Saturday race winner Lorenzo Colombo (MP Motorsport) repeated on Sunday at Circuit Paul Ricard taking the pole, posting fastest race lap and going on for a comfortable victory. The Italian controlled the action in dominating fashion ahead of SMP Racing driver Alexander Smolyar (R-ace GP) and Renault Sport Academy drivers Victor Martins (MP Motorsport), still leading the Formula Renault Eurocup as title fight tightens, and Caio Collet (R-ace GP), who was the best rookie on the day.
Colombo doubles up
Lorenzo Colombo was the man to beat in Sunday qualifying, which was interrupted at the midway point of the session by Renault Sport Affiliate Driver Leonardo Lorandi (JD Motorsport), who lost his right-rear wheel after the Signes corner.
With a lap of 1:59.968s, Lorenzo Colombo was back on pole ahead of Oscar Piastri (R-ace GP). Alexander Smolyar and Victor Martins shared row two ahead of five rookies: Kush Maini (M2 Competition), Petr Ptáček (Bhaitech Racing), Caio Collet (R-ace GP), Ugo de Wilde (JD Motorsport) and Amaury Cordeel (MP Motorsport).
A perfect weekend for the Italian
Lorenzo Colombo made a perfect start off the line while Oscar Piastri and Petr Ptáček struggled. Alexander Smolyar took advantage to move into second place ahead of Victor Martins and Caio Collet, who got the better of Kush Maini.
After the first lap, Lorenzo Colombo had a more than two-second lead and progressively pulled away from there. While Victor Martins couldn’t find his way past Alexander Smolyar, the battle was heating up further back. Eleventh on the grid, Sebastián Fernández (Arden Motorsport) overtook Ugo de Wilde for sixth place before moving into the top five when Kush Maini lost his front wing.
Meanwhile, Oscar Piastri moved through the field after dropping to 18th place at the end of lap one. In his comeback drive, the Australian came across Frank Bird (Arden Motorsport), João Vieira (JD Motorsport) and Leonardo Lorandi – who started last – in a hotly contested battle for the final point.
Lorenzo Colombo cruised to his second success of the weekend with a nearly nine-second lead from Alexander Smolyar and Victor Martins. Fourth place Caio Collet won his fourth Hankook Trophy, reserved for the highest finishing rookie, ahead of Sebastián Fernández and Oscar Piastri, who won the sprint race on the final straight against Belgians Amaury Cordeel and Ugo de Wilde. Xavier Lloveras (Global Racing Service) and João Vieira completed the top ten.
Lorenzo Colombo (MP Motorsport): “Another pole and a win by a big margin… I am speechless! These two wins are a huge confidence boost, which I needed! I am really happy with the work put in by the team, because we have really developed the car since the pre-season tests in March. We knew that we have good pace here and it was seen on the track. In scoring maximum points, we have caught up to the leaders in the general classification, but we need to continue to regularly put in this kind of results just until the end of the season.”
Alexander Smolyar (R-ace GP): “It was quite a busy race, maybe the toughest of my life! It is really hard to hold off a faster car for nearly 30 minutes, even more when the conditions are so hot, but I am happy to have managed the tyre degradation all the way to the finish. I think I did my best with I had on this track and I hope that we can race again for the win at Spa.”
Victor Martins (MP Motorsport): “I am a bit disappointed to not have found an opening on Alexander, but this fifth consecutive podium, the sixth in eight races, is very good for the championship as it’s all about consistency. Today, the start was quite tricky. Oscar moved a bit, but I had to quickly go left to avoid him and hold my position. From that point on, I couldn’t make any progress. It is so difficult to follow another car in the fast curves that I got a bit of understeer!”
Caio Collet (R-ace GP): “I made a mistake in qualifying, but I managed to make up for it with a good start. I still had a difficult time early in the race when I was under pressure from Kush just until he retired. This result is a bit more satisfying than yesterday’s, especially as we managed to reduce the race pace gap that separated us from MP Motorsport.”
|1. Victor Martins (MP Motorsport)||119|
|2. Alexander Smolyar (R-ace GP)||116|
|3. Oscar Piastri (R-ace GP)||110|
|4. Lorenzo Colombo (MP Motorsport)||97|
|5. Caio Collet (R-ace GP)||77|
*Results subject to confirmation following technical and sporting checks.