Australian Oscar Piastri has moved to the top of the Formula Renault Eurocup standings after recording a brilliant weekend at Spa-Francorchamps over the weekend.
The Melbourne-born driver headed into the round in third place after picking up a second in France last month along with a pair of wins during the series’ visit to the UK in May.
Starting the first race in third, Piastri found himself in first place ahead of pole sitter and title rival Victor Martins by the end of the first lap – extending his lead to more than two seconds throughout the race.
Despite a safety car coming at the race’s midway point and bringing the field back together, an unfazed Piastri pulled away straight after the restart and comfortably sealed his third win of the year.
A poor qualifying from the youngster saw him start the second race in P8 on the grid, but highlighting that he is a serious contender for the title, the 18-year-old soon worked his way back up the field and into fourth place after a brilliant move on Martins.
In the final stages, Piastri overtook Frederico Malvestiti to slot into third but the Italian soon spun, eliminating himself, Martins and another title hopeful in Alexander Smolyar from the race.
As a result of the incident, the race was red flagged and drivers were classified as they were on the previous lap – putting Piastri in a well-deserved fourth position
The weekend saw Piastri equal Martin on 147 points apiece, while race two winner Lorenzo Colombo sits in third place on 134 points, eight ahead of Russian Smolyar.
“Our pace was the best it had been all year, so I managed to control race one to the finish,” Piastri said.
“I had to push as hard as I could on the first lap, and then after the Safety Car, to get out of the slipstream, then manage the tyres and the car to the end.
“With the win I knew I had a good result, so I didn’t have to try and go for a miracle in race two. I saw Martins was dropping back and I wanted to get in front of him as we’re fighting for the championship.
“Considering I started eighth and Victor started second it was a good result to finish in front of him. I’m a bit disappointed to lose third place, but that’s how it goes and we’re still where we want to be in the standings.”
Piastri wasn’t the only Australian taking centre stage in Belgium with Queenslander Matt Campbell also competing the weekend’s main event as part of the iconic 24 Hours of Spa.
Driving alongside Dennis Olsen and Dirk Werner, Campbell steered the Rowe Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R across the line in seventh place, while fellow Porsche 911 pilots Richard Lietz, Michael Christensen, Kevin Estre took out the 2019 Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup’s penultimate race.
The next two rounds of the Formula Renault Eurocup will be as a support category for the Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe in Germany and Hungary in September, before joining up again with the Blancpain GT Series Endurance in Spain on 28-29 September.