Habsburg withstands the pressure for maiden EF Open win

Ferdinand Habsburg - Credit: FOTOSPEEDY

Ferdinand Habsburg led from start to finish at Paul Ricard to convert his maiden EuroFormula Open pole position into his maiden series victory despite near-race long pressure from behind.

Habsburg was first forced to defend from Damiano Fioravanti for the lead, but once the Italian had spun out of race winning contention, slightly brushing the rear of Habsburg’s car as he attempted a pass on lap six, the pressure then came from championship leader Leonardo Pulcini.

Despite the pressure, Habsburg held on to take the victory for his Drivex School team, winning ultimately by just 0.226 seconds at the end of the fifteen-lap race from Campos Racing’s Pulcini.

Completing the podium once Fioravanti spun was the second Campos Racing entry of Diego Menchaca, who denied Antoni Ptak his maiden podium finish, the Polish driver being forced to settle for fourth for RP Motorsport.

Igor Walilko made a contentious move early in the race on Colton Herta, spinning the American off the circuit, but the Fortec Motorsports kept going himself to claim fifth, while the recovering Fioravanti claimed sixth, leading home a quartet of RP Motorsport drivers.

Fioravanti’s team-mates Enaad Ahmed, Tanart Sathienthirakul and Kusiri Kantadhee placed seventh, eighth and ninth respectively, while the top ten points scorers was completed by BVM Racing’s Daniel Pronenko.

Other on track action included Julio Moreno making a dreadful start in his Campos Racing to drop to the back of the field before then clashing with Teo Martin Motorsport’s Jose Manuel Vilalta later on the opening lap, which spun Vilalta round but forced Moreno to the pits to retire.

At the end of the second lap Carlin’s Keyvan Andres and Teo Martin Motorsports’ debutant Vladimir Atoev tangled at the final corner, with the former able to recover to finish fourteenth but the latter was eliminated on the spot with damage.

Leonardo Pulcini - Credit: FOTOSPEEDY
Leonardo Pulcini – Credit: FOTOSPEEDY

Paul Ricard Race 1 Result

162Ferdinand HabsburgAUTDrivex School31:00.905
28Leonardo PulciniITACampos Racing+0.226
37Diego MenchacaMEXCampos Racing+2.024
41Antoni PtakPOLRP Motorsport+3.402
537Igor WalilkoPOLFortec Motorsports+3.876
63Damiano FioravantiITARP Motorsport+4.902
74Enaam AhmedGBRRP Motorsport+8.511
85Tanart SathienthriakulTHARP Motorsport+9.296
92Kusiri KantadheeTHARP Motorsport+17.342
1020Daniel PronenkoRUSBVM Racing+25.731
1127Kang LingCHNDAV Racing+29.833
1272Nikita ZlobinRUSTeo Martin Motorsport+30.338
1351Ameya VaidyanathanINDCarlin+36.849
1447Keyvan AndresGERCarlin+42.598
159Gulhuseyn AbdullayeuAZECampos Racing+44.230
1614Jose-Manuel VilaltaMEXTeo Martin Motorsport+55.328
1715JT LiangCHNTeam West-Tec F3+1:13.283
18/RET98Colton HertaUSACarlin+2 Laps
RET18Riccardo CazzanigaITADAV RacingRetired
RET12Vladimir AtoevRUSTeo Martin MotorsportRetired
RET6Julio MorenoECUCampos RacingRetired