Francesco Gali and Sandro Zeller win in Spielberg

Drexler Formula Cup - Red Bull Ring (AUT)

Francesco Galli (G Motorsport) seems to be developing into a high-flyer in the new Drexler Formula Cup season. Galli won the first race at the Red Bull Ring on Saturday afternoon, beating his closest rival Benjamin Berta (Franz Wöss Racing) by 0.537 seconds. The Hungarian had secured pole position in qualifying with a 1:25.424 minutes. However, the starting duel went in favour of Francesco Galli, who made no mistakes during the 17-lap race and drove with great concentration to his third win of the season. Benjamin Berta followed the Italian several times in the slipstream and sat next to him. But Galli countered successfully in every situation. The duel continued on lap ten after a safety car period. Berta was unable to gain an advantage. This was also the case on the penultimate lap, when the leading duo closed in on the slower cars and overtaking manoeuvres took place, but Galli kept a cool head.

Sandro Zeller (Jo Zeller Racing) kept up well at the front until the middle of the race. Only then did the Swiss rider have to let the leaders go. Behind Zeller, Victor Smialek (Franz Wöss Racing) finished fourth. He had taken third place on the grid ahead of Zeller in qualifying, but was unable to keep up the pace until the finish. Marcel Tobler (Jo Zeller Racing) made a great start to the season. The 2023 Formula 3 Trophy champion started a race to catch up from eighth place and, as Trophy winner, moved up to fifth place overall, relegating Stig Larsen (Franz Wöss Racing) to sixth place. Urs Rüttimann (Jo Zeller Racing) finished second in the Trophy classification, followed by Oliver Kratsch (Facondini Racing). Valentin Andrieux won the Formula Light category ahead of Emir Tanju (Viola Formula Racing) and Karim Sartori. Benjamin Berta got away best at the start of the second race and was able to keep Sandro Zeller and Francesco Gali at bay. However, Saturday's winner overdid it with his pace and skidded off the track on lap 5. An exciting duel then developed between Berta and Zeller. Viktor Smialek exploited the situation at the front in his favour and moved up to third place, ahead of the two Italians Andrea Benalli and Riccardo Perego. After a safety car phase on lap 10, Benjamin Berta completed the restart professionally and retained the lead ahead of Zeller and Smialek. Berta extended his lead to over 4 seconds by the finish. But things turned out differently than expected. Berta was subsequently handed a 5-second penalty for failing to comply with the track limits. During an evasive manoeuvre to avoid a collision, Berta and his Dallara F320 went completely over the track limits. Sandro Zeller then inherited the victory and Berta finished second by 88 thousandths ahead of Viktor Smialek, who climbed onto the podium for the first time. Andrea Benalli defended fourth place to the finish, followed by his compatriot Riccardo Perego. In the Formula 3 Trophy classification, Marcel Tobler retained the upper hand against Urs Rüttimann. Andre Petropoulos (Team Hoffmann Racing) finished third. He was really pleased with his place on the podium. The Formula Light class went to Karim Sartori, who relegated Emir Tanju and Tristan Morel to the places behind him. "I was very happy with the start. We were able to bring home an excellent result and are now looking forward to Imola with confidence," said Zeller. Benjamin Berta was not quite as happy at the finish line. "I got off to a good start and took the lead. The penalty then made everything worthless," said the defending champion from Hungary.
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