Campos Racing’s Francesco Braschi took an assured second win of the Eurocup-3 season in race one at Jerez.
The debuting Nikola Tsolov took pole for GRS in qualifying, with the FIA Formual 3 regular edging Braschi to top spot by 0.083 seconds.
MP Motorsport’s Sebastian Ogaard was fastest at first, then Javier Sagrera and Braschi lowered the pace by sizeable amounts. Palou Motorsport driver Sagrera returned to the top with the first sub-1m40s lap, but points leader Esteban Masson went 0.3s faster just 21s later and then three successive improvements from Braschi brought the pace down to 1m38.991s. But a few minutes later Tsolov pipped him to pole.
Tsolov was slow off the line at the start of the race and immediately passed by Braschi, with Masson getting by a few corners later in a move that also opened the door for Sagrera to get by.
Braschi finished lap one 1.403s ahead of Masson, and from then on was never challenged. His lead grew to 3.1s on lap four as Masson crashed out following an unforced error, and that promoted Sagrera to second place.
The gap between the top two fluctuate between 2.8s and 3.5s thereon, with Tsolov usually 0.9s behind Sagrera. In the final quarter of the race Tsolov got ahead but still had a 3.5s deficit to Braschi as he had a one-second penalty for track limits abuse applied to his race time.
He could not close in too much in the remaining laps, with the final classification seperating them by 3.811s. Sagrera immediately lost a lot of ground once he fell behind Tsolov, dropping six seconds behind the leader and eventually finishing 9.597s behind Braschi.
“It was a difficult race because it’s really hot, but I’m maintaining the pace until the end. So I’m really happy,” said Braschi post-race.
After lap one there was very little overtaking, with Jorge Campos and Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak both falling down the order but only as they were retiring in the pits.
Sebastian Ogaard reduced Masson’s points lead by finishing a distant fourth, with Jose Garfias on his tail, and Daniel Nogales and Miron Pingasov had a race-long battle for what would become sixth without actually doing any battling after lap three.
Tsolov was not the only debutant in the field, with Niels Koolen finishing 12th for Monlau Motorsport and Dario Cabanelas a second behind on not just his debut but also that of his Sainteloc Racing team.
Race result (19 laps)
|1||Francesco Braschi||Campos Racing||31m53.270s|
|3||Javier Sagrera||Palou Motorsport||+9.597s|
|4||Sebastian Ogaard||MP Motorsport||+14.973s|
|5||Jose Garfias||MP Motorsport||+15.687s|
|6||Daniel Nogales||MP Drivex School||+21.403s|
|7||Miron Pingasov||Palou Motorsport||+22.264s|
|8||Sebastian Gravlund||MP Motorsport||+24.643s|
|9||Mari Boya||MP Motorsport||+25.386s|
|10||Bruno del Pino||MP Motorsport||+26.229s|
|11||Nick Gilkes||Drivex School||+28.681s|
|13||Dario Cabanelas||Sainteloc Racing||+42.668s|
|Ret||Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak||Campos Racing|
|Ret||Jorge Campos||Palou Motorsport|
|Ret||Giorgios Markogiannis||Palou Motorsport|
|Ret||Esteban Masson||Campos Racing|
|Ret||Suleiman Zanfari||Campos Racing|
|Pole: Tsolov, 1m38.832s Fastest lap: Tsolov, 1m39.764s