Dislodged from the top of the general classification on Saturday, Victor Martins (ART Grand Prix) replied with the win in race two at Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours. The Frenchman won ahead of Caio Collet (R-ace GP) and rookie David Vidales (JD Motorsport) and reclaims the Formula Renault Eurocup leadership with a two-point advantage over the Brazilian.
Victor Martins led the way in the Friday qualifying session with a best time of 1:33.598s. The French driver edged Caio Collet by seven-thousands of a second, while David Vidales, Lorenzo Colombo (Bhaitech Racing) and Alex Quinn (Arden Motorsport) completed a top five represented by five different teams.
Just a few hours after defending Formula Renault Eurocup champion Oscar Piastri won the FIA Formula 3 Championship, the race began behind the safety car due to a start grid soiled by incidents in other categories. When the Renault Mégane R.S. released the field after the opening lap, Victor Martins held on to the lead in a carbon-copy top five of the starting order.
Very soon, a duel for the win emerged between Victor Martins and Caio Collet while David Vidales had to fend off attacks from Lorenzo Colombo and Alex Quinn. Grégoire Saucy (ART Grand Prix) closed up to the group after overtaking Ugo de Wilde (Arden Motorsport).
The gap between the leaders was less than a second just until the first caution period caused by contact between Petr Ptáček (R-ace GP) and Franco Colapinto (MP Motorsport) at the Adélaïde corner on lap six. The physiognomy of the race, however, remained the same at the restart before another safety car intervention was needed to remove the car of Reshad De Gerus.
When the race went green, Victor Martins kept a cool head in the final sprint to take the win and the lead in the general classification from Caio Collet. David Vidales joined them on the podium in holding off Lorenzo Colombo, fourth on his birthday. Alex Quinn rounded out the top five ahead of Grégoire Saucy and Ugo de Wilde.
Contact between Franco Colapinto and Hadrien David (MP Motorsport) on the penultimate lap saw William Alatalo (JD Motorsport) move up to eighth ahead of Amaury Cordeel (FA Racing) and Vicky Piria (Bhaitech Racing), who becomes the first female to score a point in the Formula Renault FR-19 and the first in the Formula Renault Eurocup since Rahel Frey in 2006.
The next round of the Formula Renault Eurocup will take place at Zandvoort (September 24-27), which is on the calendar for the first time since 2000.
Victor Martins (ART Grand Prix): "It was very close with Caio, but he had already shown yesterday that he had the speed to take the victory. I knew that I had it too and that all I had to do was to get a good start. The two safety car periods made things tougher, but I focused on my driving and tried to be as consistent as possible. We have won three times in four races after the summer break and this shows that we can now be strong everywhere."
Caio Collet (R-ace GP): "We had an extremely fast car today, perhaps even more so than yesterday! Unfortunately, it was always going to be difficult to overtake Victor unless he made a mistake. I tried to attack every lap to push him into a mistake, but he drove a great race and he deserves the victory. I am satisfied with this weekend overall and we will continue to work to arrive in Zandvoort in the best conditions."
David Vidales (JD Motorsport): "I am thrilled to be on the podium again. We had more pace today, but Victor and Caio were still a step ahead. The safety car interventions were my best opportunities. I tried to get as close as I could, but it became difficult to follow them after the turn three. We couldn’t do better today and we are satisfied with these good points for the championship. I keep on learning new things in each race, so I hope to do well in Zandvoort where everything will be new for everyone."
|1. Victor Martins (ART Grand Prix)||133|
|1. Caio Collet (R-ace GP)||131|
|3. David Vidales (JD Motorsport)||102|
|4. Franco Colapinto (MP Motorsport)||68|
|5. Alex Quinn (Arden Motorsport)||65|
*Results subject to confirmation following technical and sporting checks.