Devlin DeFrancesco was forced to wait until the season finale at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya to claim his first victory in the EuroFormula Open championship, with the Carlin Motorsport driver triumphing in the opening race of the weekend.
The Canadian was running second in the early stages and capitalised on a mistake by race leader Felipe Drugovich just as the safety car was deployed, with the debutant running off track at turn four.
From there on, DeFrancesco was in complete control, and judged the restart to perfection to lead home team-mate Ameya Vaidyanathan by 1.583 seconds.
“I was happy with the start and knew I could close the gap to first,” said DeFrancesco. “We were much quicker in the middle sector, then there was some spilt oil on the circuit at Turn 4 and [Felipe] Drugovic went off whilst the safety car was out.
“I made an unbelievable restart and just managed the gap behind. We’ve really been up against it all year. I’ve felt like the team deserved this and I’m just so grateful for my engineers and everyone who’s helped me.”
Drugovich recovered to win race two with DeFrancesco claiming the fifth place finish that secured his position in third place in the Drivers’ Championship behind Harrison Scott and Nikita Troitskiy, and he is now turning his attention to his debut in the Macau Grand Prix.
“I was quite stressed ahead of that final race!” said DeFrancesco. “I got a good start again though and when I realised all I needed to do was bring the car home in this position, that’s exactly what I did.
“Overall, I think it was a great year. My engineers Steve [Colbert], Matt [Gaze] and Simon [Brown] have done an incredible job, so I’d like to thank them so much for their help. Now onto Macau!”