Home Formula 3Formula Renault Eurocup Sasahara celebrates maiden Eurocup victory in action-packed race one

Sasahara celebrates maiden Eurocup victory in action-packed race one

by Gruz David
Photo. Frederic Le Floch / DPPI.

Photo. Frederic Le Floch / DPPI.

Ukyo Sasahara was victorious in an incident-filled first Eurocup race of the weekend at Spa-Francorchamps.

The Japanese took his first victory in the series after drawing a blank in the season opener at Aragon.

Starting from second, Sasahara had a better launch than pole-sitter Jake Hughes and took the lead into Eau Rouge.

He then confidently pulled away from the rest of the grid with Hughes and Anthoine Hubert slotting in second and third.

The safety car soon made an appearance after an incident between new Manor MP recruit Valentin Hasse-Clot and AVF’s Henrique Chaves.

Sasahara managed to keep first after the restart and although he had to face some late pressure from Hughes, his victory was never in true danger.

Hughes and Hubert completed the podium while the best of the rest was championship leader Louis Deletraz in fourth.

Jack Aitken had to endure a difficult race from third on the grid, losing pace due to car issues and eventually retiring in the pits.

The rest of the points was decided in non-stop battles for positions, including a three-way battle amongst Ignazio D’Agosto, Matevos Isaakyan and Ben Barnicoat which saw the former two take fifth and sixth respectively.

Callan O’Keeffe and Thiago Vivacqua survived in seventh and eighth, while wildcard entry Max Defourny grabbed ninth.

As such, the final point-scoring positions went to Dennis Olsen and Darius Oskoui in tenth and eleventh.

The race saw several drivers retire in various incidents, with Hugo De Sadeleer and Josef Zaruba tangling at the final chicane, Simon Gachet hitting the wall at the Raidillon or Barnicoat and Ferdinand Habsburg going off on the penultimate lap while fighting for the lower spots in the top ten.

Race one results
Pos. Driver Team Time/Gap
1 Ukyo Sasahara ART Junior Team 12 laps in 28:58.036
2 Jake Hughes Koiranen GP +0.715
3 Anthoine Hubert Tech 1 Racing +3.449
4 Louis Deletraz Josef Kaufmann Racing +6.101
5 Ignazio D’Agosto Manor MP +10.159
6 Matevos Isaakyan JD Motorsport +10.737
7 Callan O’Keeffe Fortec Motorsport +18.193
8 Thiago Vivacqua JD Motorsport +20.139
9 Max Defourny ART Junior Team +20.884
10 Dennis Olsen Manor MP +22.449
11 Darius Oskoui ART Junior Team +24.229
12 Harrison Scott AVF +24.358
13 Kevin Jorg Josef Kaufmann Racing +24.758
14 Amaury Richard ARTA Engineering +29.130
15 Lasse Sorensen Manor MP +29.638
16 Philip Hamprecht Koiranen GP +30.351
17 Luke Chudleigh Fortec Motorsport +31.081
18 Amaury Bonduel JD Motorsport +31.587
19 Martin Kodric Fortec Motorsport +31.805
20 Danylo Pronenko BVM +32.755
21 James Allen ARTA Engineering +33.923
22 Charlie Eastwood AVF +34.706
23 Bruno Baptista Koiranen GP +39.554
24 Nikita Mazepin Josef Kaufmann Racing +41.853
25 Ben Barnicoat Fortec Motorsport +1 Lap
26 Ferdinand Habsburg Fortec Motorsport +1 Lap
Not classified
27 Jack Aitken Koiranen GP +4 laps
28 Simon Gachet Tech 1 Racing +4 laps
29 Anton de Pasquale Koiranen GP +7 laps
30 Hugo de Sadeleer Tech 1 Racing +8 laps
31 Josef Zaruba AVF +8 laps
32 Stefan Riener Koiranen GP +9 laps
33 Valentin Hasse-Clot Manor MP +10 laps
34 Henrique Chaves AVF +10 laps