Guzman victorious in A-C race after a first lap pile up

by Connor Jackson

Mexican driver Raul Guzman was declared the winner of the final Italian Formula 4 qualification race of the weekend. An excellent drive from seventh on the grid saw the DR Formula driver quickly work his way to the front before deposing of the polesitter Marcos Siebert in the final laps.

Sadly for Guzman, his victory will go largely unnoticed, as a large accident at the start grabbed the attention and saw the race red flagged, with debris and cars strewn across the track.

With 27 cars starting, there wasn’t room for all of them down the straight, as fourth place Diego Bertonelli‘s stalled car near the front of the grid, causing a chain reaction behind as the cars towards the back were unsighted and with nowhere to go.

The race was restarted after a red flag and the race was treated as if it hadn’t have started, but four cars – Bertonelli (RB Racing), Ye Yifei (Mücke Motorsport), Leonard Hogenboom (Cram Motorsport) and Aaron di Comberti (Bhaitech) – failed to make the restart, with many more were damaged.

The restarted race saw pole sitter Siebert and team-mate Job van Uitert break away from the pack as the Jenzer Motorsport drivers built up a gap to the battles behind.

The biggest challenge on track proved to be the fields attempt to get past Valentin Hasse-Clot. After an incredible performance on Saturday, the Frenchman was clearly struggling and soon found himself moving backwards over the course of the race. The Kiteviola Motorsports driver put up a strong battle though, as he made it difficult for Juri Vips, with the two swapping positions in the early laps.

A queue quickly formed and a struggling machine eventually saw Hasse-Clot drop out of the points, but it kept the field bunched up for an exciting end to the race.

Up front, Guzman had already disposed of fourth place Ian Rodriguez Wright before overtaking Yan Leon Shlom for third. He was the quickest driver on track and managed to catch the Jenzer’s with a few minutes to go.

He eventually moved into second and dived down the inside of Seibert at the final corner of the penultimate lap, but the race was red flagged as a backmarker had spun and stalled on the start straight, meaning that crossing the line would be dangerous.

This left Guzman to take the win from Siebert and van Uitert, who completed the podium. Shlom eventually took fourth ahead of the ever closing Vips. Behind the top five, Rodriguez had fallen to eighth behind Mauricio Baiz and Giacomo Altoe, who’d spent much of the race battling together on track.

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