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Shields wins, Simonazzi second after crashing in third Euroformula race

by Ida Wood

Photo: Fotospeedy

Motopark’s Cian Shields picked up his first Euroformula win in the third race at Spa-Francorchamps, which was ended early by red flags.

The race was actually stopped twice, the first occassion being on the opening lap after reversed-grid pole-sitter Gerrard Xie stalled at the start and was driven straight into the back of by Motopark’s Jakob Bergmeister who had started seventh.

Bergmeister also hit NV Racing’s Paolo Brajnik on his right, wiping out all three of them on the spot.

Xie’s CryptoTower Racing Team team-mate Josh Mason darted around him at the start and almost took the lead from front row starter Bryce Aron.

It was Aron whose nose was ahead exiting La Source, but it meant Mason then had the slipstream down the Kemmel Straight and he moved past with ease while BVM Racing’s Francesco Simonazzi briefly made it three-wide. Their battling was paused by the red flags, and the order for the restart was set by the positions the cars were in when the red flags waved.

The safety car led the field through lap two, then when racing resumed properly on lap three an amazing move from Shields around the outside of Les Combes got him past Simonazzi and Aron into second place.

Aron did go off late in the corner, and Simonazzi at the end of the lap looked to regain a place from Shields but was unable to.

Shields passed Mason for the lead at Les Combes on the next lap, while Aron and Noel Leon (who had to get past Juju Noda after a slow start dropped him behind her) went side-by-side through the final sector until Leon got ahead at the last corner.

Simonazzi demoted Mason to third at Les Combes on lap six, but he couldnot close in on Shields. The fastest driver on track was championship leader Leon, who went down the inside of Mason at Les Combes on lap eight before Mason ran off the track, then on lap 10 he got ahead of Simonazzi after the Italian also cut the corner.

Later in the lap there was drama as Simonazzi ran wide at Pouhon and hit a patch of dust that had been laid down on the asphalt area of the run-off due to there previously being liquids there. As soon as Simonazzi hit the dust, the rear of his car spun around and he went into the barriers.

The safety car initially came out, then the race was red flagged on the next lap. That meant the results were taken from two laps prior, so Shields ended up taking the win over Simonazzi and with Leon in third.

Race result (9 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Cian Shields Motopark 42m57.322s
2 Francesco Simonazzi BVM Racing +0.670s
3 Noel Leon Motopark +1.142s
4 Josh Mason CryptoTower Racing +2.754s
5 Bryce Aron Motopark +3.312s
6 Juju Noda Noda Racing +15.159s
7 Vladimir Netusil Effective Racing +29.232s
Ret Gerrard Xie CryptoTower Racing
Ret Paolo Brajnik NV Racing
Ret Jakob Bergmeister Motopark
Fastest lap: Leon, 2m12.352s

Championship standings
1 Leon 117   2 Simonazzi 95   3 Aron 86   4 Shields 77   5 Tim Tramnitz 55   6 Enzo Trulli 50   7 Noda 40   8 Mason 34   9 Bergmeister 30   10 Netusil 13