Baptista takes dominant maiden EuroFormula Open victory

Bruno Baptista controlled the opening race of the weekend at Paul Ricard from the front to take his maiden EuroFormula Open victory.

The RP Motorsport driver led away from pole position, and held back the advances of Alessio Rovera of BVM Racing to make sure he stood on the top step of the podium for the first time.

Baptista was largely untroubled after making a reasonable getaway at the start, getting back into the lead around the outside of the second turn after seeing Campos Racing’s Diego Mencheca make a great start from third on the grid, with the Mexican then losing second place to Tanart Sathienthirakul heading down into turn three, with Rovera falling to fourth from starting on the front row.

Before the end of the first lap, Rovera had re-passed Mencheca and taken third position, and Sathienthirakul for second, and gave chase to Baptista.

Konstantin Tereschenko was the next to pass Mencheca, with the two team-mates swapping position into the chicane halfway down the Mistral Straight. Tereschenko would then hunt down Sathienthirakul to take the final podium, with the Russian holding off Yu Kanamaru in the closing stages, with Sathienthirakul ultimately finishing fifth ahead of Team West-Tec F3 team-mate Yarin Stern.

RP Motorsport locked out the remaining points places, with Igor Walilko, Damiano Fioravanti, John Simonyan and Andres Saravia finishing seventh to tenth. Mencheca’s good start went to waste as the Mexican driver dropped down to twelfth at the chequered flag.

But no one could deny Baptista his maiden EuroFormula Open victory. Qualifying for race two will take place at 08:30am Sunday morning local time before the race begins at 13:00 local time.

Paul Ricard Race 1 Result

13Vitor BaptistaBRZRP Motorsport28m43.083s
220Alessio RoveraITABVM Racing+1.178s
36Konstantin TereschenkoRUSCampos Racing+15.118s
416Yu KanamaruJPNEmilio de Villota Motorsport+15.273s
515Tanart SathienthirakulTHATeam West-Tec F3+15.735s
610Yarin SternISRTeam West-Tec F3+16.762s
737Igor WalilkoPOLRP Motorsport+20.281s
85Damiano FioravantiITARP Motorsport+20.700s
92John SimonyanRUSMKTG+28.391s
101Andres SaraviaGTMRP Motorsport+28.756s
1119William BarbosaCOLBVM Racing+29.162s
127Diego MenchacaMEXCampos Racing+31.631s
138Henrique BaptistaBRZCampos Racing+33.524s
1418Michael DorrbeckerMEXEmilio de Villota Motorsport+38.133s
159Ahmad Al GhanemKWTCampos Racing+55.816s
164Antonio PtakPOLRP Motorsport+1m00.639s
1717Jose Manuel VilaltaMEXEmilio de Villota Motorsport+1m01.390s
1877Leonardo PulciniITADAV Racing+1m04.443s