Harrison Scott came through the chaos to claim victory in the opening race of the 2017 EuroFormula Open season at the Autodromo Do Estoril, with Ameya Vaidyanathan and Matheus Iorio completing the podium.
But drivers up and down the field will be thinking what could have been after incidents and misfortune befell many, particularly for Nikita Troitskiy, who had jumped into the lead at the start but fell back due to a broken front wing and ultimately retired in the pits.
Scott, who made a one-off appearance in EuroFormula Open at the back end of 2016 at the Circuito de Jerez, found himself defending from Troitskiy and Vaidyanathan into turn one on the opening lap, with the Drivex School driver getting ahead, but once Troitskiy made the mistake that saw him run wide approaching the final corner and break his wing, Scott took the lead and was never headed despite pressure from behind from Vaidyanathan.
Drivers made it through to turn three before incidents started to happen, with Malaysian Najiy Ayyad Razak going off after contact at the back of the field, before Daniil Pronenko and Pedro Cardosa collided to bring out the safety car. There was also drama for Thiago Vivacqua, who dropped out of fourth at the start of lap two after appearing to slow exiting the first turn.
A collision between Devlin De Francesco and Alex Karkosik saw both drop back, while Simo Laaksonen also crashed out after an incident that also saw Tarun Reddy spin into turn one as they battled Eliseo Martinez Merono and the ailing Troitskiy. Reddy was able to rejoin but later spun out of the race himself at turn twelve.
All the chaos ensured Iorio secured the final spot on the podium for Campos Racing, who had moved from tenth on the grid to run sixth on the opening lap before moving up thanks to the incidents ahead of him. He managed to survive an incident with Yan Leon Shlom as the two battled for third, with the Fortec Motorsports driver suffering a puncture as a result of contact.
Jannes Fittje avoided the mayhem to finish fourth for Fortec Motorsports ahead of Teo Martin Motorsport’s Martinez Merono, while Petru Florescu was sixth for Campos Racing ahead of Christian Hahn, Lodovico Laurini, Javier Cobian and the recovering Karkosik, who completed the points scorers.
Autodromo Do Estoril Race 1 Result
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