Euroformula gained its seventh different race-winner of 2021 in the first of Sunday’s two races at the Red Bull Ring, as Nazim Azman (CryptoTower Racing Team) was victorious for the first time.
Azman started from reversed grid pole, and controlled the pace up front throughout the 23-lap encounter. He had one brief challenge at the restart after a safety car period caused by Enzo Trulli (Carlin) spinning off early on, but was otherwise managing his own race.
Cem Bölükbaşi (Van Amersfoort Racing) finished second, a position he gained on lap two when the debuting Reshad de Gerus (Motopark) ran wide out of the opening corner and conceded several places having previously been running just behind Azman.
Louis Foster (CryptoTower) then briefly got by Bölükbaşi following the safety car period, as he swept ahead at turn two but was then passed back by the Turk at turn four. While there was a lead group of six cars from thereon, it became a two-horse race for the win between Azman and Bölükbaşi.
The gap never closed down enough for Azman to be put under serious pressure though, and he met the chequered flag 0.732 seconds ahead.
“Obviously a good start, number one [reason behind the win],” Azman said. “Then de Gerus disappeared somewhere on the second lap, so we just had to keep pushing. Tried to keep the pace so I could keep the margin behind as big as I could. It was quite hard to be fair, Cem was very quick. And then I think the main thing is don’t make any mistakes, and it paid off. It was good, because Foster had a battle as well with Cameron [Das], so it just left me and Cem alone. Overall really happy with the result.”
Title rivals Foster, Cameron Das and Jak Crawford battled incredibly hard through the race, with de Gerus getting between them too to spice up the action. Remarkably they went three-wide through turn two on the opening lap, and after Das cleared de Gerus on lap nine of 23 he hunted down Crawford and passed him for fourth with a dive down the inside of turn three.
Crawford’s attempt at reclaiming the position around the outside of turn five resulted in him going into the gravel and falling back behind de Gerus, who he eventually moved back past while Das hounded Foster. As a result, Crawford claimed the rookie classification win - as well as the fastest lap - while Foster has moved ahead of Das in the overall championship standings to lead the title race by two points.