The Formula 1 track called Red Bull Ring hosted the 6th round of the Euroformula Open championship. Heading to Austria as a championship leader, Cam was hopeful that his preparation as well as the general pace would allow him to fight for the top spots and retain the championship lead, which is exactly what he has done.
Known for its changing weather conditions, especially in late summer, the Red Bull Ring track offers a short yet challenging layout in which every mistake is amplified by the small number of corners. Cam started the weekend well, setting the pace in Free Practice 1 with the fastest overall time. The second free practice was voluntarily conceded to the drivers who elected to use new tires and “burn” one set from their race allocation to try and get on pace with the Motopark cars.
Heading into qualifying with the mindset to score his first pole position of the season, Cam did everything right but was nudged from P1 by the smallest of margins. Second on the grid was still a very good result and Cam was hopeful for what was going to come, especially since his main championship rival was behind him on the grid.
Race 1 was a roller-coaster with Cam having a solid start but being overtaken by a car abusing the limits of the track in Turn 1. Cam put his head down and tried to fight back using his superior race pace, but because of the very limiting overtaking opportunities he was forced to settle for third, which gave him another podium finish and a good starting position for race 2.
Race 1 quote: “Race 1 was honestly just frustrating. When your main rival overtakes illegally and doesn’t get penalized for it, it hurts- especially when the lead of the championship was lost as a result of that move. ”
In the second race of the weekend Cam had a less than perfect start and was quickly relegated to sixth. What happened next was remarkable. On a track on which overtaking is almost impossible, Cam managed to recover two places fighting fiercely with two very competent drivers who have competed in the FIA F3, who put up strong defenses. Overtaking twice to move up to 4th overall was a feat in itself, yet Cam topped that by also putting in the second fastest lap time, which secured him 2nd on the grid for Race 3.
Race 2 quote: “I really enjoyed the battles of Race 2. With everyone being so close in pace, any overtake opportunity had to be executed fully on the limit which made the successful overtakes taste even sweeter. ”
In the final race of the weekend Cam drove well and managed to pull away from the drivers behind him while keeping his eye on any mistakes the leader might do. The car setup used for this 3rd race was mainly supposed to help Cam while fighting wheel to wheel. Once in “clean air”, closing in on the leader was really possible to launch an attack given the setup, and Cam had to settle for 2nd, which gave him another podium, and with it the championship lead going into round 7.
Race 3 quote: “I was very happy to have another podium in the bag. We really needed those points to propel us back into the championship lead. The Motopark car was such a blast to drive this weekend. The car was on rails in sector two and three.”
The last two rounds of the Euroformula Open will take place on famous Formula 1 tracks. The next one is the Italian race in Monza, while the season finalé will take place in Barcelona.