Victor Martins (ART Grand Prix) demonstrated why he sits atop the general classification in becoming the first Formula Renault Eurocup driver to win at Zandvoort since 2000. At the future Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix venue, the Frenchman took the win ahead of his two closest rivals for the title, Caio Collet (R-ace GP) and rookie David Vidales (JD Motorsport).
Victor Martins came out swinging in qualifying to take his fifth pole position of the season with the best lap in the session at 1:31.215s. At the end of a session interrupted by a long red flag period caused by the accident of William Alatalo (JD Motorsport), Caio Collet finished second while the rest of the top ten was covered by 0.15s.
As 2014 Formula Renault Eurocup champion and current Mercedes driver in Formula E, Nyck de Vries, and 2019 title holder and newly crowned FIA Formula 3 champion Oscar Piastri looked on, the first start procedure was aborted due to a clutch problem encountered by Hadrien David (MP Motorsport), fifth on the grid.
No issues for the second start as poleman Victor Martins maintained the lead from Caio Collet while David Vidales used the banking at turn three to pass Petr Ptáček (R-ace GP) for third place while Amaury Cordeel (FA Racing) looked on.
Very quickly, Victor Martins and Caio Collet pulled away from the field, where there was a fair share of battles among the field. The Frenchman pushed his lead to over two seconds before the Brazilian cut into the lead at the midway point of the race.
Despite all the efforts of the Renault Sport Academy driver, Victor Martins went on for his fourth win of the season ahead of Caio Collet. 15 seconds later, David Vidales crossed the finish line to claim his sixth Hankook Trophy - rewarding the highest-placed rookie - and stay in striking distance of his rivals in the general classification.
The battle for fourth place was another tight scrap with Petr Ptáček holding off Amaury Cordeel just until the stripe. Franco Colapinto (MP Motorsport) was sixth ahead of Paul Aron (ART Grand Prix), who made a great overtake on Alex Quinn (Arden Motorsport) in the banking. From 11th on the grid, Lorenzo Colombo (Bhaitech Racing) finished ninth ahead of Grégoire Saucy (ART Grand Prix), who fended off William Alatalo, who started last after his accident earlier today.
Tomorrow, the second qualifying session will get underway at 10h05. Race two at Zandvoort will start at 14h15.
Victor Martins (ART Grand Prix): "That makes four wins from the last five races! We are in a good groove and we continue to improve the car in each session, no matter the track. My start wasn’t great, but I was able to hold on to the lead before focusing on my race, creating the gap and maintaining it. Everything went well today with pole position, the win and the best lap in the race. We will need more and we will get them!"
Caio Collet (R-ace GP): "It is extremely tight between Victor and me, but I think that we are a little bit better than them when you look at the times in qualifying and race. It’s great to have a battle like this. It pushes the team and myself to work even harder if we don’t want to finish second. It also brings a competitive spirit that I really like, but I want to be in front. The target tomorrow will be to maximise all our potential to be ahead of him!"
David Vidales (JD Motorsport): "The result is quite good as our weekend didn’t get off to a great start. We were quite unlucky with the red flags and we were not able to do a lap on new tyres in practice. Even if overtaking is difficult and it is easy to make a mistake on this track, I managed to overtake Petr on the outside of the banking at turn three so there are good opportunities, but we still have to reduce the gap to Victor and Caio."
|1. Victor Martins (ART Grand Prix)||158|
|1. Caio Collet (R-ace GP)||149|
|3. David Vidales (JD Motorsport)||117|
|4. Franco Colapinto (MP Motorsport)||76|
|5. Alex Quinn (Arden Motorsport)||69|
*Results subject to confirmation following technical and sporting checks.