Despite losing the lead at the start, a fight back from Raul Guzman saw him claim victory in the Italian F4 Championship, Qualifying A-B Race. His win over B-C race winner Mauricio Baiz puts his destiny in his own hands for the final qualifying race tomorrow.
An excellent start from Baiz saw him take the race lead with pole sitter Guzman being demoted to second, being forced to prove his skill against his biggest rival this weekend.
Diego Bertonelli’s poor weekend got worse as he dropped to twelfth in the opening few laps, eventually finishing far from the points. None of the top runners broke away in the opening stages as Baiz was quick to set the fastest lap. This didn’t last though as fourth placed Ye Yifei beat it, seeing him catch up to Joao Viera ensuring the top two were able to break away.
Ian Geofffrey Rodriguez in fifth, was starting to struggle as the highest placed rookie, unable to contend with the experienced runners. Further back, a mistake from Diego Ciantini saw him drop from sixth to eighth. His poor race would see him drop lower by the time the flag fell.
An excellent fight back from Guzman kept the lead gap under 0.5 seconds and with twelve minutes to go he attacked, demoting the Venezuelan. A lack of momentum saw Baiz fall into the hands of Viera and fourth placed Ye, ensuring that in only two laps, Guzman had built a gap of two seconds.
As the race wore on, Rodriguez’s grip on fifth was finally released as Giuliano Raucci took the place away. Raucci was quick to build a gap, but with four seconds to make up to the cars in front, he was in for a lonely rest of the race.
With the laps counting down, Ye put in another fastest lap as he continued to harry Viera for the final podium place. It proved to be enough as the Antonelli Motorsports driver was forced to resign the position with a few minutes to go.
After deposing of one, Ye continued his rampage as Baiz, who’d failed to keep up with Guzman, was put under pressure. Not fazed by his relatively poor qualifying, compared to his speed, Ye made a last lap dive on Baiz taking second and recording his best result of the season.
Guzman’s victory will help him out as the racers prepare for the final event of the weekend. With his main rival being demoted to third, the Mexican was pleased with the result, knowing the final qualifying race will be his to lose tomorrow.
Behind the top three, was a fairly disappointed Viera as Raucci finished his lonely race ahead of top rookie Rodriguez and Indian driver Kush Maini. Meanwhile, a last lap lunge from Giacomo Altoe allowed him to finish eighth.