Solid first point-scoring Weekend for Vivien Keszthelyi in Euroformula
Hungarian racing star Vivien Keszthelyi completed her first weekend in Euroformula Open with two point-scoring rounds under the eyes of F1, adding some crucial experience to her resumé.
The 2021 Euroformula Open season kicked off with its first triple-header at Algarve as support of the Formula 1 Portuguese GP. Among the 12 drivers (13 on Sunday), there was young Hungarian driver Vivien Keszthelyi. She is known from her participation in W Series and in the 2019 Asian Formula 3 Winter Series and, after a season of forced stop in 2020, Keszthelyi is back in Formula 3 cars with Motorpark in the competitive Euroformula Open championship.
The first practice saw 13 drivers on track, as Jak Crawford was allowed to join the session on Friday, but not the first two races on Saturday as he didn't turn 16 until Sunday. Nevertheless, he didn't turn a lap in both practice sessions.
Joshua Mason (Double R Racing) and Rafael Villagomez (Van Amersfoort Racing) topped the respective practice sessions while Vivien Keszthelyi (Motopark) finished P10 and P11, respectively reducing the gaps to the leaders throughout the day.
But the battle for qualifying was on between two other protagonists - Louis Foster (CryptoTower) and Cameron Das (Motopark), who were separated by only 0,26 seconds at the chequered flag. Behind Foster and Das, Mason qualified third. Andreas Estner (Van Amersfoort Racing) was initially third fastest, but his best time was later deleted - the same fate awaited Nazim Azman (CryptoTower).
Racing returnee Vivien Keszthelyi was able to learn and improve lap after lap and smoked her best lap on the Portuguese track, which promoted her to a 9th place on the starting grid, right in front of Enzo Trulli, son of former F1 driver Jarno.
At the start of Race 1, poleman Foster lost the lead at the Lagos hairpin when Das passed him. One lap later, Das pulled away and took an easy victory with more than 9 seconds clear of Foster - who also drove a lonely race in second. Villagomez had a bit more work to do in order to defend his third place from the attacks of Azam after Mason went off and dropped down the order.
Vivien Keszthelyi started from 9th and had a long and intense battle with Enzo Scionti (Drivex School): the two exchanged positions on several occasions, but at the end it was the Hungarian driver to have the best out of it. With her tenth place finish, Keszthelyi scored her first point in her first Euroformula Open race of her 2021 campaign.
The starting order for Race 2 consisted in a reverse grid of the top six from the results of race 1, which saw Trulli in front of the field and alongside Casper Stevenson (Van Amersfoort Racing). But it was Azam who passed them both for the lead of the race shortly afterwards.
Das, started from 6th, continuously picked up the speed and overtook the competitors ahead of him - also setting the fastest lap of the race, until Foster, who had pitted after the formation lap and started the race 9 laps down, snatched the fastest lap thanks to several stops to put on fresh tyres.
Das hunted Nazam for the lead and then passed him at the first corner, pulling away.
The American claimed victory again and got himself two extra points for gaining the most positions - a new feature of this year's Euroformula format. Azman and Stevenson completed the podium.
Vivien Kezsthelyi had a clean race and finished in P9 - again in the points.
And, to round out the weekend, Cameron Das did it three times in a row: he won Race 3 as well, as he passed pole sitter Estner on the second lap and fired into the lead.
Behind him, Foster and Estner battled for second place, followed by Azam behind.
Foster finally managed to complete a move on Estner, but Azam made contact with the German driver and received a five second penalty, while Estner dropped down the order.
Das won from Foster and Azman on track, but after the penalty was applied Trulli was promoted to third after the race.
Vivien Kezsthelyi had a good fight with Scionti which lasted several laps - again with the drivers swapping positions. Keszthelyi finally passed the Drivex American driver and was able to open a small gap. When her position seemed secured, she lost the rear of her car into a spin and dropped down to 12th after a very good race and finished there.
The next race weekend will take place from 14th to 16th May at Circuit Paul Ricard in France, as the series will join the paddock of GT Open.