In a frantic and exciting race at Spa-Francorchamps Devlin Defrancesco has improved on his finish yesterday to take second position in the fourth round of the Euro Formula Open Championship.
Defrancesco, who had started from fifth on the grid, was soon right up at the front and along with team mate Ameya Vaidyanathan both led stages of the ever changing race. Yesterday’s race winner Vaidyanathan recovered well from a spin while leading the race to finish fourth while Tarun Reddy was involved in multiple battles for position and finished off a solid weekend in ninth place.
Vaidyanathan once again got a great start as the lights overhead extinguished which left him right up behind pole-sitter Nikita Troitskiy who he was able to blitz past taking the lead as his own as they ran along the Kemmel straight. Meanwhile just behind, Defrancesco had also enjoyed an amazing start and in no time at all was right up behind his team mate in a brilliant second position. Reddy had also improved and after the first lap was running in eighth place.
However things were soon to change at the front when a fast charging Defrancesco began to chase down race leader Vaidyanathan – as the pair fought well as they made their way through Les Combes they made contact which sent Vaidyanathan in to a spin. However yesterday’s race winner was quick to recover and re-joined in fourth; Defrancesco went on to lead the race in the next phase.
Despite losing ground, Vaidyanathan was determined to recover well and was soon closing in on Troitskiy who he was able to reel in and pull off a brilliant move to take him back in to a provisional podium position. At the front, it was all change once again as Harrison Scott closed in on the rear of Defrancesco’s Carlin car – despite defending well, Defrancesco unfortunately lost the lead of race and slotted in to second with his team mate in his mirrors. Meanwhile it was another solid performance from rookie Reddy who was running in eighth position overall enjoying good pace and putting the pressure on Jannes Fittje ahead.
The race would change once again when action was neutralised due to a coming together for Alex Karkosik and Pedro Cardoso who had collided at the Bus Stop chicane. After a couple of slow laps behind the safety car the field was free to race and that brought Thiago Vivacqua in to play who was able to make a move and pass Vaidyanathan – stealing the podium from him. It also brought Reddy in to a close battle with Petru Florescu with the Indian eventually crossing a line in ninth to round off a solid weekend.
However at the front the excitement of the previous laps calmed and the top four crossed the line in their positions with Defrancesco taking his best finish in the Championship in second, and a rookie win, while Vaidyanathan took the flag in fourth after a hard fought race.
Defrancesco said of the race, “I really pushed today and fought our way up throughout the race after a tricky qualifying in the wet for everyone this morning. Overall I think it was a very strong weekend for us at Carlin and I think this is just the start of great things this season.”