Iwasa Dominates in France as ART Secure Double Podium

Iwasa Dominates in France as ART Secure Double Podium

Ayumu Iwasa wins the FIA Formula 2 Feature Race at Paul Ricard by over 8 seconds to Théo Pourchaire. ART Grand Prix had a successful home race as both their home favourite and Frederik Vesti stood on the podium.

Jack Doohan took the lead into Turn 1 after starting fourth on the grid. He led Iwasa until later in the lap where the Japanese driver got ahead.

Pole-sitter, Logan Sargeant had a poor start and subsequently dropped down to third, off the start line.

Marino Sato was the first retiree of the Feature Race in France, having spun at the chicane and was unable to get his Virtuosi going again.

Marcus Armstrong’s unfortunate weekend also continued due to an incident with David Beckmann and Dennis Hauger.

Armstrong couldn’t recover the car after being spun by the VAR of Beckmann and, as a result, retired on the first lap of the race. Meanwhile Hauger had to pit with front wing damage under the safety car after collecting the Kiwi.

Iwasa controlled the safety car restart perfectly and built the critical gap to break free of DRS from Doohan behind by the end of the lap. Doohan behind came on the radio to say he couldn’t hear the team’s reply so resorted to using an old fashioned pit board for the remainder of the race.

Home hero, Pourchaire was the first of the leaders to come into the pits on Lap 11. Before his stop he was chasing his teammate, Frederik Vesti. He was joined in the pit-lane but Jüri Vips who was running in sixth position. Vips dropped down the order significantly after suffering a slow stop.

Roberto Merhi was the next to pit, but this time for what was seemingly a mechanical issue.

Sargeant’s race came to an unexpected end during his pit-stop. He was stuck in the box for a long period of time, unable to restart the engine.

Doohan spun at Turn 8 after trying to lunge down the inside of Pourchaire for second position. The pair narrowly avoided contact at the chicane but Doohan lost a place to Vesti and dropped to fourth. He survived the spin without sustaining damage, nor a penalty.

Drugovich continued his run of consistent points finishes when he overtook Doohan for fourth and began his hunt for a podium after setting the fastest lap of the race. He got the gap down to just three tenths of a second to Vesti.

The race ended under yellow flag conditions after Richard Verschoor, who was running in eighth reported he could smell fire. He pulled to the side of the track at the end of the penultimate lap after driving an impressive race.

Iwasa took the chequered flag for the first time in his Formula 2 career as Pourchaire closes the points gap in the championship. The Frenchman celebrated his podium on the grid with the fans in the grandstand, alongside the winning mechanics of DAMS and his team.

*Image credits: Motorsport Images

 

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IwasaIwasa Dominates in France as ART Secure a Double Podium