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Victor Martins boosts championship hopes with win from pole position

by Tim Lumb

Victor Martins gave his Formula Renault Eurocup title hopes a boost after winning the first race at Barcelona with a lights-to-flag win, as championship leader Oscar Piastri finished sixth.

The MP Motorsport driver had a good start from pole position and was relatively untroubled during the race before taking the chequered flag in first. The result was his third win of the 2019 season.

Piastri started alongside Martins on the front row but was slow to get away, and he spun at the exit of Turn 1 on the opening lap which demoted him down to the back of the field.

The championship leader battled back through the pack and was back up to 10th position with 11 minutes to go. The R-ace GP driver made up further positions to claw his way up to sixth by the end of the race, securing himself eight points in the standings.

Piastri’s team-mate Alexander Smolyar came home in second for the third race in a row, with Bhaitech’s Petr Ptacek matching his best result of the season by completing the podium for race one.

Alex Quinn finished less than a second behind Ptacek in fourth, while Caio Collet was just over one second behind Quinn at the line in fifth position.

Lorenzo Colombo – Martins’ MP Motorsport team-mate, secured seventh place, with Patrik Pasma and Ugo De Wilde taking the chequered flag behind with less than 0.5s separating the pair.

Leonardo Lorandi rounded off the top 10 after initially starting the race in seventh.

Pos Driver Team Time
1 Victor Martins MP Motorsport 19 Laps
2 Alexander Smolyar R-ace GP +6.137s
3 Petr Ptacek Bhaitech +8.619s
4 Alex Quinn Arden +9.510s
5 Caio Collet R-ace GP +10.624s
6 Oscar Piastri R-ace GP +19.964s
7 Lorenzo Colombo MP Motorsport +27.901s
8 Patrik Pasma Arden +29.046s
9 Ugo De Wilde JP Motorsport +29.483s
10 Leonardo Lorandi JP Motorsport +30.057s
11 Franco Colapinto FA Racing +30.719s
12 Amaury Cordeel MP Motorsport +31.514s
13 Xavier Lloveras GRS +32.399s
14 Brad Benavides FA Racing +33.438
15 Frank Bird Arden +34.716s
16 Kilian Meyer M2 Competition +38.489s
17 Frederico Malvestiti Bhaitech +59.822s
DNF Kush Maini M2 Competition
Championship Standings

1 Piasti 230? 2 Martins 209.5? 3 Smolyar 198? 4 Colombo 161.5? 5 Collet 150? 6 Maini 74? 7 de Wilde 60? 8 Joao Vieira 59? 9 Ptacek 54? 10 Pasma 48