Junior Single Seater Race Weekend Round-Up – 18-20 October 2019

by Paul Hensby

Formula Regional European Championship – Autodromo Nazionale Monza

Race One

Igor Fraga secured a hat trick of pole positions at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, and he was able to convert pole position into his third victory of the season.

The DR Formula driver held onto the lead at the start thanks to the use of the safety car on a wet track and was able to defeat Prema Powerteam’s Frederik Vesti by 1.240 seconds to take the win, while Raul Guzman took his first podium finish of the season in third, albeit more than thirteen seconds adrift.

Andreas Estner, making his championship debut with Van Amersfoort Racing, ended the opening race just off the podium in fourth, while Olli Caldwell was fifth for Prema Powerteam, just ahead of Van Amersfoort Racing’s Sophia Flörsch.

David Schumacher, who had won three of the previous five races before arriving in Italy, could only muster a seventh-place finish, while Niko Kari, making a one-off appearance with KIC Motorsport ended eighth ahead team-mate Konsta Lappalainen and Van Amersfoort Racing’s Alexandre Bardinon.

Technical problems prevented Enzo Fittipaldi from seeing the chequered flag, with the Prema Powerteam driver retiring with three laps remaining.

Igor Fraga took victory in race one at Monza – Credit: ACI Sport

Race Two

It was still wet when race two got underway, but unlike in race one, the safety car was not needed.  Fraga was able to maintain his position at the front of the field, while Guzman gave DR Formula a one-two finish after holding off the Prema Powerteam challenge.

Fraga led into turn one while Guzman jumped into second, with Vesti and Fittipaldi being left to fight for the final spot on the podium.  Such was Fraga’s advantage, by the chequered flag he was more than thirteen seconds to the good, while just over a second covered the next three drivers.

Vesti got the better of Fittipaldi to complete the podium, while Kari followed up his eighth place in race one with a strong drive to fifth ahead of Estner.  Flörsch was seventh on the road but was handed a five-second time penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage, meaning she ended the race in tenth.

Schumacher therefore was promoted to seventh ahead of Caldwell, while Lappalainen ended ninth ahead of the penalised Flörsch.

The win for Fraga moved him up to third in the Drivers’ Championship with just one race of the season remaining, twelve points ahead of Schumacher.

Igor Fraga doubled up with a dominant win in race two – Credit: ACI Sport

Race Three

Fraga went into the final race looking to make it a hat trick, but he lost out on the opening lap to Vesti, who went onto win for the thirteenth time this year.

The 2019 champion was in control thereafter and Fraga was forced to defend from Fittipaldi.  The pressure from the Prema driver paid off as he was able to get ahead of Fraga into Parabolica with ten minutes remaining, and despite both running through the turn one run-off, Fittipaldi secured second place.

Kari was able to get ahead of Schumacher to claim fourth, while Guzman also displaced the German to claim fifth.  Caldwell ended the season with a seventh-place finish as the Briton ended fifth in the championship standings, while Estner, Flörsch and Lappalainen completed the points scorers.

Vesti’s win ensured he ended the year with a total of four-hundred and sixty-seven points, one hundred and thirty-one points ahead of Fittipaldi, while Fraga’s last race form ensured he claimed third ahead of Schumacher.

“We have been really strong this year in qualifying and the races and we won 13 of them which is a great accomplishment,” said Vesti. “I want to thank Prema for always being very consistent and always delivering a very fast car for me.

“I also want to thank my sponsors as I wouldn’t be here without them. In race 1 and 2 we had some issues but then we went for a big change for race 3 and it worked. I’m very happy and pleased with the win in the final race of the season.”

Frederik Vesti ended his championship winning season with victory in race three – Credit: ACI Sport

Italian Formula 4 – Autodromo Nazionale Monza

Race One

Much like in Formula Regional European Championship, the Italian Formula 4 weekend was affected by the weather, with race one beginning behind the safety car as a result.

Dennis Hauger, who was crowned champion in the previous round at Mugello, led the field behind the safety car after grabbing pole position, and it wasn’t long between the green flag flying and the safety car being needed.

Hauger, racing for Van Amersfoort Racing and part of the Red Bull Junior Team, was in total control of the race, although he came under attack from Bhaitech’s Mikhael Belov after another safety car intervention, caused when Jonny Edgar spun off at Parabolica.  Hauger held onto the lead and won by almost four seconds from Belov, with Oliver Rasmussen taking third for Prema Powerteam.

Initially Belov was fighting with Gianluca Petecof and Lucas Alecco Roy for second, but the former spun out of contention at the first chicane, while the latter faded to sixth behind Rasmussen and Mücke Motorsport duo William Alatalo and Joshua Dürksen.

Ido Cohen took seventh for Van Amersfoort Racing ahead of Prema Powerteam’s Paul Aron, while two more Prema drivers, Alessandro Famularo and Petecof, completed the top ten.

Dennis Hauger celebrates after winning race one – Credit: ACI Sport

Race Two

Edgar started from pole position for race two, but the Jenzer Motorsport driver made a slow getaway, which allowed Hauger to jump into the lead.  Edgar regained a couple of positions on the opening lap but lost out to Belov at Parabolica for second.

Hauger was comfortable out front, with the Norwegian claiming the win once more by almost four seconds, with Belov again claiming second ahead of Aron, who was forced to battle his way up the order to complete the podium.

Alatalo again just missed out on the podium in fourth ahead of Petecof, while Roman Stanek of US Racing claimed sixth having missed out on a good haul of points in race one thanks to a mistake at Lesmo.

Rasmussen followed up his race one podium with seventh in race two, while Edgar’s early promise could only see him end eighth ahead of Cohen and DRZ Benelli’s Ian Rodriguez.

Dennis Hauger was in a race of his own in race two – Credit: ACI Sport

Race Three

Hauger made it a hat trick in race three, coming past his fellow Red Bull Junior Edgar to take the lead, although he was forced to follow the Briton for over half of the race.

All the action appeared to take place behind Hauger, with Belov’s race coming to an end after contact with Alatalo at Ascari, before Petecof, Dürksen, Famularo and Lorenzo Ferrari came together on the exit of the first chicane.  Both incidents required the safety car to be deployed.

Once Hauger found his way ahead, Edgar found himself embroiled in a battle with Alatalo for second, however twice in a lap they came together, ending both of their chances of standing on the final podium of the season.

Aron and Stanek completed the podium despite having messy races of their own, while Rasmussen ended the year with a fourth-place finish ahead of Rodriguez, Cohen, Roy, Jesse Salmenautio (Bhaitech), Edgar and Filip Ugran (BVM Racing).

“That’s a great way to end the season,” said Hauger. “One of the main things coming to Monza was to take the Team Championship and we did that, a big thanks to the Van Amersfoort guys who have been fantastic all year.

“The week went pretty well all the way, we already had good pace at Wednesday’s test then in Free Practice on Friday we did some more testing and got things sorted out for Qualifying.”

“In Q1 we were quickest, in Q2 I ran on my own and at the end a couple of guys got some good slipstreaming going so they had better times but at Monza you can see everyone’s section times and we knew that I was quickest everywhere except the straights. So I was pretty confident going into the races.”

“The races were all wet but I had a good set-up and rhythm going, there were a few Safety Cars and restarts but they went OK. It took a while to get into the lead in Race 3 but I managed to get past Jonny (Edgar) going into the Parabolica and then got away to make it three wins.”

“It feels pretty special to finish the season like that and take the record for the number of wins in the season.”

Dennis Hauger ended his championship winning season in perfect style by winning all three races at Monza – Credit: ACI Sport

Related articles

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More