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Riabko takes home win in Lithuania

Edgaras Riabko won the opening round of the 2021 UIM F2 World Championship in his home country of Lithuania.

Starting from pole he was beaten off the dock by reigning world champion Duarte Benavente who took the lead on the first lap.

However, Mansoor Al Mansoori was forced out of the race on the opening lap after being rammed from behind by Sweden’s Daniel Segenmark.

The race was yellow flagged and the positions reverted to the starting order, from there, Riabko didn’t look back.

The Al Mansoori incident was similar to the one in qualifying when another Swede, Johan Österberg, crashed into Rashed Al Qemzi, wiping out the 2017 and 2019 F2 champion’s hopes of a third Grand Prix win in Lithuania.

Al Qemzi who started 15th on the grid from that incident yesterday, battled his way to a sixth-place finish.

There was more drama to follow at the end of the race when Portugal’s reigning world champion Duarte Benavente, originally placed third behind Team Sharjah’s Dutch driver Ferdinand Zandbergen, was penalised for missing a buoy.

Benavente’s penalty, along with that of with Latvia’s Nikita Lijcs, (Rule 313.01) came because both missed a buoy dislodged by Russian Konstantin Ustinov, who fell foul of UIM rule 313.02.

Ferdinand Zandbergen took second while Monaco’s Giacomo Sacchi was third, his first F2 podium.

Additional reporting Silvia Borgonovi & Tony Lewis

1st) #41 Edgaras Riabko LIT
2nd) #17 Ferdinand Zandbergen NED +2.640
3rd) #74 Giacomo Sacchi MON +25.240
4th) #5 Rupp Temper AUT +30.440
5th) #4 Colin Jelf GBR +38.888
6th) #35 Rashed Al Qamzi UAE +39.366
7th) #77 Tobias Munthe-Kaas NOR +41.160
8th) #9 Mette Brandt Bjerknæs NOR +43.416
9th) #45 Duarte Benavente POR +L1
10th) #51 Uvis Slakteris LAT +L1
11th) #63 Lars Erik Andresen NOR +L1
12th) #22 Konstantin Ustinov RUS +L1
13th) #71 Nikita Lijcs LAT +L1
14th) #2 Johan Österberg SWE +L1

DNF

#11 Bimba Sjoholm SWE
#36 Mansoor Almansoori UAE
#54 Daniel Segenmark SWE

DNS

#33 Robin Stoddard GBR

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