD Motorsport +31.462s
14 Federico Malvestiti Bhaitech +31.865s
15 Leonardo Lorandi JD Motorsport +41.860s
16 Lucas Alecco Roy M2 Competition +42.595s
17 Frank Bird Arden +42.957s
18 Alessio Deledda Global Racing Service +49.802s
19 Matthias Luethen Global Racing Service +1m20.887s
Ret Xavier Lloveras Global Racing Service
Fastest lap: Martins, 2m08.720s

Championship standings
1 Piastri 308? ?2 Martins 287.5? ?3 Smolyar 245? ?4 Colombo 196.5? ?5 Collet 192? ?6 Maini 100? ?7 de Wilde 80? ?8 Ptacek 69? ?9 Fernandez 60? ?10 Joao Vieira 59