Baptista takes the spoils in entertaining Monza opener

Vitor Baptista took a fourth consecutive victory and his sixth of the season to extend his EuroFormula Open championship lead at the end of an entertaining opening race of the weekend at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza on Saturday.

The Brazilian RP Motorsport driver survived a great battle for the lead, at least early in the race when five drivers were nose-to-tail, and then held off the challenge of championship rival Konstantin Tereschenko of Campos Racing, although the Russian has carrying a five-second time penalty for exceeding track limits.

In the early stages, Baptista and Tereschenko were joined in the lead battle by Yu Kanamaru, Tanart Sathienthirakul and Damiano Fioravanti, but once the top two got ahead, they pulled out a gap to the other three.

Sathienthirakul of Team West-Tec F3 and Fioravanti of RP Motorsport were unable to finish the race however, after the Thai driver spun while attacking Tereschenko once more, only to collect the Italian, who had nowhere to go as he took avoiding action.

Kanamaru inherited third as a result despite the Emilio de Villota Motorsport driver running the majority of the race with damage to his front wing, and then took second due to Tereschenko’s penalty.

Taking career best finishes in fourth, fifth and sixth after a great battle were Campos Racing’s Diego Menchaca, BVM Racing’s William Barbosa and Campos Racing’s Henrique Baptista, with positions ebbing and flowing between the trio.

Leonardo Pulcini was involved in the battle until a few laps before the end, before a lurid slide heading into the Ascari Chicane saw the young Italian spin, with the DAV Racing driver finishing down in tenth as a result.

Igor Walilko took seventh for RP Motorsport ahead of team-mate Andres Saravia, while Ahmad Al Ghanem took ninth, meaning all four Campos Racing drivers were inside the top ten.

As well as Sathienthirakul and Fioravanti retiring, we also saw Alessio Rovera retire his DAV Racing machine early on, while Yarin Stern had a disappointing and short afternoon when, after making a bad start, he slide into the barriers at the Parabolica on the opening lap.

Monza Race 1 Result

13Vitor BaptistaBRZRP Motorsport28m59.126s
216Yu KanamaruJPNEmilio de Villota Motorsport+2.046s
36Konstantin TereschenkoRUSCampos Racing+5.973s
47Diego MenchacaMEXCampos Racing+15.046s
519William BarbosaCOLBVM Racing+15.240s
68Henrique BaptistaBRZCampos Racing+15.659s
737Igor WalilkoPOLRP Motorsport+16.428s
81Andres SaraviaGTMRP Motorsport+20.194s
99Ahmad Al GhanemKWTCampos Racing+27.468s
1077Leonardo PulciniITADAV Racing+32.914s
1170Parth GhorpadeINDDAV Racing+33.947s
1223Kang LingCHNDAV Racing+37.792s
1317Jose Manuel VilaltaMEXEmilio de Villota Motorsport+40.070s
1412Mahaveer RaghunathanINDTeam West-Tec F3+41.805s
RET15Tanart SathienthirakulTHATeam West-Tec F3Retired
RET5Damiano FioravantiITARP MotorsportRetired
RET21Alessio RoveraITADAV RacingRetired
RET10Yarin SternISRTeam West-Tec F3Retired
RET4Antonio PtakPOLRP MotorsportRetired
RET2Kantadhee KusiriTHAMKTGRetired