Carlin’s Matheus Iorio has started the 2018 Euroformula Open season with style and taken a front row start following the opening qualifying of the year in Estoril, Portugal. The 30-minute shoot out saw both Iorio and his Carlin team mate Cameron Das well and truly in the mix from the very start with the Brazilian securing second position ahead of this afternoon’s race. Das also enjoyed a great qualifying and will line up on the third row of the grid in sixth place.
Both Carlin drivers had two days of pre-event testing in which to get acquainted with the track and car, unfortunately for the pair the conditions were not the greatest with wet and drying conditions making weekend preparation somewhat more challenging. However, it was a different story this morning with dry, albeit cool, conditions on track for the Carlin pair to contend with.
Heading out on their opening runs Iorio and Das were well matched for pace with each driver taking the top spot during the first few minutes. Following this, they continued to build on their pace and by the midpoint of the session Das was fifth with Iorio seventh as they waited in the pits for their new tyre run.
With around eight minutes remaining of the session, Das took to the track ahead of Iorio and got his lap in first to move up to second position. However it was at this point that the real battle for pole developed with a handful of drivers, including both Carlin cars, looking on track to secure the coveted position. Iorio followed his team mate through and initially went third overall before improving once again to move up in to second.
In the dying moments no one on track was able to challenge Iorio for his front row start and he will line up alongside pole man Felipe Drugovich as the two Brazilians look to battle for the lead of the race off the line. American racer Das rounded off a strong team result with sixth position ensuring a third row of the grid start for the opening race of the season.
Iorio said of qualifying, “I’m very happy to be starting on the front row of the grid this afternoon. The team did an awesome job throughout qualifying and we were able to set a fast lap on my new tyre run. Now we turn our focus to our race pace and moving forward to try and get the win.”
The first race of the 2018 Euroformula Championship gets underway this afternoon at 14.15 local time.