Euroformula Open | Review: Chaos Rounds Out the French Weekend
Updated: May 20
A chaotic Race 3 rounded out the second Euroformula Open meeting in France. This time, supporting the GT-Open round at Circuit Paul Ricard.
Jak Crawford | © 2018 GT Sport
Race 1 – Crawford’s Win: In Qualifying some drivers had issues with track limits at the entry into Virage de Bendor (turn 12), but not Motopark’s Jak Crawford (USA) who conquered his first Pole position in Euroformula Open. The start from Pole made him able to manage the race in front and to get his first win.
Race 1 – What Happened Behind: The action was further behind, though. At lap 10, Drivex’s Enzo Scionti (USA) - which was driving P10 at that moment - parked his smoky car at the exit of the Chicane Nord (turn 9) and forced the Safety Car to come out. Then the battle began for reversed-grid Pole (P6), as CryptoTower’s Nazim Azman (MYS) was faster than Drivex’s Enzo Trulli (ITA) in front of him. Azman was getting everything right until he overtook Trulli by cutting the S de la Verrerie (turn 1 & 2). Curiously then, he was able enough to hand the place back to Jarno’s son and then to get his toe and get the better of him. CryptoTower’s Filip Kaminiarz (POL) was the other driver to end in the DNF list thanks to a technical issue which forced him to end his race in the pits at lap 9.
Results from Race 1 | © 2018 GT Sport
Race 2 – Azman from Heaven to Hell: Even though it was Azman on reversed-gird Pole, it was CryptoTower’s Louis Foster (GBR) who took the lead into turn 1 from P4. Things turned from bad into worse for Azman as he hit the inside of Van Amersfoort’s Rafael Villagómez (MEX) at the Virage de l’Hôtel (turn 3) and this resulted in the two of them spinning and going down the order.
Race 2 – The Move: After getting P2 from Van Amersfoort’s Casper Stevenson (GBR) on lap 4, Crawford spent almost the whole length of the race behind Foster, managing to get in front of him at two laps to the end with a brilliant move. Foster was defending the best he could. In fact, it was thanks to some inches’ gap that they did not come together (as it is portrayed in the picture below as they are entering the S de la Verrerie). Then, Crawford brilliantly moved round the outside of Foster and made it two out of two. Meanwhile a little bit earlier, Motopark’s Cameron Das (USA) had stolen the final podium place from Stevenson.
Crawford & Foster | © 2018 GT Sport
Results from Race 2 | © 2018 GT Sport
Race 3 – The Chaos: As explained better here, with the new EFOpen’s format, the starting order for race 3 is decided by each drivers’ fastest lap from either of the two races. It was then Crawford who had got the best lap time for race 3. The moment in which Foster got him round the outside at turn 1 (very similar to the move he received from the American in Race 2), the wild battle for the lead began. There were other four cars very close ready to see if the two of them were going to make some chaos: Das, Double R’s Josh Mason (GBR), Villagómez & Azman. And this is what eventually happened: at lap 9 (after a feisty duel in which now it was Crawford leading) Foster was trying to get close to Crawford but got too close and touched the back him while entering Virage du Lac (turn 14). Crawford was good enough to keep the car on track, but Foster was not and spun off. Crawford called Foster after the race "someone who I thought was quite reckless in defending".
The contact between Crawford & Foster | © 2018 GT Sport
Race 3 – The End: Mason did not have a good final part of the race: he went from a podium place down to P7. He was overtaken by Villagómez for the final podium place and then by Azman, Trulli and Foster. In the meantime, Das had got the better from Crawford and Foster’s chaos but had to defend relentlessly from Jak behind. Or at least he had to, until the Red Bull junior had a snap of oversteer at the penultimate lap while entering turn 7 and lost some gap to the lead. Das won, but it was not everything over yet. In a quite weird way, Double R’s Zdenek Chovanec (POR)* got two places at the last corner of the last lap: he overtook Scionti at the Virage du Pont (turn 15), while Kaminiarz had spun in the same point at the same moment!
Results from Race 3 | © 2018 GT Sport
Here some words from the protagonists, Crawford: “I’d say it was a pretty good weekend. I had the most points on the weekend, and we clearly established ourselves as the fastest, with the fastest lap in all three races plus two wins and the pole position. I’m a little sad I didn’t win all three, but overall I’m happy with the weekend. Our pace was good, and thanks to Motopark and everyone for getting me a fast car.”
His teammate Das: “Started third in the final race today and had an absolute brawl with Crawford and Foster almost every lap. I don’t even remember how many position changes for the lead there were, but that has to be one of the best races I’ve ever been in. So happy to have finished on the top step.”
Here the standings after the first six races:
Drivers' Standings | © sebmotors.info 2021
Constructors' Standings | © sebmotors.info 2021
Rookies' Standings | © sebmotors.info 2021
You can watch the highlights on these links:
-Race 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYp-dpItXuc ;
-Race 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOVmmX7XFIY ;
-Race 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fIDUGL6oRQ .
Next round it will be at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium on June 19th.
*=Chovanec raced with a Czech license at Portimão, but then entered the Le Castellet meeting with a Portuguese racing license. Zdenek actually has three nationalities: Czech, Portuguese, and Venezuelan.
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