Liam Lawson takes dominant victory in Euroformula Open at Pau
Liam Lawson has taken victory in the third race of the Euroformula Open championship, as the series visits the history Pau street circuit for the first time. Lawson, who came into the weekend as championship leader, sits in good stead for race 4, which doubles as the Grand Prix de Pau, tomorrow morning.
Lawson had a lightning start from pole and cut across second-place starter Marino Sato, who fell into the clutches of Julian Hanses by turn 1.
The tight circuit made it difficult to overtake, which was further .amplified by the fact that a significant number of drivers had started the race on wet tyres. Several drivers, notably Billy Monger, had to dive into the pits for slicks, pushing them out of sequence with the rest of the field.
The 27-lap race proved to be a long haul but Lawson logged consecutive fastest laps at the front, building his gap to teammate Julian Hanses to 2.7s by lap 4. In a display of how dispersed the field was becoming, Hanses led Sato in third by 2s, meaning the top three were split by almost five seconds after only four laps.
Christian Hahn was the first scalp to be claimed by the tight Pau circuit, but he would not be the only retirement, with Nicolai Kjaergaard into the barriers in an identical spot on the next lap.
With half of the race distance completed, Lawson held a eight-second lead to Hanses in second place as the leaders pushed through the lapped drivers at the rear of the pack. Potentially spurred by a chance to get a point for the fastest lap of the race, Lawson continued to build the gap, and took the victory with an enormous lead.
With five laps to go, Australian Calan Williams was up to seventh, with Jack Doohan in P10, the final points-paying position. Doohan chased down Billy Monger for P9, which would also give the victor the final spot on the rookie podium, before planting his car in the barriers and having to retire from the race.
Australian Calan Williams finished in P7.
EuroFormula Open - Race 1 @ Pau
Liam Lawson (NZ)
Julian Hanses +16.100s
Marino Sato +18.595s
Lukas Dunner +19.364s
Linus Lundqvist +39.865s
Cameron Das +40.235s
Calan Williams (AUS) +59.927s
Aldo Festante +1 lap
Billy Monger +1 lap
Gulherme Samaia +1 lap
Rui Andrade +2 laps
Jack Doohan +5 laps
Nicolai Kjaergaard DNF
Yuki Tsunoda DNF
Christian Hahn DNF
Teppei Natori DNS