EF Open: Vaidyanathan, Reddy score points in Race 1, collides in Race 2
Starting Round 6 in the 2017 Euroformula Open championship at Monza, Carlin’s Ameya Vaidyanathan finished 16th, 13th and fifth in the three practice sessions on Friday.
Fellow countryman Tarun Reddy in his second outing with Drivex ended up 14th, second and ninth respectively. He was 10th, second and fifth in the rookie class.
The Qualifying 1 on Saturday had championship leader Harrison Scott take pole in his RP Motorsport car, with Drivex’ Nikita Troitsky in second and RP Motorsport’s new recruit Jannes Fittje third.
After initial Top 3 pace, Vaidyanathan couldn’t improve much on his time to finish seventh, while Reddy rounded off the Top 10 – finishing as sixth best rookie.
The Qualifying 2 on Sunday saw Scott continuing his dominance with another pole, a full 1.200s ahead of Vaidyanathan, who secured a front row start. Campos Rcaing’s Simo Laaksonen was third.
It was a hard run for Reddy, who was down in 17th, unable to improve on time in the latter part. He was the 10th best rookie.
It was a frantic start to Race 1 at Monza on Saturday afternoon, while Vaidyanathan lost a position to Fortec’s Ben Hingeley, Reddy stood his ground in the opening lap.
The Carlin driver then had a battle with his teammate Devlin DeFrancesco, with the two trading positions for a couple of times, before the Indian eventually took it to be seventh.
He made further progress when he cleared RP Motorsport’s Alex Karkosik on Lap 5, before retaking his position from Hingeley on Lap 10 in a daring move going around the outside in the left-hander.
Despite catching up with Laaksonen for fourth, the Indian didn’t have enough pace to get past the Finn – thereby, settling for fifth.
On the other hand, Reddy was stuck behind Teo Martin’s Eliseo Martinez for the majority of the race after the Spaniard had a rocketing start from 13th to be ninth at the end of Lap 1.
The Indian got close to Martinez for a couple of times in the race, but didn’t have enough legs to make a move, finishing ninth as a result and was the sixth best rookie driver.
Up front, Scott was unbeatable as he took a win by a huge margin of 6.402s from Troitskiy, who defended well to keep his position from Fittje and Laaksonen.
The second race was immediately disrupted by a safety car period for an incident involving DeFrancesco in the opening lap.
Starting from the front-row, Vaidyanathan got off to a good start keeping his position behind Scott, while Reddy made up three positions to be 14th.
Upon re-start, it was a ferocious fight as Vaidyanathan lost a place to Laaksonen in a wheel-to-wheel tussle, and were joined by Troitskiy. Behind, Reddy made up two more places to be 12th.
But it was not long for Troitskiy to make an eventual move on Vaidyanathan, being joined by Karkosik as they made slight contact in a three-way battle.
The Indian regained the position after a puncture to Troitskiy due to the collision, but he soon came under pressure from Karkosik, who brought Fitjje with him.
Meanwhile, Reddy was up to 10th midway into the race and was involved in a battle with Campos' Cameron Das, Martinez and Fortec's Yan Leon Shlom.
A brief safety car period brought the field together again, as the re-start saw Vaidyanathan lose a place to Karkosik which he immediately regained in the final corner.
But that allowed for Fitjje to challenge both and get past them by the second corner to be third, pushing Vaidyanathan in fourth. Reddy was running ninth, behind Martinez.
Few laps down, Vaidyanathan lost more places, first to Karkosik, then to Teo Martin's Pedro Cardoso and finally Hingeley to be drop down to seventh.
At the same time, after few out-braking moments in the corners, Reddy cleared Martinez to be eighth, just behind his fellow countryman.
However, the two made contact at Lesmo 2 and crash out from the race. With Reddy ahead in the corner, Vaidyanathan's front right touched the Chennai-born driver's left rear - leading both to end up on the gravel trap.
At the front, Scott took his 10th win of the season, sealing the 2017 title with two rounds to go. Teammate Fittje made it a 1-2 for RP Motorsport, while Laaksonen was third.
After six rounds in the 2017 season, Scott has 286 points in his kitty. Vaidyanathan is hanging on to third with 119, while Reddy is 14th with 24 points. He is eighth in rookie standings with 17 points.
With no gap between the races, the championship now moves to Jerez for Round 7 during the October 6-8 weekend.