Marino Sato secures Euroformula title at Barcelona, Liam Lawson takes race win

Marino Sato secures Euroformula title at Barcelona, Liam Lawson takes race win

21.09.2019: Heavy rain provides ‘unusual’ race, with Qualifying session cancelled, and great battles during the race On his return to the series, Liam Lawson (Motopark) take

Heavy rain provides ‘unusual’ race, with Qualifying session cancelled, and great battles during the race

On his return to the series, Liam Lawson (Motopark) takes third win of the year with winning last lap move

Scandinavian drivers shine in the wet: Nicolai Kjaerregaard (Carlin), second after leading most of the race, Linus Lundqvist (Double R) third

Despite finishing only 9th, Sato (Motopark) is mathematically crowned

Marino Sato was crowned 2019 Euroformula Open champion in the first race at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, while his Motopark team-mate Liam Lawson took race victory with a last-lap pass in the wet. Japanese driver Sato had a quiet race from the back of the grid, a result of qualifying being cancelled and the starting order being set by free practice times, and finished in 10th place.

Lawson started in eighth, with Carlin’s Billy Monger and Nicolai Kjaergaard occupying the front of the grid. "I'm partly happy about it," said Sato in his usual style. His thoughts post-race were immediately on how he could have performed better on-track. It was Kjaergaard who controlled most of the race, immediately passing Monger and then pulling away by several seconds from Double R Racing’s Linus Lundqvist, who had also overtook the slow-starting Monger.

On the opening lap Lawson rose to fifth, and after picking off Carlin duo Christian Hahn and Monger, he closed in on Lundqvist. He found the Swede far harder to pass, and spent several laps searching unsuccessfully for a way through. Eventually he came close enough to make a move at Turn 1, and immediately tracked down Kjaergaard and repeated the move on the leader on the last lap.

"It was a pretty cool race," said Lawson. "I didn't think that it was going to be possible from eighth [on the grid], but it's nice to turn it around. It's been quite a long time since we've had a win this year."

Lawson finished the race with over two seconds in hand, with Kjaergaard and Lundqvist completing the overall and rookie podium. Hahn upped his pace late on and challenge Lundqvist for third, having passed team-mate Monger earlier on. Sixth place went to pre-race title contender Lukas Dunner, who would have needed a maximum score to prevent Sato from being crowned.

Carlin’s Ido Cohen ended his championship debut in a comfortable seventh, ahead of Cameron Das (Motopark), Teppei Natori (Carlin) and Sato. Costly errors meant Yuki Tsunoda (Motopark), Calan Williams (Fortec Motorsports) and Jack Doohan (Double R) all finished outside of the points despite showing top 10 pace. In between them were Motopark's Niklas Krutten, in his third race in the championship, and Drivex School's Rui Andrade.

1. Sato, 264 points; 2. Dunner, 164; 3. Lawson, 146; 4. Lundquist, 118; 5. Tsunoda, 111; 6. Hanses, 98; etc Rookies: 1. Lawson, 77 p.; 2. Lundqvist, 75 p. ; 3. Doohan, 55; 4. Tsunoda, 54; 5. Kjaergaard, 49; 6. Monger, 47; etc

1. Team Motopark, 224 p.; 2. Carlin, 65; 3. Teo Martín Motorsport, 64; 4. Double R, 58; 5. Fortec, 7.

Alfredo Filippone, photos Euroformula


21.09.2019 / MaP

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