Spectacular Euroformula Open action anticipated at Paul Ricard


Another tough battle for title beckons in combination with the usual excellent weather in the Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur. The third Euroformula Open event expects plenty of action with no less than 12 different nationalities making up the entry list

The Euroformula Open heads to Southern France for Round 3 of the 2017 season. The Circuit Paul Ricard, another top tier venue as it will return to the F.1 calendar next year, was built in 1969 with the financial backing of the eponymous pastis millionaire. The French drinks magnate financed a track characterized by its mile-long Mistral straight and extremely flat nature. Drivers have to cope with a wide range of corners from long radius turns to others pretty slow but always featuring close battles and tooth-and-nail fights.

The Euroformula Open has released an eighteen-car entry list for the third round. Once again, the strong pool of talented young drivers honing their craft on the way to the pinnacle of motorsport will compete for top honors at this weekend’s double-header. The series providing a key rung on the single-seater ladder leading to F.1 predicts two new close races finishes providing enjoyment for in-track attendance and international viewing.

After two events and four races, Briton Harrison Scott (RP Motorsport) still leads the Drivers’ classification on 97 points with three wins to his credit. Behind, Indian driver Ameya Vaidyanathan (Carlin), following his maiden win in the series at Spa-Francorchamps, sits in second place ahead of his Canadian teammate Devlin DeFrancesco (Carlin). Portuguese-Brazilian Thiago Vivacqua (Campos Racing) moved to fourth and Russian ace Nikita Troitskiy (Drivex) round out the top-five. In the Rookie class, DeFrancesco – following his double Belgian triumph- and Troitskiy are tied at the top of the classification on 26 points ahead of Germany’s Jannes Fittje (Fortec Motorsports), Romania’s Petru Florescu (Campos Racing) and India’s Tarun Reddy (Carlin). RP Motorsport is in first place of the Teams’ classification on 38 points. Carlin Motorsport and Campos Racing currently lie second and third.

Campos Racing’s four-car operation aims to continue its Euroformula Open title charge. The defending champions have achieved three podium finishes so far this season with Vivacqua (2) and his fellow countryman Matheus Iorio. On the other hand, Florescu and “The Flying Finn” Simo Laaksonen are scoring points on a regular basis throughout the season and now eye their maiden Euroformula Open podium. At the moment, Florescu already stepped onto the podium in the Rookie class.

RP Motorsport looks to maintain momentum on French soil. The Gropparello-based team made a consistently strong start to the season with Scott catching the eye at the previous rounds. The question at Paul Ricard is whether the series leader is able to keep his winning streak or not. Poland’s Alex Karkosik and Italy’s Lodovico Laurini also earned points paying positions but they both look to improve in Le Castellet.

Carlin will enter their three-car armada again for the above-mentioned duo of Vaidyanathan and DeFrancesco, once again joined by Indian Reddy. Vaidyanathan and DeFrancesco are delivered strong performances for Trevor Carlin’s outfit both in Portugal and Belgium. Ameya has scored two podiums including a maiden win and DeFrancesco recorded a dual podium in the Belgian Ardennes. Reddy, also a newcomer to the series, achieved three top-ten finishes but the Indian driver has the potential to achieve much more in the series.  

Drivex will field its two Dallara-built F312 cars for Troitskiy and Brazil’s Christian Hahn. Troitskiy is clearly one of the dominant forces in qualifying as he secured two pole positions over a four-race span. Besides, the driver of Drivex finished second at Estoril, his personal best in the Formula 3-based series. Hahn is making progress and targets more points in France.

Fortec Motorsports will return in force with Fittje and Kiev resident Alexey Chuklin. Fittje is still looking for his first overall podium of the season but in view of his extreme competitiveness in the Rookie class, the young German emerging star expects it will come sooner rather than later. Last but not least, he stepped onto the podium at Euroformula Open’s Winter Series in Le Castellet, which is a good basis to start working from. Chuklin scored valuable points on his comeback to the series at Spa-Francorchamps and the Russian driver will another to watch out next weekend.

Teo Martín Motorsport and its duo of Spain’s Eliseo Martínez and Brazil’s Pedro Cardoso set ambitious goals at Paul Ricard. Spaniard Martínez, on his debut in the Euroformula Open, moved into regular points contention and his Brazilian teammate is on the verge of his first top-ten finish as he went without a little luck on his side so far.

Piangipane-based BVM Racing will enter two Dallara F312 cars. One of them for Russian Daniil Pronenko, who placed just outside the top-ten at the Belgian venue, and a second one for a driver to be named.  

The Paul Ricard premium programme includes and the Euroformula Open and its sister series, the International GT Open, and other top series such as the Boss GP – brute race monsters from Formula 1 to IndyCar-, the Championnat de France Super Tourisme FFSA and the Mitjets 2L.

Entry list