Melker claims inaugural Formula Acceleration 1 Title with double Assen win


Mirko Bortolotti’s absence from the season finale of the Formula Acceleration 1 series at Assen handed Dutchman Nigel Melker the inaugural series title in front of his home fans.

Melker took both victories on offer in the Netherlands, including an amazing 38.051s victory in the wet second race as his excellent wet weather skills were shown for all to see.

Melker secured pole position for the opening race of the weekend and took home the victory ahead of Italian Sergio Campana, who was representing the Spanish team, while Slovakian Richard Gonda completed the podium. Nathanael Berthon was fourth for France ahead of Spaniard Dani Clos.

In race two, held in wet conditions on Sunday afternoon, Clos was on pole position but he had no answer to Melker in the rain, with the Spaniard losing well over one second a lap to the Dutch driver.

Campana completed the podium in third ahead of Briton Craig Dolby on debut, with Berthon completing the top five.

On collecting the championship, Melker was disappointed his main rival from the season Bortolotti was absent from the season finale, but was happy to take a double victory in front of his home fans.

“I look back at a nice FA1 championship,” said Melker. “The team – Azerti – improved by each race and the car was good and incredibly fast. It was too bad that Bortolotti was not here to battle for the championship, but I am happy to have won both races here in my home country.

“The speaker asked me before the race if I still was ‘the rain man’ and I’m happy I could prove that I still am,”

Assen Race 1 Result

POS DRIVER NATION TIME/Laps
1 Nigel Melker Netherlands 31m23.357s
2 Sergio Campana Spain +9.553s
3 Richard Gonda Slovakia +10.665s
4 Nathanael Berthon France +11.942s
5 Dani Clos Spain +12.997s
6 Jeroen Mul Netherlands +20.824s
7 Sebastian Balthasar Germany +59.644s
8 Kevin Kleveros Sweden +1m00.042s
9 Bas Schouten Netherlands +1 Lap
RET Gian Maria Gabbiani Italy 11 Laps
RET Michael Dorrbecker Mexico 7 Laps
RET Alessio Picariello Belgium 4 Laps
RET Marco Barba Spain 3 Laps
RET Craig Dolby Great Britain 2 Laps

Assen Race 2 Result

POS DRIVER NATION TIME/Laps
1 Nigel Melker Netherlands 45m32.584s
2 Dani Clos Spain +38.051s
3 Sergio Campana Spain +50.111s
4 Craig Dolby Great Britain +54.649s
5 Nathanael Berthon France +1m33.986s
6 Richard Gonda Slovakia +1m34.969s
7 Kevin Kleveros Sweden +1m35.806s
8 Marco Barba Spain +1m45.100s
9 Sebastian Balthasar Germany +1m45.660s
10 Bas Schouten Netherlands +1 Lap
11 Gian Maria Gabbiani Italy +3 Laps
RET Michael Dorrbecker Mexico 12 Laps
RET Jeroen Mul Netherlands 4 Laps
DNS Alessio Picariello Belgium 0 Laps