Herta dominates for maiden EuroFormula Open victory

Colton Herta - Credit: FOTOSPEEDY

Colton Herta secured his first victory in the EuroFormula Open championship with a lights-to-flag triumph at the Red Bull Ring on Saturday.

The young American survived an early safety car period for a multi-car first corner crash and the challenges from both Leonardo Pulcini and Ferdinand Habsburg to take his first Formula 3 victory at the Austrian circuit, and in doing so got the first win for his team Carlin in the series as well.

The safety car was deployed when Diego Menchaca spun in front of the pack, narrowly being avoided by Pulcini and Tatiana Calderon just behind, but unfortunately Antoni Ptak was unable to avoid the Mexican’s Campos Racing machine, ending both their races on the spot.

Unfortunately chaos ensued behind, with Kusiri Kantadhee hitting the back of Julio Moreno, while Vladimir Atoev, Daniel Pronenko and Gulhuseyn Abdullayeu were all eliminated from the race as well.

When the race resumed, Campos Racing’s championship leader Pulcini swarmed over the back of race leader Herta into turn one, but ran wide and narrowly avoided the tyre barrier, but despite avoiding the accident he dropped down to seventh.

This allowed Herta to lead from Habsburg, with the Austrian driving another strong race in front of his home fans, but the Drivex School driver had no answer for the Carlin driver, who eventually pulled away to win by 3.223 seconds.

Calderon claimed the final spot on the podium after a relatively quiet race to third for RP Motorsport, while Pulcini recovered sufficiently to finish fourth, with the Italian able to pass Tanart Sathienthirakul, Keyvan Andres and Damiano Fioravanti on track.

Sathienthirakul completed the top five for RP Motorsport ahead of Andres, who secured his best result of the season for Carlin, while Nikita Troitskiy claimed seventh on his series debut for Drivex School, with the Russian finishing on the tail of the German ahead of him.

Fioravanti dropped to eighth, only just holding off the challenge of the third Carlin entry of Ameya Vaidyanathan, who scored his first points this season, while also breaking into the top ten for the first time was Teo Martin Motorsport’s Nikita Zlobin.

Red Bull Ring Race 1 Result

198Colton HertaUSACarlin34:40.273
262Ferdinand HabsburgAUTDrivex School+3.223
34Tatiana CalderonCOLRP Motorsport+11.116
48Leonardo PulciniITACampos Racing+15.601
55Tanart SathienthriakulTHARP Motorsport+18.534
647Keyvan AndresGERCarlin+23.804
791Nikita TroitskiyRUSDrivex School+24.424
83Damiano FioravantiITARP Motorsport+32.579
951Ameya VaidyanathanINDCarlin+32.838
1072Nikita ZlobinRUSTeo Martin Motorsport+36.567
1118Ricardo CazzanigaITADAV Racing+52.775
RET6Julio MorenoECUCampos RacingRetired
RET1Antoni PtakPOLRP MotorsportRetired
RET2Kusiri KantadheeTHARP MotorsportRetired
RET7Diego MenchacaMEXCampos RacingRetired
RET9Gulhuseyn AbdullayeuAZECampos RacingRetired
RET12Vladimir AtoevRUSTeo Martin MotorsportRetired
RET20Daniel PronenkoRUSBVM RacingRetired