Van Uitert and Colombo Respond in Adria to Entice Title Battle

by Connor Jackson

With two of the top three Italian F4 Championship drivers from last weekend failing to even record a podium, the weekend provided a golden opportunity for the opposition to hit back, a chance that Job Van Uitert took with both hands.

The Dutch driver had had a quiet run in Misano and knew he needed a strong Adria in order to maintain the respect and potential that saw him clinch fourth place in last years championship.

A win and two second places puts him second in the standings as a further win from Lorenzo Colombo ensured he took the points lead in a weekend to remember for the Italian. Sebastian Fernandez meanwhile, was forced to give up his lead, having only collected 10 points all meeting.

The race two reverse grid victory went to Leonardo Lorandi, becoming the first rookie to win an outright race this season. Elsewhere, a double podium for Marcus Armstrong kept him ahead of Lorandi, securing fourth in the standings as teammate Juri Vips did not show up for the event.

Qualifying was again a Bhaitech domination, but it would be Colombo who took all three pole positions with Armstrong alongside him for both race one and two, ensuring a weekend long rivalry between the pair.

Race One

Winner: Job Van Uitert – Jenzer Motorsport

The weather would be the deciding factor for much of the race as the drivers struggled to find grip on the slippery surface. Polesitter Lorenzo Colombo held onto his lead as Job Van Uitert quickly closed in on him and Marcus Armstrong when the safety car pulled in.

Championship leader Sebastian Fernandez could not handle the wet, dropping outside the top five and eventually finishing outside the points.

Armstrong held off van Uitert for the majority of the race, but it wasn’t enough to stop the charging Jenzer Motorsport driver, overtaking with ten minutes still to race. Four minutes later, Colombo fell victim to the Dutch driver, losing the lead he’d spent the race defending.

Van Uitert ended up pulling away from the opposition as Colombo saw his chances of a maiden victory slip from his grasp. Armstrong would eventually round out the podium.

Behind them, a spectacular second half drive from Kush Maini saw the Indian jump to fourth, passing three cars within two laps. This demoted Enzo Fittipaldi, with the Brazilian losing a place to Leonardo Lorandi on the final lap.

Van Uitert didn’t have too much to say on his win, commenting; “I’m Dutch and in Holland it always rains.”

Job van Uitert (#16) and Lorandi (#11) Colombo (#6), took one win each with the former taking the points lead. (Credit: ACI Sport)

Race Two

Winner: Leonardo Lorandi – Bhaitech

While Job Van Uitert’s victory may have seemed like a change in pace for the series, Leonardo Lorandi was out to prove that Bhaitech were still a force to be reckoned with, as he took victory in the second encounter.

The weather was no longer an issue going into Sunday, but instead it was the drivers in the spotlight as a racing incident between Lorenzo Colombo and Marcus Armstrong knocked them both out of the race.

Colombo had kept the lead at the start and was pulling a slight gap before the Prema Powerteam driver responded towards the half way mark. The pair made contact at turn seven with Colombo spearing off into the barrier and Armstrong pitting.

Lorandi, who had been involved in his own battle with Job Van Uitert, inherited the lead, going on to win as Van Uitert and a fortunate Lirim Zendeli rounded out the podium.

Behind them, Aldo Festante made up for his potential pace in race one, taking fourth, his best result to date. He had held off Sebastian Fernandez for much of the encounter, failing to live up to the hype that surrounded him pre-weekend after his clean sweep in Misano.

Finally, a spectacular drive through the field from Artem Petrov proved that qualifying was not the whole story for the Russian, who had recorded two podiums last weekend, but had struggled to make any impression until race two, jumping from eleventh on the grid.

“It’s been an incredible day. I won’t forget my first win in single seaters easily,” said Lorandi.

Race Three

Winner: Lorenzo Colombo – Bhaitech

While he may have started down in eleventh, it was a disastrous start for Enzo Fittipaldi who was caught up in the first corner, dropping to the back. Up front, Lorenzo Colombo maintained his lead from Job van Uitert, looking for his second win of the weekend.

Colombo though would have an advantage, with Armstrong pre-occupying the Dutch driver, allowing him to break away.

The top three, which also included Marcus Armstrong were away like a bolted horse, building a six second gap to Lirim Zendeli after just two racing laps. The German would break slightly from teammate Sophia Florsch, but would not lose the Mucke Motorsport driver from his mirrors.

Elsewhere, Artem Petrov’s drive through penalty and Sebastian Fernandez’s early retirement cemented a dire weekend for the pair.

The race would soon settle down with retirements and overtakes kept to a minimum after the excitement of the wet weather Saturday encounter. This allowed Colombo to pull out a slight gap, comfortably winning by 2.4 seconds.

The result made up for his unfortunate retirement in race two, putting him atop of the standings, with 6 points separating the top three.

Van Uitert, took another second place, continuing his strong run of results this weekend with Armstrong pressuring him all the way to the line. Behind them, it was smooth drive from Lirim Zendeli to continue his strong weekend.

Rounding out the top five would be Florsch, who spent the encounter being chased by Leonardo Lorandi, maintaining her position over the race two winner until the chequered flag.

Championship points; Colombo – 91; Van Uitert – 89; Fernandez – 85; Armstrong – 55; Lorandi – 45; Petrov – 41; Zendeli – 39; Fittipaldi – 35; Vips – 27; Maini – 24

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