The Euroformula Open Championship visited the historic Spa-Francorchamps track for its third round of the season and saw China’s Gerrard Xie return to the championship, having competed in one round of the previous year’s iteration of the championship at the same track. Asian Motorsport reviews the action.

By Marco Albertini

Rain hit the track as soon as track activity started and gave the drivers a challenge for qualifying on saturday morning, a session that saw South Korea’s Michael Shin qualify sixth and later promoted to fifth after Xie’s last-minute pole lap was deleted because of track limits, dropping him down to sixth.

The track dried up for race day, but the first race proved to be a tough one for both drivers, as Xie stalled on the grid and could only salvage seventh place once the race was finished, meanwhile Shin battled and held off Fernando Barrichello to keep fifth place.

In the second race, where the grid was set by reversing the top 6 of the previous race, Shin started second and immediately took the lead on the opening lap. He stayed in that position until Jakob Bergmeister briefly took it away from him.

However, it wasn’t long before the South Korean regained it back, leading half of the race before getting passed by Brad Benavides and subsequently, Jakob Bergmeister. Shin held on to third place to score his second podium of the season. Xie had the complete opposite as he spun at Les Combes on the opening lap, returned to the pits, and could only finish eighth.

Rain made its return for the final race of the weekend, and with the grid being set from reversing the top 6 of qualifying. Both drivers started on the front row, with Gerrard Xie starting on pole and leading from start to finish to take his maiden Euroformula Open win. Shin, meanwhile, started second and held off Brad Benavides to take his third podium of the season.

Header photo credit: Euroformula Open Championship


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