Formula Regional and Formula 4 Weekend recap

Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine

Dino Beganovic wins the first race at Imola

The race of the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine has been full of twists and turns in Imola, during the second of the ten double appointments scheduled in the 2022 calendar.

Dino Beganovic (Prema Racing) took his second win of the season, consolidating his provisional leadership in the overall series standings. Mari Boya (ART Grand Prix) got the second step of the podium, particularly inspired on the Santerno track, where he signed his best performance both in the qualifying session and the race. The Spanish driver preceded Paul Aron, who consolidates the leadership of Prema Racing among the teams. 

Great regret for Gabriele Minì (ART Grand Prix), penalized with ten seconds for jump start after starting from the pole and holding the lead from start to finish.

Sebastian Montoya (Prema Racing) did well once again, scoring his third consecutive success in the rookie group and his best placement in the race with fourth place. The son of former F1 driver Juan Pablo preceded Kas Haverkort (Van Amersfoort Racing) and the other rookie Joshua Durksen (Arden Motorsport).

Gabriel Bortoleto (R-ace GP), Leonardo Fornaroli (Trident), Tim Tramnitz (Trident) and Hadrien David (R-ace GP) completed the top 10.

The race was conditioned by three safety cars and two red flags. The first one was due to Sami Meguetounif (MP Motorsport) crashing into the barriers at the Piratella turn without any consequences on the driver’s health, which forced the first red flag to be waived by the marshals and all the cars to return to the pit lane.

At the restart, the Minì’s penalty came out and Beganovic overtook Boya and moved into second place. Shortly after, Aron overtook Montoya and moved into third place.  

Another neutralization was necessary after Hamda Al Qubaisi (Prema Racing) and Nicolas Baptiste (FA Racing) went off the track. The third one was due to Owen Tangavelou (G4 Racing) going off the track in the gravel at Tamburello and the last red flag to a contact between Axel Gnos (G4 Racing) and Eduardo Barrichello (Arden Motorsport) with two laps to go.

“Another good result came after starting from third on the grid – said Beganovic – I managed to pass Boya and when Mini’s penalty came out I tried to get the best out of the race pace. It’s a perfect start of the season, on a special circuit for me where I got my first career victory in a single-seater.”

Gabriele Minì takes his first win in the second race

The Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine weekend in Imola ended with Gabriele Minì’s victory in Race 2. 

The young driver of the team ART Grand Prix did not disappoint the expectations and got his first win in the European series after starting from the pole position obtained in the qualifying session held this morning. Dino Beganovic (Prema Racing) finished the race on the second step of the podium, behind the Italian driver, leaving the Santerno circuit with important points thanks to his fourth consecutive podium (two wins and two second places) and consolidating his leadership in the series.

The third position was assigned only after the engines were turned off to Gabriel Bortoleto (R-ace GP), following the exclusion from the race results of Kas Haverkort (Van Amersfoort Racing) after the technical checks made on his car.

Good results also for Hadrien David, who managed to get the fourth place ahead Michael Belov (MP Motorsport), who finished the race ahead of Paul Aron (Prema Racing). 

Tim Tramnitz (Trident Motorsport) was first among the rookies, being author of an excellent qualifying in Group B this morning where he left everyone behind. The German driver managed to precede his teammate Leonardo Fornaroli in a race highlighted by adverse weather conditions and several neutralizations. Closing the top 10 the Frenchman Maceo Capietto (Monolite Racing) and Joshua Dufek (Van Amersfoort Racing).

The Sunday race started with a safety car because of a light rain. Once the green flag was waived, Minì was able to speed up his pace and hold the lead. Beganovic overtook Tramnitz on lap four, paving the way for the second step of the podium. Shortly after, the German driver was also passed by Belov. As the rain increased, Roberto Delli Guanti (RPM) and Sebastian Montoya (Prema Racing) clashed at the end of the straight, the latter’s car stopping in the gravel and forcing the red flag to be waived. Most of the drivers took advantage of this interruption to mount wet tyres and once back on track the race restarted under safety car conditions. With a little more than 5 minutes to go until the end of the race, there was a duel for third place between Belov and Haverkort while Minì kept the lead ahead Beganovic. The race ended under safety car with Victor Bernier‘s car stopped along the track.

“It was a tricky race and winning was not easy – Minì said – We found very different conditions, starting to race with slicks on a dry track. Then it started to rain in some parts of the track and I was the first one to notice these differences as I was in the front. It was not easy because it became wetter and wetter. After the stop we went back to the track with wet tyres, with the first two sectors completely wet and the other ones still dry, where I tried to manage the edge I had in the best possible way bringing home a great win”.

The Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine will restart the engines on the weekend of May 28 and 29 with the Formula 1 on the historical urban circuit of Monaco.

Italian Formula 4 Championship

Race 1 to Rafael Camara, winning debut in Europe

Great show on the track with the first race of the Italian F.4 Championship. A complex first race in a circuit in which is not so easy to overtake, so it is fundamental to start in front. After qualifying in the morning on a wet track, which then gradually began to dry causing many uncertainties in the choice of tires, the race was dry.

The two Prema Racing Rookie drivers, Andrea Kimi Antonelli and Rafael Camara, started in ahead and kept the lead and for a long time, with the Brazilian constantly chasing and attacking his teammate. The driver from Bologna continued to stay firmly in the lead, also signing the fastest lap with 1’45.751, until he was stopped by a technical problem. With 7′ to race he was forced to slow down and then returned to the box and left the race.

Camara collects a very important victory, at his European debut, right in the Formula 1 circuit of the Autodromo Enzo and Dino Ferrari in Imola. “I am very happy, the team did a great job during the weekend. Now I have to stay focused. Work to prepare even better for tomorrow, continue to improve myself throughout the season because I have a lot to learn. It’s only my first season in the Italian F.4, I try to give my best and take points” is the comment of the Brazilian.

In P3 ends the top Rookie 2021, Nikita Bedrin, this year racing with the PHM Racing team. “The Championship is long it’s great to get some points already at the beginning and keep pushing tomorrow. P3 today is a great start!” comments the driver from the German team.

P4 to Anthony James Wharton, Prema Racing, followed by Martinus Stenshorne, Van Amersfoort Racing, who also get, respectively, the second and third place in the Rookie rankings. Then Taylor Barnard, English driver of PHM Racing, seventh Charlie Wurz (Prema Racing). Eighth place for Marcus Amand, US Racing. Closing the top 10 are the two Iron Lynx drivers, Ivan Domingues and Maya Weug.

The two had faced the qualifying sessions this morning very well, being rewarded by the choice to maintain the wet set-up until the end, and they put at good use the advantage obtained. The weekend could be very fruitful for the two drivers, with Ivan Domingues in pole position in race 3 and Maya Weug who will start in more advanced positions in the two races on Sunday.

Race 2, win and lead for Alexander Dunne

Race 2 in Imola under the sun, with 22° on track, starts the second day of the Italian F.4 Championship in the heart of the Motor Valley. First victory for Alexander Dunne, Irish driver of US Racing who conquers the provisional leadership of the rankinkgs with the P2 yesterday in race 1.

With him on the podium his teammate Kacper Sztuka, who yesterday had not started the season in the best way. The two, today, start the attack from the third row and do not stop until they conquer the most advanced positions.

Third, and first among, the Rookies is James Wharton, Prema Racing, who is also had a great race climbing to the top positions, starting even further back on the grid.

At the start Frederik Lund is in pole position, with the car that the French team R-ace GP has brought back to the track today completely rebuilt after race 1, but he is immediately passed by Ivan Domingues, Iron Lynx. Also Sztuka is immediately fast and able to slip behind Domingues already in the early stages of the session.

Maya Weug follows, starting from the second row of the grid, but after a short time is immediately passed on the outside by Pedro Clerot, AKM Motorsport.

Dunne then starts his assault, gaining P2, while Maya Weug remains firm in P5.

Some troubles in the early stages of the race for 2 of the Prema Racing drivers who have enter the pitlane in order to fix the front wing, Conrad Laursen and Andrea Kimi Antonelli are the ones who unfortunately compromise the race irreparably. Particularly unlucky the situation for Antonelli, who loses the opportunity to get points in a race he was already racing very well. The fastest lap has, infact, the signature of the Bolognese driver with 1’45.739 marked on lap 10.

Domingues resists Wharton’s assaults, then slips and is passed, his teammate, Maya Weug, gets in his wake and overtakes shortly after.

The only interruption of the race arrives with the accident between Flack and Badoer that makes it necessary for the safety car to enter the track. The restart of the race is at the last lap, with a fierce assault by Marcus Amand, US Racing, who engages and briefly passes Wharton. The Australian driver however is good at resisting and keeps p3. In a beautiful fight behind them also Stenshorne takes position on Weug.

The final order of arrival is Dunne first, followed by Sztuka and Wharton. Then Amand in P4, Stenshorne (Rookie P2), Weug and Domingues who closes P7 and third on Rookie podium. In eighth position, after an exceptional comeback with the start from the bottom of the grid, Rafael Camara, Prema Racing. The winner of race 1, today climbs positions on positions and closes in points, limiting the damage caused by the problems in the second qualifying session. To complete the top 10 two PHM Racing drivers, Nikita Bedrin and Taylor Barnard.

Race 3, Kacper Sztuka brings us racing on podium again

In race 3 another triumph for US Racing with the victory of Kacper Sztuka and the third place of Alexander Dunne. P2 and Rookie win for Rafael Camara, Prema Racing driver part of the Ferrari Driver Academy program (as well as Wharton and Weug).

The race that closed the first weekend of the Italian F.4 Championship certified by FIA at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola was signed by US Racing. The most nervous and spectacular race of the 3. Start with Ivan Domingues (Iron Lynx) on pole position, but the Mexican immediately loses the leadership to Kacper Sztuka (US Racing). Behind him, chasing, there is Taylor Bernard, then replaced by Rafael Camara. Start ahead in the grid also for Maya Weug, who however loses a lot of positions in the early stages on the first passage on Piratella turn. In P5 the Australian driver of Prema Racing James Wharton. Then Alexander Dunne (US Racing) followed by Andrea Kimi Antonelli (Prema Racing).

A thrilling passage at Tamburello with Dunne settled by the driver from Bologna who touches the kerb and the car rears up, but without consequences, with the Irishman who continues the race without losing positions.

After a few laps both pass and find themselves respectively in P4 and P5, and both gained one position when Domingues makes a mistake and finds himself the tyres in the gravel.

The two in the lead positions, Sztuka and Camara, are on another pace compared to all the other drivers, they increased the gap more than 6 seconds from the group. Then, the regrouping due to the entry of the safety car for the breakage of the front right suspension of Nikhil Bohra, US Racing driver.

The restart is about 5′ and a half to race end, no positions are exchanged at the restart, but the group is closer. Time for Antonelli’s last assaults at Villeneuve, with Dunne tightening and defending P3, before crossing the finish line.

In order, Sztuka is first under the checkered flag, followed by Camara, then Dunne. Fourth Antonelli, but slips in P10 for a 10 second penalty imposed by the race direction for the contact with his teammate Wharton. Unlucky weekend for the Bolognese driver, but he showed his great potential for the season. P4 to Taylor Barnard, Englishman of PHM Racing, who shows in race 3 all his ability. Then Martinus Stenshorne, very young driver of Van Amersfoort Racing, who also makes P2 in the Rookie classification. 6th Nikita Bedrin, PHM Racing, followed by Charlie Wurz, Prema Racing, who is also the 3rd Rookie in race 3.

P8 for Marcus Amand, US Racing, followed by Wharton.

Top 5 after the first round of the 2022 Italian F4 Championship:

  1. Alexander Dunne, US Racing, 58pt; 2. Rafel Camara, Prema Racing, 47pt; 3. Kacper Sztuka, US Racing, 43pt; 4. Martinus Stenshorne, Van Amersfoort Racing, 30pt; 5. James Wharton, Prema Racing, 29, pt.

The Next Round of the Italy Formula 4 Championship will take place at Misano on the June 5.

Japanese Formula 4 Championship

The 2022 season opener of the Japanese F4 Championship took place in Fuji International Speedway on the May 3 and 4 with 40 drivers on the grid driving F4 1st Generation cars.

Yusuke Mitsui & Shun Koide win Race 1 & 2, double win for HFDP Racing Team

It’s a double win for HFDP Racing Team after their drivers, Yusuke Mitsui & Shun Koide won Race 1 (14 laps – 30 minutes) & Race 2 (14 laps – 30 minutes) around the Fuji International Speedway.

The Next Round of the Japanese Formula 4 Championship will take place on Suzuka Circuit on May 28 and 29.