Stuvik beats Palou in Thriller at Spa

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