Thai driver Sandy Stuvik strengthened his grip on the EuroFormula Open championship lead by taking victory in the opening race of the weekend at Spa-Francorchamps, but the RP Motorsport driver was made to work hard for his win by the charging Alex Palou of Campos Racing and by the weather.
An early safety-car period to clear up a crash between Wei Fung Thong of Team West-Tec F3 and Costantino Peroni of DAV Racing ensured Stuvik and Palou were nose to tail on the restart, and the two main championship contenders had a good battle, passing and re-passing each other before Stuvik decisively took the lead and held on until the flag.
The two of them even had to contend with a late race rain shower, and while the third driver in the battle for the championship Artur Janosz decided to gamble on a change with four laps to go onto wet tyres, Stuvik and Palou stayed on dries, which ultimately was the best way to go, as Janosz fell out of the points.
Russian John Simonyan took his maiden series podium in third for RP Motorsport after Yarin Stern spun out of the race early on. Series returnee Alexander Toril, making his first start of the year for Emilio de Villota Motorsport, was fourth, ahead of Tanart Sathienthirakul of Team West-Tec F3, while Christopher Hoher recovered from a disappointing qualifying to finish sixth for BVM Racing.
Nicolas Pohler of Team West-Tec F3 was seventh ahead of Sean Walkinshaw of Campos Racing, while Saud T. Al Faisal of RP Motorsport and Yu Kanamaru of Emilio de Villota Motorsport finished ninth and tenth respectively.
Spa-Francorchamps Race 1 Result
|1||Sandy Stuvik||THA||RP Motorsport||36m43.783s|
|2||Alex Palou||ESP||Campos Racing||+12.609s|
|3||John Simonyan||RUS||RP Motorsport||+28.550s|
|4||Alexander Toril||ESP||Emilio de Villota Motorsport||+28.869s|
|5||Tanart Sathienthirakul||THA||Team West-Tec F3||+30.140s|
|6||Christopher Hoher||AUT||BVM Racing||+30.297s|
|7||Nicolas Pohler||GER||Team West-Tec F3||+30.391s|
|8||Sean Walkinshaw||GBR||Campos Racing||+39.412s|
|9||Saud T. Al Faisal||SAU||RP Motorsport||+48.572s|
|10||Yu Kanamaru||JAP||Emilio de Villota Motorsport||+1m27.279s|
|11||Andres Saravia||GTM||RP Motorsport||+1m32.083s|
|12||Henrique Baptista||BRZ||DAV Racing||+1m49.527s|
|13||Konstantin Tereschenko||RUS||Campos Racing||+1m54.413s|
|14||Artur Janosz||POL||RP Motorsport||+1 Lap|
|RET||Yarin Stern||ISR||Team West-Tec F3||4 Laps|
|RET||Che-One Lim||KOR||Emilio de Villota Motorsport||1 Lap|
|RET||Wei Fung Thong||HKG||Team West-Tec F3||0 Laps|
|RET||Costantino Peroni||ITA||DAV Racing||0 Laps|
|RET||William Barbosa||COL||Corbetta Competizioni||0 Laps|