Following his retirement at Imola, Caio Collet (R-ace GP) bounced back in dominating fashion on Saturday. Starting from pole, the Renault Sport Academy driver won race one in the penultimate meeting of the year despite two safety car periods, ahead of the leader in the general classification Victor Martins (ART Grand Prix). Completing the podium, Alex Quinn (Arden Motorsport) is now level on points with David Vidales (JD Motorsport) in the race for the rookie title.
The drivers were on track this morning at 9h40 for race one qualifying. In frisky conditions, Caio Collet got the better of Victor Martins with a session-best lap of 1:36.833s. With this new category track record, the Brazilian lined-up ahead of his arch-rival and rookies Alex Quinn and Paul Aron (ART Grand Prix).
Despite the pressure from behind, Caio Collet held on to the lead ahead of Victor Martins and Alex Quinn while Franco Colapinto (MP Motorsport) took fourth place from Paul Aron. Further back, a collision between Ugo de Wilde (Arden Motorsport) and Petr Ptáček (MP Motorsport) at turn one led to the first safety car period.
While Caio Collet made an excellent restart, tension rose in the field. After moving up from 15th to tenth, David Vidales (JD Motorsport) found himself in the three-way battle involving Tijmen van der Helm (FA Racing), Grégoire Saucy (ART Grand Prix) and Reshad De Gerus (Arden Motorsport) before the French driver spun and caused a second safety car appearance.
When the race resumed a lap later, Caio Collet kept the competition at bay and built a two-second gap to Victor Martins before managing his lead. The Renault Sport Academy driver went on for his fifth win of the season to keep his title hopes alive ahead of Victor Martins and Alex Quinn.
After a clean but hard-fought battle with Paul Aron during the second restart, Franco Colapinto finished fourth. His rival was heading towards a fifth-place result when on the last lap of the race he was hit by Hadrien David (MP Motorsport). The Estonian fell out of the top ten while the Frenchman was given a post-race 20-second penalty.
After inheriting fifth place, Tijmen van der Helm was handed a ten-second penalty for jumping the start. Lorenzo Colombo (Bhaitech Racing) was then promoted to fifth place ahead of David Vidales, William Alatalo (JD Motorsport) and the Dutchman. Amaury Cordeel (FA Racing) was also sanctioned after the race for his part in an incident with Michael Belov (R-ace GP). Paul Aron and Hadrien David returned to the top ten to score the final points on offer.
It will be another early call for the Formula Renault Eurocup on Sunday with qualifying again at 9h40 and race two from the Hockenheimring at 16h10.
Caio Collet (R-ace GP): "It was a perfect day and I would like to thank God and even more the team that has done a fantastic job on the car since yesterday. The conditions were quite tricky. The tyres were really cold at the braking points, it was easy to lock up a wheel, which I did a few times, but I’m happy that we were able to adapt ourselves to win! The incident at Imola was out of our control, so we are now taking the races one at a time and we will continue to push until next Sunday!"
Victor Martins (ART Grand Prix): "I tried to take the lead thanks to my good start, but I struggled a bit to keep up the pace early in the race. Alex Quinn was close behind, but I managed to keep him behind me and there was nothing left to do until the finish line. This morning we also saw that we weren’t as good as we have been lately, but we are still confident as we know we have the speed to go for pole tomorrow. We will do everything we can to get it!"
Alex Quinn (Arden Motorsport): "It was a tricky race because it was difficult to go for it in the braking zones as it was so cold. I didn’t want to take any risk, but we will work tonight to see if we can aim for better than third. I am happy about this good result for the championship. We are heading in the right direction and we are getting closer to our new goals which are third in the general classification and the rookie title. We aimed more for this at the beginning of the season, but we had some hardships before we bounced back. I hope that we can have another good day tomorrow! "
|1. Victor Martins (ART Grand Prix)||300|
|2. Caio Collet (R-ace GP)||274|
|3. Franco Colapinto (MP Motorsport)||168.5|
|4. David Vidales (JD Motorsport)||151|
|5. Alex Quinn (Arden Motorsport)||151|
*Results subject to confirmation following technical and sporting checks.