Home Formula RegionalEurocup-3 Rinicella wins both races in non-championship Eurocup-3 event

Rinicella wins both races in non-championship Eurocup-3 event

by Ida Wood

Photo: FRMEC

Eurocup-3 hosted a non-championship event at Motorland Aragon this weekend which attracted 14 drivers.

There were two practice and two 15-minute qualifying sessions on Saturday, with two half-hour races on Sunday run to the same sporting regulations Eurocup-3 usually uses.

Campos Racing’s Christian Ho topped FP1, setting a 1m54.389s to lead MP Motorsport’s Javier Sagrera by 0.438 seconds. Valerio Rinicella was 0.504s behind in third. Sagrera lowered the pace to 1m54.262s in FP2, leading team-mate Owen Tangavelou by 0.261s. Ho and Rinicella were the only others within a second of him.

Ho went even faster in Q1, taking pole by 0.137s over Rinicella with a 1m54.021s. Sagrera and Tangavelou qualified third and fourth. Rinicella returned to the top in Q2, but only by 0.02s. Ho’s final lap brought him very close to the 1m53.670s pole time, with Sagrera also lapping sub-1m54s. Valentin Kluss (Campos) missed both sessions.

Ho held the lead through the first four laps of a very windy race one before being passed by Sagrera and Rinicella. The top two quickly pulled away, while Tangavelou passed Ho on lap eight.

The lead fight was decided on lap 12 of 14, with Rinicella passing Sagrera for the win. Ho did not lose any further ground but could not challenge Tangavelou after being passed, and Campos’s Michael Shin rose from 12th to fifth. He started eighth but on lap one lost four spots, and did not recover any until lap five when Noah Lisle and Theodor Jensen retired.

Shin then went from 10th to seventh on lap eight, with Kluss among those he passed. Kluss had got up to fifth but then had car issues that sent him down the order and then into retirement on the last lap. Georgy Zhuravskiy and Emmo Fittipaldi were picked off by Shin late on to complete his charge.

Drivex School’s Gaspard Le Gallais and Victoria Blokhina retired on lap one after colliding.

Race two began with Ho taking the lead from Rinicella before turn one. He made an error mid-lap which was not costly, but Rinicella got alongside him late in lap two and through the first corners of lap three.

On lap four Rinicella dived down the inside of turn 16, and Ho went off at turn 17 but that gave him the inside line for turn 18. They ran side-by-side down the pit straight and Ho had the lead into turn one, then Rinicella caught him out at turn 15 and demoted him to second. Ho tried going around the outside at turn 16 but was forced deep, and that allowed Sagrera to get inside both for the lead.

It was shortlived as Rinicella went around the outside of him at turn one, and the top two then pulled away until lap 14 when car issues slowed Sagrera. He retired in the pits, and Kluss also stopped with car trouble.

Ho was demoted to fourth by Noah Lisle at turn two on lap seven, then returned the favour a lap later to reclaim third and later inherit second.

Tangavelou shadowed Lisle throughout and finally passed him at the end of lap 14 only for Lisle to hold the outside into turn one, get back ahead and stay there until the finish.

Results round-up
Race 1 (14 laps)
1 Valerio Rinicella MP Motorsport 32m08.919s
2 Javier Sagrera MP Motorsport +0.361s
3 Owen Tangavelou MP Motorsport +6.032s
4 Christian Ho Campos Racing +6.759s
5 Michael Shin Campos Racing +11.538s
6 Emmo Fittipaldi MP Motorsport +13.512s
7 Garrett Berry Palou Motorsport +14.036s
8 Suleiman Zanfari Campos Racing +14.506s
9 Georgy Zhuravskiy Drivex School +16.462s
10 Valentin Kluss Campos Racing +1 lap
Pole: Ho, 1m54.021s
Fastest lap: Rinicella, 1m55.179s

Race 2 (17 laps)
1 Rinicella 32m47.882s
2 Ho +5.858s
3 Noah Lisle Campos Racing +9.065s
4 Tangavelou +9.265s
5 Shin +9.782s
6 Zanfari +14.629s
7 Fittipaldi +17.932s
8 Zhuravskiy +24.467s
9 Berry +27.754s
10 Theodor Jensen Palou Motorsport +33.414s
P: Rinicella, 1m53.670s
FL: Rinicella, 1m54.315s