Starting from pole, Victor Martins (ART Grand Prix) took a lights out to chequers win on a wet track in race one of the Formula Renault Eurocup at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The French driver was followed by his closest title rival Caio Collet (R-ace GP), who sliced his way through the field to finish second after a sluggish start, and Ugo de Wilde (Arden Motorsport). Hadrien David (MP Motorsport) took his maiden rookie win.
This morning, Victor Martins secured his sixth pole of the season and his fourth consecutive in Barcelona. With a lap of 1:42.542s, the Frenchman preceded Caio Collet and Franco Colapinto (MP Motorsport), both leading a group of 13 drivers covered by less than seven-tenths of a second.
Weather dramatically changed in the afternoon as the rain appeared just before the start. Victor Martins got away clean while Caio Collet stumbled, as did Amaury Cordeel (FA Racing) and William Alatalo (JD Motorsport).
While Victor Martins had to cope first with pressure coming from Franco Colapinto, he soon made the most of a clear view to set an impressive pace and quickly pull away from the Argentinean.
Action quickly focused on the comeback drive of Caio Collet. The Brazilian was already up to seventh place at the end of the opening lap before catching up to then overtaking Alex Quinn (Arden Motorsport), Hadrien David, Grégoire Saucy (ART Grand Prix) and Ugo de Wilde in succession. When he passed Franco Colapinto for second place on lap ten, Caio Collet was, however, 17 seconds behind race leader Victor Martins.
Victor Martins never put a wheel wrong on his way to his fifth victory of the year ahead of Caio Collet, who is now nine points adrift in the general classification. Starting seventh, Ugo de Wilde got a good start, then took advantage of Franco Colapinto’s unforced error two laps from the end to claim his first podium result of the season ahead of Grégoire Saucy.
Fifth at the line, Hadrien David scored his best finish of the year to win his first Hankook Trophy awarded to the highest placed rookie. The Renault Sport Academy driver was followed by Franco Colapinto and Alex Quinn, who staved off the attacks from Paul Aron (ART Grand Prix). Leader in the Spanish F4 Championship and wild-card entry Kas Haverkort (MP Motorsport) finished ninth while Tijmen van der Helm (FA Racing) moved past David Vidales (JD Motorsport) for tenth place on the last lap.
Tomorrow, the second qualifying session gets underway at 10h00 before race two at 14h55.
Victor Martins (ART Grand Prix): "The conditions were really tricky. We knew we had the pace to win whether the track was dry or wet. I had to get a good start and that’s what I did by holding on to first place at turn one before extending my lead lap after lap. When the car is perfect like mine was today, it’s just a matter of doing what I do best!"
Caio Collet (R-ace GP): "I think I was 13th or 14th at turn one. My car was really good and the most important was to be able to make up for my mistake. I would like to thank the team for their work on my car and I think we had the same pace as Victor. We could have fought longer if I hadn’t messed up my start, but let’s focus now on tomorrow!"
Ugo de Wilde (Arden Motorsport): "It was an amazing race. I got a great start and then I had to handle the pressure from the guys behind me, but the most important thing is that we’re back on the podium after a difficult first half of the season. For once in my career, I had a little bit of luck with the mistakes of some drivers at the start and the one Franco made towards the end and I am very happy with this result!"
Hadrien David (MP Motorsport): "It was a good race in difficult conditions. It was the first time I drove in the rain in Barcelona, so I am very happy to finish fifth. This is our best result of the season, so I hope we can aim for another rookie win and maybe a podium tomorrow!"
|1. Victor Martins (ART Grand Prix)||201|
|2. Caio Collet (R-ace GP)||192|
|3. David Vidales (JD Motorsport)||130|
|4. Franco Colapinto (MP Motorsport)||99|
|5. Alex Quinn (Arden Motorsport)||75|
*Results subject to confirmation following technical and sporting checks.