The Euroformula Open Championship reached its half-way point when it arrived in Mogyoród, outside Budapest, for the last round before the traditional summer break. The Hungaroring, which has hosted the Hungarian Formula 1™ Grand Prix since 1986, is among the slower circuits on the EF Open calendar due to its twisting formation of 14 turns over a 4.381 kilometres (2.722 miles) lap and features on many drivers’ favourite track lists.
During the seasonally warm and humid conditions that the Hungaroring is known for, a downpour on Saturday morning ahead of first qualifying ensured that there was plenty of standing water when the session began. Holding provisional pole position on wet tyres throughout most of the running, Harrison and the entire field pitted to change on to slicks when track conditions dramatically improved in the closing minutes of the session. Unfortunately, Harrison’s provisional pole was deleted from the time sheet at the chequered flag as he was deemed to have overshot track limits and he was penalised to P14. Race one therefore became a points chasing exercise, which he did with precision in his #10 RP Motorsport Dallara F312 charger to finish in ninth place – making up five positions to also maintain the championship lead overnight.
Harrison began an exquisite round four finale on Sunday morning, achieving his fifth Euroformula Open pole of the season with a lap time of 1:36.139 minutes. After a strong start to race two in the afternoon, a multi-car incident behind the front runners briefly bringing out the safety car was the only interruption in the Briton’s dominant lights to flag performance. It was a competitive race, with just five tenths separating the leaders at times, but Harrison confidently claimed his sixth win of the season and continues to lead the Drivers’ Championship standings on 179 points.
The season will resume at the Home of British Motor Racing, Silverstone Circuit, on 2nd – 3rd September 2017.
Harrison Scott #10 RP Motorsport
“Overall it was another brilliant weekend and it was great to come away from Hungaroring having increased our lead in the Euroformula Open Championship. Our pace during testing on Thursday and Friday was really good and we were confident going in to the weekend that we could pull out some strong results out of the bag.
“Unfortunately, on Saturday morning the track was damp when we started qualifying one and about five minutes from the end of the session it dried out enough for slicks when everyone pitted to change their tyres. There was only time for one flying lap due to a red flag, but although my lap was provisional pole I ran wide and was penalised for track limits, so I started race one in P14. This was obviously not ideal as we had the pace to lead from the front row and it is hard to overtake in Budapest. We therefore knew that the race was going to be a challenge, but I managed to fight my way in to the points, up five positions to ninth place, which I was happy with in the end.
“Going in to Sunday we knew the pace was there and when we went out for the first qualifying run on new tyres the car felt really good. We were top of the time sheet, but we knew that we had to put in a clean lap and push hard on the second set of tyres as the gap from P2 was closing in. I managed to put it all together to retain pole position for the second race and I got off the line well at the start, keeping the lead in to turn one. From then on it was about controlling the race, not making the tyres overheat as it was a very warm day and bringing the car home for the win. I didn’t come under any pressure and it was fantastic to extend the championship lead going in to the summer break. We’ll carry on working hard over the next two months preparing for the Silverstone event in September.”