Sølvy Ødegård crosses the line in the Monza feature race.
Sølvy Ødegård became the first 2018 winner in AutoReject 2.0, after beating Kyösti Pykälistö and Jazmin Caldeiro to the top step of the podium at Monza.
A frenzied race at the historic Italian venue saw Ødegård emerge the victor after a thrilling scrap with Vivendi EBL’s Pykälistö and team-mate Caldeiro, who impressed in her first race in the category. The top three spent the entire race battling for the lead, with fantastic racecraft on show from each driver.
Further down the field, there was more action to enjoy. A sixth-lap incident at the 2nd Lesmo between Tyger Winters and Yael De Bock was the first taste of further things to come; Winters made a botched passing attempt on De Bock, and ended up spinning his Nurminen into the track, causing a small pile-up between the out-of-position Katie May and Plus One rookie Rach Moore.
On lap 11, Sofia Bonaventura inadvertently caused another small piece of drama when lighting her tyres up on the exit of the Variante della Roggia, making contact with Júlíana Ívarsdóttir and causing Zénaïde Voeckler to take evasive action into the gravel. Bonaventura and Winters both made trips to the stewards’ office after the race along with debutant Masami Karai, who caused her Venturi team-mate Carmen Álvarez Torrente to roll her car after Karai made a late lunge at the Parabolica. Karai will start at the back of the grid for tomorrow’s sprint behind Bonaventura and Winters, whilst Torrente was given the all-clear by the medical staff.
On the penultimate lap, Rafael Martins suffered heartbreak as his DMR’s brakes had decided to fail going into the Parabolica, stripping the Portuguese driver of 5th place and ensuring that the Mancunian team were unable to score in the first race.
Vaclav Malsyz took the fastest lap points under the new rule which now awards points to the best lap within the top 10. Michela Martin will assume pole for tomorrow’s reverse-grid sprint, ahead of Gregg Donnelly.
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Vaclav Malsyz (Red Bull World Race Team) – 1:37.145