Ghorpade's difficult weekend; steady debut for Raghunathan
The penultimate weekend of EuroFormula Open season didn’t go as per the plans for Parth Ghorpade while Mahaveer Raghunathan made a steady debut as a guest driver at Monza.
DAV Racing’s Ghorpade started the seventh round on the backfoot after having some issues with the car during testing prior to the weekend.
In the three official practice sessions, he finished 16th, 18th and 17th as fellow Indian and West-Tec driver Raghunathan started off with 15th, 12th and 20th respectively.
RP Motorsport’s Vitor Baptista led in the first practice while EmiliodeVillota Motorsport’s Yu Kanamaru finished on top in the remaining two sessions.
A wet qualifying and a late tyre change cost Ghorpade as he only managed 18th for the first race. He was quick until the change of tyres.
Meanwhile, Raghunathan qualified a place behind Ghorpade at 19th. Kanamaru took pole from Baptista and Campos’ Konstantin Tereshchenko.
The two Indians fought closely in the first race in dry conditions. Ghorpade got himself ahead of Raghunathan by lap two to slot in 13th, but the duo exchanged places until lap 14.
On the penultimate lap, Raghunathan lost his position and dropped back to finish 14th while Ghorpade, on the other hand, gained a place to finish 11th.
Baptista took the win while Kanamaru and Tereshchenko slotted in at second and third respectively.
A difficult qualifying two for Ghorpade as he suffered from understeer in a wet session which saw him finish 20th and last for race two.
Raghunathan was 18th as Tereshchenko took pole from RP Motorsport’s Damiano Fioravanti and MKTG’s Kantadhee Kusiri.
It was a short-lived second race for Ghorpade as he retired on lap seven after losing his front wing. Raghunathan enjoyed a good battle and ran 15th for the major part of the race until the final lap where he was overtaken by Ahmad Al Ghanem (Campos) and thus finished 16th.
Fioravanti took his maiden win of the season while Baptista finished second and teammate Igor Walilko completed the podium.
Heading into the final race at Barcelona (October 31 - November 1), Baptista leads the championship with 271 as Ghorpade sits 18th (having only done three races) and Raghunathan classified as a guest driver.
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