Junior Single Seater Race Weekend Round-up – 30 August-1 September 2019

by Paul Hensby

The Checkered Flag looks back at the sixth round of the Eurocup Formula Renault championship at the Nurburgring, the fifth round of the Formula Regional European Championship and round five of the Italian Formula 4 championship, also at Imola.

Eurocup Formula Renault – Nurburgring

Race One

Oscar Piastri started from pole position but the Australian fell behind Patrik Pasma at the start, with the Finn then putting on a great defensive drive at the front of the field.

However, the Arden Motorsport driver was unable to hold on for his first victory of the year, with Piastri making a move late in the day at turn one to claim the honours, the R-ace GP driver claiming his fourth victory of the season as a result.

It was still a season’s best finish for Pasma in second, with R-ace GP’s Alexander Smolyar claiming the final spot on the podium after overcoming another Arden in the form of Alex Quinn, with the single seater returnee claiming fourth at the chequered flag ahead of MP Motorsport’s Victor Martins.

Caio Collet was sixth for R-ace GP ahead of M2 Competition’s Kush Maini, with MP Motorsport’s Amaury Cordeel, GRSXavier Lloveras and JD Motorsport’s Ugo de Wilde completing the top ten ahead of Petr Ptácek and Joao Vieira.

MP Motorsport’s Lorenzo Colombo’s chances of taking the championship took a big hit as he was forced to retire, with Leonardo Lorandi and Patrick Schott also early retirements from the race.

Oscar Piastri recovered from a slow start to overcome Patrik Pasma to take race one victory in Germany – Credit: Alexandre Guillaumot / DPPI

Race Two

Piastri was again on pole position for race two, and much like in race one, he was unable to convert that into a turn one lead, this time allowing Quinn to take over the advantage at the front.

However, unlike it race one, Piastri wasn’t to wait to reclaim his advantage, taking back the lead at turn two and then pulling away at the front of the field to claim victory number five of 2019 and extending his advantage at the top of the championship standings after closest rival Martins failed to start following a mechanical issue on the formation lap.

Quinn maintained second with ease, holding off the challenge of Ptácek, before the Czech racer dropped behind Collet and Smolyar to finish fifth – Smolyar made the pass for fourth on the penultimate lap of the race.

Lloveras claimed sixth ahead of Colombo and Maini, with de Wilde and Frank Bird claiming the final points on offer in ninth and tenth, while race one podium finisher Pasma could only manage twelfth having failed to set a time in Qualifying due to a mechanical problem and starting at the rear of the pack.

Oscar Piastri now comfortably leads the championship after his double win – Credit: Alexandre Guillaumot / DPPI

Formula Regional European Championship – Imola

Race One

Igor Fraga started from pole position for the first time in 2019 and was able to dominate the opening race of the weekend, leading from lights out to the chequered flag for his second win of the campaign.

The DR Formula by RP Motorsport driver held on despite pressure from Prema Powerteam’s Olli Caldwell for the win, with the race interrupted by a safety car period to clear up the stranded car of Marcos Siebert, who had spun into the gravel trap.

Caldwell dropped back on the final lap, finishing 2.115 seconds away from Fraga, but he maintained his position on the podium, finishing ahead of Prema team-mates Frederik Vesti and Enzo Fittipaldi

Vesti had been fighting Raul Guzman for the final spot on the podium before the Mexican dropped back to fifth, with Fittipaldi finding a way ahead of his team-mate only to lose third on the penultimate lap to the championship leader.

Matteo Nannini of Scuderia DF Corse by Corbetta fought Guzman for fifth over the closing laps but was forced to settle for sixth ahead of Van Amersfoort Racing’s Sophia Flörsch, with US Racing’s David Schumacher, KIC Motorsport’s Isac Blomqvist and Technorace’s Tom Beckhauser completing the top ten. 

Schumacher had dropped to tenth early on after a small mistake but recovered a couple of positions before the chequered flag fell.

Igor Fraga started the weekend in Imola with his second victory of 2019 – Credit: ACI Sport

Race Two

Vesti started race two from pole position but lost out to Prema team-mate Caldwell at the start, before the Norwegian attacked and reclaimed the lead, a lead he would hold until the chequered flag.

Caldwell and Vesti pulled away from the field in the early laps before the latter made his decisive move for the lead, with the Prema duo finishing first and second, with race one winner Fraga unable to keep tabs on them in third.

Guzman made it two DR Formula by RP Motorsport machines inside the top four ahead of Schumacher, with Nannini sixth and Fittipaldi down in sixth after a poor start by the Brazilian dropped him from the front row to sixth.  Nannini found his way ahead and was then able to repel the Prema driver until the chequered flag, with Flörsch finishing right behind them in eighth.

KIC Motorsport’s Konsta Lappalainen finished ninth, just ahead of Siebert, with Blomqvist and Beckhauser just outside the points in eleventh and twelfth respectively.

Frederik Vesti was victorious for a ninth time in 2019 in race two – Credit: ACI Sport

Race Three

Vesti started again from pole position and despite leading from start to finish, was unable to take his tenth victory of the season as a five-second time penalty for a safety car restart infringement dropped him to third.

This meant that Fittipaldi was able to claim his second win of the year ahead of Fraga, with Vesti ending 1.589 seconds off the victory after his penalty was applied.

The safety car had been dispatched as both Caldwell and Alexandre Bardinon (Van Amersfoort Racing) had gone off, however both were able to recover to the track themselves, although both then retired.  Never-the-less, officials were forced to keep the safety car out, with Vesti then taking a time penalty for a restart offence when the race restarted.

Flörsch equalled her best finish of the season in fourth ahead of Siebert, with Schumacher sixth ahead of Guzman, who had been battling Fittipaldi for second when he suffered a spin.  He recovered to seventh ahead of Lappalainen, with Nannini and Beckhauser completing the top ten.

Blomqvist was running in sixth for the majority of the race only for Nannini, who had just passed Schumacher for seventh, made contact with the Finn and spun him into the gravel trap, ending his race with just two laps remaining.

Enzo Fittipaldi claimed his second win of the season after Frederik Vesti was penalised – Credit: ACI Sport

Race Four

Race four saw Blomqvist start from the pole position he earned from the cancelled third race at Vallelunga earlier this season, with only those who qualified for that race allowed to start this one.  This meant that Beckhauser was absent from proceedings as Technorace did not appear in the championship until the following round at the Hungaroring.

Blomqvist held onto the lead at the start ahead of Flörsch and Caldwell, with Vesti fourth. However, a crash for Fittipaldi after contact with Schumacher brought out the safety car.  On the restart, Vesti spun Flörsch around, earning himself a ten-second penalty, but it was not the end of the drama for the championship leader.

Caldwell and Vesti both found their way passed Blomqvist to run first and second, with the Dane working his way ahead of the Briton to take the lead.  He pulled away from Caldwell, finishing 10.015 seconds clear of his team-mate, appearing to have taken his tenth victory of the season as a result.

However, post-race, officials deemed he should have received a twenty-five second penalty rather than a ten-second penalty, meaning he ultimately was classified sixth, with Caldwell finally claiming his first victory of the campaign ahead of Blomqvist and Fraga.

Schumacher and Siebert were classified fourth and fifth for US Racing ahead of Vesti, while Nannini ended seventh on the road but was handed a penalty of his own to finish ninth, promoting Flörsch back to seventh and Lappalainen to eighth.

Bardinon completed the top ten but with Nannini eligible for points, remnants of him being under the legal age to compete when the race at Vallelunga took place, he took the points for ninth with Sharon Scolari taking the final point for ScoRace Team despite finishing on the road in eleventh.

Olli Caldwell took his first win of the season in race three at Imola – Credit: ACI Sport

Italian Formula 4 – Imola

Race One

Dennis Hauger clinched his fifth victory of the season in the opening race of the weekend at Imola, with the Norwegian leading home a Red Bull Junior Team one-two ahead of Jonny Edgar.

Roman Stanek had held the lead from pole position at the start and had looked comfortable at the head of the field, only for a mistake on lap fourteen to drop him behind both Hauger and Edgar, with the Czech racer retiring not long after with suspension damage.

Hauger, racing for Van Amersfoort Racing, held on to take the win, 0.279 seconds ahead of Jenzer Motorsport’s Edgar, while Mikhael Belov was close behind them in third, the Bhaitech racer finishing just 1.115 seconds away from the victory.

Gianluca Petecof went into the race as the championship leader but was forced to retire after picking up a puncture after contact with Prema Powerteam team-mate Paul Aron, with the Estonian ultimately finishing fourth.

Ido Cohen, who was also involved in the battle with Petecof and Aron, finished fifth for Van Amersfoort Racing ahead of Mücke Motorsport’s William Alatalo, with DRZ Benelli’s Ivan Berets seventh ahead of Cram Motorsport’s Francesco Simonazzi, who scored his first points of the season as a result.

Antonelli Motorsport’s Andrea Rosso finished on the road in ninth but was handed a post-race time penalty to drop him down to nineteenth, promoting Van Amersfoort Racing duo Sebastian Estner and Lucas Alecco Roy into the final two points paying positions in ninth and tenth.

Dennis Hauger took race one victory at Imola to take over at the top of the Italian F4 standings – Credit: ACI Sport

Race Two

Stanek was again on pole position and maintained his advantage at the start, somewhat aided by Edgar, second on the grid, stalling on the grid.  It was not long however before the race was neutralised by the safety car as Alatalo spun his Mücke Motorsport machine into the gravel trap.

A second safety car was needed not long after the restart after Roy and Estner clashed, with a third interruption coming when BVM Racing’s Filip Ugran, Abu Dhabi Racing’s Amna Al Qubaisi and Bhaitech’s Nicola Marinangeli collided and stopped on track.

Stanek survived each restart, including the final one-lap shootout to win by 0.601 seconds from Petecof, with Hauger completing the podium ahead of Belov.  Edgar recovered from his stall to claim fifth, passing Aron on the final lap, with Cohen, Prema Powerteam’s Oliver Rasmussen and Alessandro Famularo, and Bhaitech’s Umberto Laganella completing the top ten.

Roman Stanek took victory in race two, a race that was interrupted by three safety car periods – Credit: ACI Sport

Race Three

Again, Stanek was on pole position for race three but unlike in race two, he was unable to maintain his position, with Hauger drafting passed the Czech racer to take the lead down the front straight after a handful of laps.

Hauger pulled away before Belov demoted Stanek to third, before a late-race safety car, needed as a result of Mexican debutant Santiago Ramos crashing out, bunched the field up and made for a second consecutive one-lap sprint to the chequered flag, a sprint that Hauger was able to win by 0.549 seconds.

Belov and Stanek completed the podium with Aron, Edgar and Cohen fourth, fifth and sixth respectively. Laganella, Famularo, Lorenzo Ferrari of Antonelli Motorsport and Berets completed the points scorers on this occasion.

Petecof’s stuttering championship challenge continued with a stall at the start relegating him to a position outside the top twenty, and although he was able to climb to fourteenth, he lost further ground to Hauger in the championship standings as a result.

Dennis Hauger took victory in race three ahead of Roman Stanek – Credit: ACI Sport

Race Four

Race four was limited to those drivers who had qualified for the cancelled third race at Misano earlier this season, meaning Stanek was amongst those to sit out the event, with Rasmussen starting from the pole position he had earned back in May.

Hauger jumped into the lead at the start and battled hard with Rasmussen, the duo switching places a few times before the Norwegian pulled out a gap on the Dane.  Unfortunately, Rasmussen would then fall behind team-mates Aron and Petecof to miss out on what would have been his first podium visit of the season.

Petecof had dropped to sixth after another sluggish getaway but passed Roy for fifth on a safety car restart, before passing the impressive Roee Meyuhas of Cram Motorsport for fourth.  He worked his way up to the back of team-mate Rasmussen before passing him on the final lap for the final place on the podium.

Behind Rasmussen came Belov in fifth, while Roy’s race ended after contact with Mücke Motorsport’s Joshua Dürksen, who earned a twenty-five-second time penalty as a result of the incident. 

Meyuhas battled hard but lost out on sixth to Berets but he was able to maintain seventh ahead of Famularo and Edgar, with Jenzer Motorsport’s Axel Gnos completing the top ten, his first visit to the points since the opening race of the season at Vallelunga in May.

Dennis Hauger and Oliver Rasmussen battled for the lead at the start of race four – Credit: ACI Sport

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