Paul Ricard EF Open: Habsburg and Pulcini share wins

Leonardo Pulcini and Ferdinand Habsburg emerged as prime protagonists in the third round of EuroFormula Open, winning one race apiece at Paul Ricard.

Paul Ricard EF Open: Habsburg and Pulcini share wins
Kantadhee Kusiri, RP Motorsport
Tanart Sathienthirakul, RP Motorsport
Ferdinand Habsburg, Drivex School
Jose Manuel Vilalta, Teo Martin Motorsport
Colton Herta, Carlin Motorsport
Enaam Ahmed, RP Motorsport
Ferdinand Habsburg, Drivex School
Ferdinand Habsburg, Drivex School
Diego Menchaca, Campos Racing
Ferdinand Habsburg, Drivex School
Enaam Ahmed, RP Motorsport

Coming into the weekend, Pulcini and Renault junior Jack Aitken were the only two drivers to take victories, with Habsburg never quite close enough to take the top spot on the podium.

However, Aitken’s absence served as a cue for Habsburg to take the fight to Pulcini. Indeed, the Austrian driver qualified on pole for both the races, with Pulcini fourth- and second-quickest in the two sessions.

Habsburg holds off Pulcini for race one win

In race one, Habsburg fended off championship leader Leonardo Pulcini to take his maiden victory in EuroFormula Open.

The Austrian led from pole position at the start of the race and seemed to have control of the proceedings in the opening laps.

However, Damiano Fioravanti soon started piling pressure on Habsburg, with Pulcini joining the party from third place.

On lap 7, Fioravanti made a futile attempt to pass Habsburg, spinning and falling down to sixth place.

Fioravanti's spin, however, provided little breathing space for Habsburg, who now found himself under pressure from Pulcini.

The Italian tried multiple passing manoeuvres in the final two laps, but ultimately had to settle for second place. The two drivers were separated by just 0.226s at the chequered flag.

Behind the duo, Diego Menchaca crossed the line in third place, with Antoni Ptak securing his best result of the season in fourth.

Fortec’s Igor Waltiko was classified in fifth place after his early tussle with Carlin driver Colton Herta, the latter slipping down the order in an attempt to defend his position.

Further back, Enaam Ahmed was seventh on road, with Tanart Sathienthirakul, Kantadhee Kusiri and Daniel Pronenko completing the top 10.  

Pulcini takes dominant race 2 win

Unlike race 1, Habsburg got bogged down at the start of the race 2, with Pulcini taking full advantage to breeze into the lead.

Second-row starter Herta also nearly passed Habsburg on the opening lap, only to drop down to fourth after being passed by Menchaca at the end of the back straight.

Back in front, Pulcini stretched his advantage over Habsburg, gaining as much as half a second per lap. With Habsburg unable to pull out a late challenge, the Campos driver went on to secure his third victory of the season.

Menchaca took the final spot of podium, ahead of Carlin’s Colton Herta, who finished a season best fourth.

Ptak passed fellow RP Motorsport drivers Fioravanti and Sathienthirakul in the span of half a lap to finish fourth, with the latter completing the top five positions. Fioravanti dropped further down the order in the second half of the race, before retiring on the final lap.

Further back, Walilko finished the race in seventh place, ahead of Moreno and Andres Soori, while Fioravanti’s retirement promoted Kusiri to the top 10.

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About this article

Series Euroformula Open
Event Paul Ricard
Location Circuit Paul Ricard
Author Rachit Thukral