Marino Sato extends Euroformula Open championship lead as championship rivals collide at Spa
Japanese driver Marino Sato has extended his Euroformula Open lead with his second victory of the race weekend at Spa-Francorchamps. Sato now sits clear of his rivals atop of the championship leaderboard on 158 points, clear of teammates Liam Lawson and Yuki Tsunoda, on 104 and 98 points respectively.
Team Motopark’s Marino Sato started the Sunday Euroformula Open outing on pole, alongside teammate Yuki Tsunoda and ahead of Jack Doohan and Lukas Dunner behind them.
Doohan was swamped off the start and quickly overtaken by Liam Lawson, who started in fifth.
Billy Monger had a wild moment off onto the grass on the Kemmel Straight, but it was the frontrunners who drew the crowd’s attention, with Liam Lawson up to second down the straight and challenging Tsunoda for the lead.
The pair of Red Bull Junior drivers pulled away, with Sato in clear air 2.360 seconds behind. Lukas Dunner challenged the championship leader for third in the final section before Sato pulled decisively ahead into the bus stop chicane.
Behind them, Linus Lundqvist was tipped into the air during a battle with Javier Gonzalez through the chicane.
Lawson went into the lead on lap 2, but the three leading Team Motorpark drivers were three-wide down the Kemmel straight thanks to effective slip-streaming. Tsunoda took the lead into Les Combes but Lawson was unwavering and swept around the outside. Drama ensued when the New Zealander, caught out by the curbs, pitched into his teammate and the two collided with the outside wall.
The collision, Lawson’s third with a teammate this season and second with Tsuonoda, took both drivers out of the race, and led to a brief safety car period as Sato inherited the lead.
Sato led well off the restart, pulling a necessary gap to Dunner and Doohan behind. Doohan stole second down the Kemmel straight, taking advantage of the substantial slipstream from the two drivers ahead.
Dunner stuck with the Australian and reversed the move on lap 7, making an identical move to Doohan down Kemmel straight and into Les Combes. The Australian’s misery would not end there, as Julian Hanses stole third on Lap 9 from the Red Bull Junior.
Javier Gonzalez, Calan Williams, Guilherme Samaia, and Pierre Luis Chovet were in a tight battle for seventh in the chasing pack, leading an enormous train around the Belgian circuit. Five-seconds covered seventh to fourteenth for the final 5 laps, with Linus Lundqvist ultimately winning the position ahead of Australian Calan Williams. Samaia put himself out of contention with a massive lock up into the bus stop chicane, sending up a plume of white smoke and finally stopping just narrow of the barriers.
Marino Sato took the race win 6.124s ahead of Lukas Dunner, with Julian Hanses completing the podium.
Australian Jack Doohan finished fourth, and stood atop the rookie podium, with fellow Australian Calan Williams in eighth.
Watch the race highlights, including the collision between Liam Lawson and Yuki Tsunoda, below
The Euroformula Open series returns 7-8 July at the Hungaroring in Budapest.
Euroformula Open - Race 2 @ Spa-Francorchamps
Lukas Dunner +6.214s
Julian Hanses +7.875s
Jack Doohan (AUS) +8.829s
Christian Hahn +14.489s
Teppei Natori +16.108s
Linus Lundqvist +19.335s
Calan Williams (AUS) +25.097s
Pierre Louis Chovet +26.273s
Aldo Festante +27.292s
Billy Monger +28.630s
Javier Gonzalez +29.171s
Nicolai Kjaergaard +30.000s
Franco Colapinto +32.359s
Rui Andrade +39.620s
Stuart Wiltshire 1:08.977s
Guilherme Samaia +1 lap
Cameron Das +1 lap
Liam Lawson (NZ) DNF
Yuki Tsunoda (DNF)