The Formula Renault Eurocup has entered the second half of the season with race one contested at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. In winning his second race in the category, Renault Sport Academy driver Christian Lundgaard (MP Motorsport) also takes a one-point lead in the general classification ahead of Yifei Ye (Josef Kaufmann Racing), who finished second today. Third place Oscar Piastri (Arden Motorsport) takes his first podium finish and the first of the season for his team.
Colombo stars in qualifying
Friday at noon, the thermometer broke through the 30° barrier for qualifying. The first group to go out featured a duel between Victor Martins (R-ace GP) and Christian Lundgaard. While the French driver was atop the timing screen when the chequered flag was waved, his best time was thrown for not respecting track limits.
In the second group little time was needed to see the 2:20.000s lap of Christian Lundgaard bested. Lorenzo Colombo (JD Motorsport), Oscar Piastri and Yifei Ye swapped the top spot several times in the final five minutes and the Italian claimed the pole with a session best 2:19.400s.
Lorenzo Colombo and Christian Lundgaard started from the front row ahead of Oscar Piastri and Arthur Rougier (Fortec Motorsports). Fifth in qualifying, Yifei Ye was followed by Logan Sargeant (R-ace GP), Max Fewtrell (R-ace GP), Victor Martins, Charles Milesi (R-ace GP) and Thomas Maxwell (JD Motorsport).
Lundgaard drafts his way to victory
While Lorenzo Colombo held on to the lead, Oscar Piastri attacked Christian Lundgaard before the two used his slipstream to get past at Les Combes. Christian Lundgaard led lap one ahead of Oscar Piastri, Yifei Ye, Arthur Rougier, Logan Sargeant and now sixth place Lorenzo Colombo.
The battle intensified when Oscar Piastri took the lead on lap two before ceding to Christian Lundgaard and Yifei Ye a lap later. The positions stabilized after that, but the leading group of four stayed tightly bunched. Behind them, Max Fewtrell overtook Logan Sargeant, who was then surprised by Lorenzo Colombo, Thomas Maxwell and Richard Verschoor (Josef Kaufmann Racing).
On lap ten, Yifei Ye needed to resist the attacks from Oscar Piastri and Arthur Rougier. The Chinese driver held on, but Christian Lundgaard took advantage to pull away before the safety car appeared following the accident of Formula Renault NEC competitor Sharon Scolari (Scorace Team) in the Raidillon. The race was eventually stopped.
The final classification was frozen at the end of lap 11. Christian Lundgaard won ahead of rival his championship Yifei Ye and Oscar Piastri. Fourth place finisher, Arthur Rougier scored his first points of the season. Max Fewtrell completed the top five. Lorenzo Colombo was sixth, followed by Thomas Maxwell, Richard Verschoor, Logan Sargeant and Charles Milesi, who finished tenth despite a racing incident with Alex Peroni (MP Motorsport) on lap one.
Christian Lundgaard (MP Motorsport): “Right from the first tests, we knew we had the pace to do it. We just didn’t manage to put it all together for less than a tenth of a second in Q1, but we dominated our group this morning. After that it was important to know who was leading at the top of the Raidillon. The draft is the key on this circuit. You have to get the best possible exit out of La Source to carry as much speed as possible before Les Combes. I tried to brake a little later than Oscar at the chicane, I went a bit wide, but I decided to go for it. I did everything I could and it all worked out nicely! I tried to build up the gap before the safety car. I was a bit lucky with the red flag, but if it hadn’t been the case we would’ve restarted for just one lap!”
Yifei Ye (Josef Kaufmann Racing): “It isn’t a bad result to finish second after starting fifth on the grid. Nevertheless, I didn’t have a strong race if I am honest. First I tried to see if I could find an opportunity. On lap four, I was quite close to Christian. He locked up his wheels several times and I thought I would have a chance if I could keep up. Unfortunately, it never came and I made a mistake that allowed Oscar to close up to me.”
Oscar Piastri (Arden Motorsport): “It’s been a long time since I last stepped onto the podium. The team and I really worked hard to get his result and I owe them a lot! We are clearly on pace this weekend. We had a chance to win, but I am thrilled with third place. During winter testing, we were quite fast at Spa and I’ve felt more comfortable since Wednesday. I am having a lot more fun in the car and I hope I can run strong again tomorrow.”
|1. Christian Lundgaard (MP Motorsport)||143|
|2. Yifei Ye (Josef Kaufmann Racing)||142|
|3. Max Fewtrell (R-ace GP)||119.5|
|4. Victor Martins (R-ace GP)||102|
|5. Lorenzo Colombo (R-ace GP)||84.5|
*Results subject to confirmation following technical and sporting verifications.