ROFGO Junior Oliver Goethe scored another Grand Slam last weekend at the Red Bull Ring.
It’s been a wet start to the seventh round of the Euroformula Open Championship at the Austrian GP circuit nested into the Styrian mountains. Friday practices were run in the rain, but that didn’t slow Oliver down and he wrapped up the day on top of the timing sheets. Fortunately, the skies cleared by Saturday morning so the Qualifying could be held under dry conditions. Oliver set the pace once again, claiming his sixth pole position of the season securing the best place on the grid for the first race of the weekend.
Due to the weather conditions, Race 1 was postponed by two hours, resulting in a late afternoon start. Goethe’s teammate Vladislav Lomko started beside him and had a better getaway, jumping the Dane but Oliver took back the lead almost immediately, diving round the outside of the Russian driver with a late lunge in Turn 3. He then started to pull away before the Safety car got deployed. Once the race resumed, Goethe controlled the start and held onto the lead, having to defend from Lomko once again. The battle for second unfolding behind him allowed Oliver to pull a gap before the race ended abruptly with a red flag. It’s been later clarified that they reached the time of the curfew so all track action had to be brought to a halt.
However, even the unusual ending could not stop Goethe from scoring his tenth race win of the season.
As a result of his pole position and victory, he had to start the remaining two races from the back of the grid due to the reverse grid regulations. Race 2 was challenging for Goethe and the young Dane could not make much progress and crossed the line in P6, right behind his main title rival, minimising the point loss.
In the final race of the weekend, Oliver lined up sixth on the grid. With a good start, he moved up to P5 by turn 3 and began to chase down Mansell, delivering a spectacular wheel-to-wheel battle against the Australian to take fourth place. The frenetic duel for the lead allowed Goethe to close up on Simonazzi and took his opportunity with a superb move to take third place, which turned into P2 after the race winner got penalised. This was Oliver’s 16th visit to the Euroformula Open podium, and the 17-year-old Dane extended his championship lead to 91 points with two rounds to go.
“I am quite happy with my weekend. Saturday was perfect even though the end of the race was a little confusing, taking my tenth win and the fastest lap got me a good haul of points. Sunday was a bit more tricky, but I think I made the most of it in the end to finish the weekend on the podium. There’s still room to improve and some work to be done before Monza, but we are heading into the final rounds of the season in a good position. “
After the triple-header, Oliver now returns to his normal school routine at the International School of Monaco where he is enjoying the advantages of the extended International Baccalaureate Career-related programme for student athletes which adapts his school schedule to his racing schedule allowing him to perform on the highest level on and off track.
The penultimate round of the Euroformula Open season will take place next week (23-25 September) in Monza