Carlin’s Colton Herta has secured an incredible maiden Euro Formula Open Championship win this afternoon following a lights to flag victory in the highly competitive series. The American racer had a fantastic start to blitz in to the first corner ahead of his rivals. However the drama started behind following a multi-car accident which both Keyvan Andres and Ameya Vaidyanathan managed to avoid well. All three drivers took the flag to secure their best finishes of the season with Herta claiming the top step of the podium while Andres took sixth, and a rookie podium to boot, while Vaidyanathan came home in ninth.
Off the line Herta, who inherited pole position earlier today, was quick to launch and defended his lead extremely well as the field made their way in to the first corner. However the race was soon to become disrupted when Diego Menchaca ran wide sending him in to a spin ultimately leaving him in the path of the oncoming traffic which led to a series of events seeing a total of six cars eliminated on the opening lap. This incident, which needed a fair amount of time to clean, meant that the safety car was deployed on track for a few laps neutralising the race with Herta in the lead, Andres in fifth and Vaidyanathan in ninth.
On the restart Herta controlled the race perfectly all the while defending from Leonardo Pulcini behind who ran wide and off track. This dropped the Italian racer down the field and elevated Andres up a position who was busy fighting his own battle with Tanart Sathienthirakul while Vaidyanathan had also restarted the race well to continue in ninth position.
The next few laps provided some fantastic racing action with Andres defending well and involved in multiple battles for position meanwhile Herta was pulling a lead over Ferdinand Habsburg ahead while Vaidyanathan was running in clear air in ninth.
The final laps of the race became a tense affair all round as all three Carlin drivers were on target for their best ever finishes in the hotly contested EuroFormula Open Championship. As it was, Herta continued to remain cool, calm and collected to pick up an incredible maiden win with no one able to challenge him in the latter half of the race.
Herta said of his first win, “I had a great start – probably one of the best of those around me which meant I could lead in to the first corner and begin to pull a margin. I came under a little bit of pressure from Leonardo [Pulcini] but other than that the race was under control knowing that we had pace and even managing to save my tyres a little. The car was really great today and I felt comfortable, it’s great also to know we can have another strong day tomorrow. It’s fantastic to get the first win, I’m really happy with that.”
Meanwhile Andres was also racing extremely well and was a driving force as he aimed to secure his best ever finish in the championship. Andres’ form was clear and he finished the race in a strong sixth position collecting a strong haul of points. Also securing points for the first time this season was Vaidyanathan who took the flag in ninth having battled hard and close with Fioravanti on the very final lap of what turned out to be a dramatic and action packed opening race of the weekend.
The drama will no doubt continue tomorrow with a further qualifying and race to look forward to.