Martinius Stenshorne, R-ace GP, writes a chapter in Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine history. For the first a rookie driver started in pole position the first race of the year and subsequently came the first win of a Norwegian driver ever. Stenshorne inherited the pole today after a penalization to Rafael Camara (Prema Racing), and his best lap, initially only 3 thousandth of a second behind, became the best of the pole.
In race 1 Stenshorne went off to a great start and took it from the pole to the checkered flag without any particular risk taken and his leadership undisputed. Andrea Kimi Antonelli, Prema Racing Mercedes junior driver, set for a second placement after a though race that had seen 2 restarts. The driver from Bologna went out determined to grab a win in his home race, but couldn’t attempt a move on the leader, especially after being engaged in a duel by his teammate behind him and had to defend the position. Rafael Camara, Prema Racing Ferrari Driver Academy driver, in fact, started in P3 and kept his position, getting close to Antonelli in different occasions hunting the second step of the podium, but he couldn’t catch it in the end and closed in third. The first race of the season then went in the scoreboard of the French Team R-ace GP, but Prema Racing could certainly be fairly satisfied with the output, not only doubling down on the podium but also with the Spaniard Lorenzo Fluxà in P4. Fluxà managed to defend his position from the attempt of Kas Haverkort, Van Amersfoort Racing Dutchman, who closed fifth.
R-ace GP German driver Tim Tramnitz finished the first Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine race of the year in P6, after and long hard battle with Alessandro Giusti (G4 Racing), that tried to move on him in multiple occasions. Joshua Dufek (Van Amersfoort Racing) also had a good performance, finishing the race in eighth position. Trident’s Singaporean driver Nikhil Bohra closed into the points with a well-defended P9. Bohra had in fact to look in the mirror a lot in order to defend his positions from the harsh attacks of Michael Belov, G4 Racing driver that certainly didn’t spare any efforts in order to climb the rankings after the start in the seventh row of the grid.
The first race of the year finished earlier. A red flag had been deployed, with less than 4 minutes left on the clock, to allow the recovering of Adam Fitzgerald RPM’s car and Lucas Medina, Saintéloc Racing, come to an early stop after a puncture on his rear left tyre. The puncture occurred as a result of the contact with Giovanni Maschio (Monolite Racing) that sent Medina into the gravel shortly after.
Martinius Stenshorne: “It was really nice to get the first win, in single-seater even and also in the first race in FRECA. Expectations before the race was to try to stay here and even get a podium. Finish with a win is really nice. I haven’t been here before in FRECA car, so it was a bit challenging in the beginning. As soon as we got into the rhythm it was all good.”
Andrea Kimi Antonelli: “It was not an easy race. I had a few issues during the race. I think we managed really well, especially with push to pass. Good result today, we will try to improve tomorrow.”
Rafael Camara: “Starting P3 was quite a difficult race, I know that driving behind is quite tough here in Imola, there are no long straights and a lot of corners. I will try just to keep there and if I find some opportunities for sure I will try to pass. I think in the end I did a good job, also the Team did a really good job to have the car in the right place. I think we have a good pace, we still have one race tomorrow and qualifying, for sure we are going to work more to be even faster for tomorrow and try to start in the front row”.
The European series will be back in action tomorrow morning at 9.00 am for the second qualifying session, while Race 2 will start at 2.55 pm, always over a distance of 30′ plus one lap to complete.