Race 1 of the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine at the Red Bull Ring is a solo performance by Rafael Camara. The PREMA Racing Brazilian driver made an excellent start and fully utilized the pace he demonstrated in qualifying to claim his second victory of the season. From start to finish, his win is undisputed, as he flawlessly controls the race, not allowing any of his pursuers to get close enough to attempt an overtaking maneuver.
It’s a different story for Alessandro Giusti, the Frenchman from G4 Racing who shared the front row with the Brazilian. In the early stages of Race 1, Giusti is overtaken by the German driver from R-ace GP, Tim Tramnitz, and he has to fight to regain P2. He managed to find his pace later in the race, and, after a few attempts where Tramnitz defended well, Giusti secured the second step of the podium. It’s the driver’s second consecutive podium and his second Rookie win of the season. The third driver on the podium was Tramnitz, who, after an aggressive start against Giusti, is forced to defend towards the end, fending off Antonelli’s attacks to achieve an excellent result that allows him to narrow the gap in the Championship standings, particularly reducing the distance from the second place currently held by Martinius Stenshorne, who finished outside the points in Race 1.
Andrea Kimi Antonelli, the Italian driver from PREMA Racing, completed the race in fourth place. He was closely followed by Michael Belov initially, and later pursued Tramnitz. Antonelli managed to close the gap and dangerously approach in the final stages of the race, but he couldn’t find the space for an overtaking move that would have placed him on the podium. Belov, G4 Racing driver, after battling for the top positions, ultimately finished the race in ninth place, pushed back due to a 5-second penalty for track limits violations. Same penalty was given also to the Spanish driver Lorenzo Fluxà of PREMA Racing, who had instead forfeited all the points potentially obtained on the track (he passed sixth under the checquered flag behind Belov), ending up in 11th place. Among the drivers penalized for the same infringement were Jesse Carrasquedo, making his debut in the series with Van Amersfoort Racing; Marcus Amand, Franco-Finnish driver from Art Grand Prix; Santiago Ramos, Mexican driver from RPM; Pierre-Alexandre Provost, French driver from G4 Racing.
Dutch Kas Haverkort of Van Amersfoort Racing finished in fifth place, followed by Frenchman Sami Meguetounif of MP Motorsport in sixth. In seventh place in the first race at the Red Bull Ring was Polish driver Roman Bilinski of Trident, followed by Frenchman Macèo Capietto of RPM. With Belov slipping to ninth place, it was Owen Tangavelou, French driver representing Trident, who rounded out the top ten, securing the last point up for grabs.
Rafael Camara: “The race was really good. We were able to open the gap in the beginning and break a bit the tow. After that, it was more to manage the race, the gap stayed more or less the same, it was a long race. It was a good race, we had the speed. Now we just try to focus for tomorrow and keep doing a good job.”
Alessandro Giusti: “It was a good race. Bad start at the beginning of the race, and Tim got me by the position. After we had a very good pace, but Rafael was just too fast. I couldn’t get him at the end. It was a good race, we had a good speed, and now we head into tomorrow.”
Tim Tramnitz: “Honestly, it was really tough. I think we really did a good job in qualy, which kind of saved the race for us. It was really difficult to hang on, and I ran out of push to pass at the end as well. I always had to focus on T1 especially, to get it right. In the end, I’m happy to hang on to the podium and start the second half of the year with P3.”