Sunday’s race developed into a close battle between Drugovich and Troitskiy (Drivex) with series newcomer securing maiden win on his Euroformula Open debut. Troitskiy finished second and Vaidyanathan (Carlin) worked his way into the podium after poor start. Drugovich also secured Rookie class honors
The Euroformula Open brought the curtain down on the 2017 season with another exciting race at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The season finale hosted by the Catalan circuit was another breath-taker with two new drivers adding their name to winners list: Canadian Devlin DeFrancesco (Carlin) on Saturday and Brazilian Felipe Drugovich (RP Motorsport) on Sunday. Both 17-year-old drivers proved once again the Euroformula Open is a talent pool of future world-class drivers.
In the morning, Ameya Vaidyanathan (Carlin) scored his maiden pole position in the series ahead of Drugovich. India’s Vaidyanathan managed to lead a tight qualifying session for the season’s last race. It was an impressively close session as the top 17 drivers were covered by just one second.
With three minutes to go, Vaidyanathan powered his Carlin-run onto provisional pole but Troitskiy and later Drugovich improved his lap time. In the dying moments of the season Vaidyanathan clocked a time of 1:38.089, only 25 thousandths of a second faster than Drugovich. Troitskiy finally recorded the third fastest time with German Jannes Fittje (RP Motorsport) starting from fourth place on the grid. Debutant Joey Mawson (BVM Racing) lined up fifth alongside DeFrancesco. Further adrift, Alex Karkosik (RP Motorsport) and Lorenzo Colombo (Campos Racing) were determined to crank up the heat. Finland’s Simo Laaksonen (Campos Racing) and Petru Florescu (Fortec Motorsports) completed the top ten for Sunday.
When the lights went out, pole-sitter Vaidyanathan lost four places as Drugovich, Troitskiy, Mawson and Fittje passed him. At least Vaidyanathan still regained third place with a tidy move to remain ahead of Mawson, DeFrancesco, Fittje, Colombo, Florescu, Laaksonen and Karkosik by the end of lap one.
Drugovich and Troitskiy recorded several fastest laps to pull away from Vaidyanathan and the rest of the field in the process. After nine laps, the front duo had built up a steadily increasing gap of about four seconds. Vaidyanathan was still running third with Mawson struggling to fend off DeFrancesco. Colombo moved past Fittje for sixth a few laps before.
Everything looked solid for Drugovich but the last couple of laps were extremely challenging for him as Troitskiy pushed the limit. However Drugovich didn’t make any mistake and only two tenths separated the first two cars at the finish line. With Drugovich grabbing a memorable debut win and Troitskiy second, Vaidyanathan finished third in the season-ending race. Mawson scored BVM Racing’s season-best result with fourth place ahead of DeFrancesco. Colombo came sixth and Fittje continued the points streak with a seventh place finish. Laaksonen, Karkosik and Thiago Vivacqua (Campos Racing) rounded out the top ten.
There is a long winter in the coming months to prepare another jam-packed season in 2018 with eight events in the same circuits as 2017, all top and legendary European tracks.