Formula Regional & Formula 4 Weekend Recap

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Here's everything you need to know about last weekend's Formula Regional European Championship, Italian Formula 4 Champrionship and British Formula 4 events.

Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine

Race 1: Aron wins and Saucy is crowned

In Race 1 at Mugello Circuit Paul Aron (Prema Powerteam) starts from pole position, in front of his teammate Dino Beganovic, Michael Belov (G4 – Racing) and Mari Boya (Van Amersfoort Racing).

At the start, Belov is very aggressive and immediately overtakes Beganovic, but then also leads Aron to make a mistake going wide at the first corner. The Russian conquers the lead in front of Aron and Beganovic. Immediately after the first corner an accident between Beganovic, Franco Colapinto (MP Motorsport) and Boya, who actually hits the Prema Powerteam driver from behind, determines the stop of the three drivers and also involves Hadrien David (R-ace GP), who damages his front wing and has to stop in the pit lane to change it, restarting last and losing all possibilities to battle for the title.

Grégoire Saucy (ART Grand Prix), the championship leader racing to win the title in this race, manages to conquer the third position, followed by David Vidales (Prema Powerteam), William Alatalo (Arden Motorsport), Gabriel Bortoleto (FA Racing), Pietro Delli Guanti (Monolite Racing), Gabriele Minì (ART Grand Prix), Gianluca Petecof (KIC Motorsport) and Kas Haverkort (KIC Motorsport).

The accident leads to the safety car entering on track. At the restart Paul Aron is amazing in preparing at best his tyres to be ready for the first corners and manages to attack and overtake Belov, who instead will admit at the end of the race to have not kept the temperature of his tyres at the perfect level, finally suffering understeer at the restart. Behind, Vidales overtakes Saucy, the latter careful in not having any accident and bringing home the Title.

In the meantime, Petecof does a great job, overtaking Minì and Delli Guanti and gaining the seventh position. While fifth is Alatalo, followed by Bortoleto. Minì is eighth, Delli Guanti ninth and Haverkort is tenth.

In the front positions nice battle between Vidales and Saucy, third and fourth, and Bortoleto and Alatalo, fifth and sixth.

13’20” to the end of the race Jasin Ferati (KIC Motorsport) spins, while Aron and Belov are well ahead with almost 3 seconds of advantage on Vidales and Saucy.

A few minutes after Emidio Pesce (DR Formula) and Nico Gohler (KIC Motorsport) crash into each other and are out, requiring once more the safety car to enter on track. At the restart, Aron is very fast and there is no chance for Belov to overtake, while Vidales attacks the Russian, but with no success. An amazing overtake by Delli Guanti in the first corner on Minì and Petecof permits the Monolite Racing driver to gain the seventh position. 

Paul Aron wins his first race of the year after having obtained his first pole position, demonstrating great speed and character, regaining the lead after having lost it at the start. Second is the always fast Belov, third Vidales, fourth a very good Alatalo, fifth the mathematical winner of the Title Saucy, sixth the first of the Rookies, Bortoleto, seventh Delli Gaunti, eighth Petecof, ninth Minì and tenth Haverkort.

Race 2: Aron closes the perfect weekend

At the start of race 2 at Mugello Circuit it is Paul Aron (Prema Powerteam) to be in pole position, in front of the champion Grégoire Saucy (ART Grand Prix), who finally manages to be back in the very first positions in qualifying. The third is Dino Beganovic (Prema Powerteam), the Rookie shows his great talent in Mugello, also thanks to his team having found the right key for the best performance of the car. Fourth is Franco Colapinto (MP Motorsport), amazingly fast in the last part of the season. Fifth is Michael Belov (G4 Racing), not as good as expected in QP2,  probably not having found the perfect setup. Sixth is a very good Kas Havenkort (MP Motorsport), growing along the year and also, as his Argentinian teammate, having found great performance in the second part of the season. Seventh is Pietro Delli Guanti (Monolite Racing), really strong on his home track. Eighth is Hadrien David, the fastest of the R-ace GP drivers, the team not really having found the right pace on the Mugello Circuit. Ninth is Mari Boya (Van Amersfoort Racing), who lost his best lap in QP2 due to having passed the finish line after the red flag. The tenth is Gabriel Bortoleto (FA Racing), the Rookie that in the last races is actually obtaining very interesting results.

At the start, Aron is not particularly fast and Saucy manages to come side by side with the Estonian driver, and almost overtake him, but finally Aron is strong in keeping the position in turn one, and actually, it is Beganovic who takes advantage of the battle and gains the second position on the Swiss driver, who is attacked also by Belov, but manages to resist in third position.

Behind the first four are Colapinto, Havenkort, Delli Guanti, Bortoleto, David and Petecof. After a few laps, Bortoleto makes a perfect overtake on Delli Guanti, who is a bit in trouble in the race pace. Behind, a great battle is taking place between Minì and Maloney, the latter trying to conquer the 13th position. Some more laps and also David manages to overtake Delli Guanti who has lost the speed he had found during QP2.

Aron continues to lead quite easily, while behind the time difference from the head of the race is 0.930 for Beganovic, 1.500 Saucy, 2.350 for Belov.

19′ plus one lap to the end of the race Belov attacks Saucy from very close, but actually loses control of the front of the car due to the understeer generated by the car ahead and goes very wide off track, though well managing to control his car, but losing time. Also Delli Guanti, still struggling to defend his position, goes wide and Petecof, just behind, follows him in the same mistake. Alex Quinn (Arden Motorsport), in the eleventh position, gets closer to the two drivers ahead.

17.30 to the end of the race, David attacks and overtakes Bortoleto gaining the 7th position. In the positions at the back, a very nice move by Eduardo Barrichello (JD Motorsport) permits the Brazilian Rookie driver to overtake Emidio Pesce (DR Formula) for the 26th position. Gabriele Minì (ART Grand Prix) suffers heavily in the 16th position and is pressed from behind by David Vidales (Prema Powerteam), William Alatalo (Arden Motorsport), Francesco Pizzi (Van Amersfoort Racing) and Andrea Rosso (FA Racing).  With a great move, Vidales passes and conquers the 16th position, while Minì for a moment manages to keep the rest of the group behind, but he will have to retire later on for damage to his car.

11.50 to the end of the race Belov goes wide again trying to attack and overtake Saucy, probably due to the tyres suffering in the last part of the race, and once more for the understeer generated by the turbulence of the car of the Swiss driver.

A few minutes to the end of the race Ido Cohen (JD Motorsport) goes off track and the Safety Car enters. At the restart Aron is once more perfect and maintains the lead, also gaining distance. Behind Beganovic is good in not losing too much, while Saucy has a bad restart and is attacked by Belov, while David manages to move up to the 6th position.

In the final moments of the race, Belov manages to overtake Saucy, but a red flag due to the accident of Jasin Ferati (KIC Motorsport) stops the race and positions are calculated excluding the last lap, so finally Saucy will be third and Belov fourth.

Aron wins race 2 for the perfect weekend at Mugello Circuit, with two pole positions and two wins, Beganovic conquers his first podium with the second position, while Saucy will be third, Belov fourth, Colapinto fifth, David sixth, Havenkort seventh, Bortoleto eighth, Delli Guanti ninth and Petecof tenth.

The battle for the second position in the championship is still very open with 50 points to be assigned in the last round in Monza on the 30 and 31 October, with Aron, David, Maloney, Colapinto and Hadjar still mathematically in the battle.

Italian Formula 4 Championship

First victory for Durksen

The weekend dedicated to the outsiders continues in Mugello. After the three pole positions by Joshua Dufek, Joshua Durksen got his first victory. The Paraguayan Muecke Motorsport driver has shown to be stubborn on the Tuscan track, being able to get the better of the poleman Joshua Dufek and of the Colombian Prema Powerteam driver, once again on the podium.

The series leader Oliver Bearman, with his Van Amersfoort Racing single-seater, did not take risks and settled for the fourth place, even if he was able to get the second position during the race. Behind him, Nikita Bedrin showed once again to be the best among the rookies, becoming more and more protagonist in the overall standings. Sixth position for Kirill Smal (Prema Powerteam) who preceded Tim Tramnitz (US Racing) and Santiago Ramos (Jenzer Motorsport) out of the rookie podium.

In Race 1, Smal tried his best once the lights went off, but he went out of the track managing his car but losing positions. On Luco-Poggio Secco turn, Joshua Dufek and Leonardo Fornaroli made a contact, with the driver from Piacenza who lost his front wing, and he is forced to enter in pits. A contact between Samir Ben and Hamda Al Qubaisi put both out of the games and forced the safety car to enter on track. 20 minutes to the end, with the weather which continued to be uncertain but without rain, the re-start sees Joshua Durksen starting better respect the others and he took the lead in front of Dufek and Motoya. The Paraguayan, however, lost his first position at the end of the fifth lap with Dufek who gained again the lead and Bearman who, taking advantage of the battle between Durksen and Montoya, took the second position. During the tenth lap, the Englishman is overtaken by Durksen who took again the second position. Two laps later, Montoya overtook the Brit driving for Van Amersfoort Racing to take third position, with a small contact at the end of the Mugello straight. In the meanwhile, Kirill Smal overtook Tramnitz taking the sixth position, while the battle for the first position between Dufek and Durksen was on fire. The Paraguayan was able, some laps to the end, to get the better of the Swiss driver, taking his first victory in front of Van Amersfoort driver and Sebastian Montoya. 

Dufek rejoices in race two ahead of Montoya and Smal

The Swiss Van Amersfoort Racing driver takes his first win of the season ahead of the Prema Powerteam duo.

It was not an easy victory for Joshua Dufek who, despite starting from pole position, had to sweat for the victory with a series of overtakes. But the Swiss Van Amersfoort Racing driver proved to have rhythm on the Mugello circuit and succeeded in taking the win ahead of Sebastian Montoya (Prema Powerteam), who leadfor most of the race, and Kirill Smal (Prema Powerteam), who was able to recover positions during this second race on the Tuscan track.

Off the podium was the winner of race 1 Joshua Durksen (Muecke Motorsport) followed by Tim Tramnitz (US Racing) and Nikita Bedrin (Van Amersfoort Racing) who triumphed, once again, among the rookies. Only seventh for the championship leader Oliver Bearman (Van Amersfoort Racing) who managed to resist the fierce attacks of Leonardo Fornaroli (Iron Lynx), despite the difficulties of the Mugello track. Lorenzo Patrese (AKM Motorsport), second among the rookies and Andrea Kimi Antonelli (Prema Powerteam) who climbed onto the third step of the podium among the rookies, rounds out the top ten.

At the start of race 2 Oliver Bearman started well and was chased by Montoya, while Dufek lost two positions, also attacked by Smal. Conrad Laursen spun at San Donato and ended up in the gravel after contact with Patrese. Montoya managed to take the lead of the race during the second lap, but the safety car entered on track during the fourth lap, canceling out all the gaps, due to Santiago Ramos Reynoso's car that stopped after the first turn of Mugello. At the restart the positions did not change, but on the next lap Tramnitz managed to pass Fornaroli taking sixth position with Bearman who gave way to Dufek for second place. Out of the game Francesco Braschi after contact. Montoya, Dufek and Kirill Smal fought for the victory, getting rid of Bearman and getting close to the leaders. Montoya, despite driving at the absolute limit, managed to keep the lead. Four minutes to the end Dufek took back first position at San Donato while behind him Bearman lost further ground passed by Durksen and Tramnitz. At the end Joshua Dufek got his first win of the season ahead of the two Prema Powerteam drivers Sebastian Montoya and Kirill Smal.

Bearman is the 2021 Champion. Victory for Durksen in Race 3

The Brit, despite the performances which did not meet his usual expectations, scored the points needed to win the 2021 title.

Oliver Bearman is the new 2021 champion of Italian F.4 Championship Powered by Abarth Certified by FIA. The 16 year old Van Amersfoort Racing driver ended race 3 in tenth position, but his competitors could not do anything about it, allowing him to win the title one race before the end of the season. Another victory for Joshua Durksen in the third race at Mugello, who won ahead of Leonardo Fornaroli and Nikita Bedrin, who moves up to sixth in the overall standings and Conrad Laursen. 

Bearman started race 3 losing positions, overtaken by Smal and Bedrin. The Englishman also needed to face Antonelli, who got wrong, losing ground at Bucine's turn. Durksen managed to get the lead in front of Dufek and Leonardo Fornaroli. The two pretenders to the title both lost two positions due to Santiago Ramos’s pass, while Montoya passed Lenoardo Fornaroli taking third position. Contact between Joshua Dufek and Sebastian Montoya put both, with Bedrin who took advantage of it. Fourth place for Kirill Smal who got the better of Santiago Ramos Reynoso (Jenzer Motorsport). Behind him Francesco Braschi, Piotr Wisnicki (Jenzer Motorsport), Erik Zuniga (Mueke Motorsport), Tim Tramitz (US Racing) and Oliver Bearman completed the top ten. 

The Grand Finale of the 2021 season will be in Monza on the 31 October.

British Formula 4 Championship

Race 1: Rees resists Cresswell pressure to win, ties for championship lead

Matthew Rees converted pole position into a lights-to-flag victory to open the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost’s triple header at Donington Park with his third win of the season.

The victory, secured by just 0.430 seconds over team-mate Cresswell, moves Rees level on points at the championship summit with Phinsys by Argenti’s Matias Zagazeta – sixth on this occasion – with the Peruvian ahead courtesy of his four wins versus Rees’ three.

Aside from a couple of early lock-ups into Redgate, Rees cut a composed figure out front as both he and Cresswell broke away from the pack.

An opportunity for Cresswell to pass never presented itself, despite the pair running nose-to-tail for the majority of the 20-minute contest, and they duly took the chequered flag to wrap up a 1-2 finish for JHR that ensures Steven Hunter’s outfit leap-frog Fortec into top spot in the Teams Cup.

It also ensures Rees extends his Rookie Cup advantage over Cresswell to 32 points with six races remaining. Eduardo Coseteng (Argenti) was a notable third, the Filipino racer’s maiden silverware carrying extra significance as it ensures each of Ford’s rising stars on the grid this season have claimed a podium finish.

Joseph Loake retained his fourth place starting spot, but the results don’t tell the story; after slipping behind Zagazeta at the start, the Macclesfield racer rallied, re-passing the championship leader shortly thereafter before annexing fourth on the outside of Aiden Neate at Redgate.

From there, he went unchallenged to the flag, completing a near-perfect result for JHR in first, second and fourth. Neate took fifth ahead of Zagazeta, with James Hedley enjoying an improved run to seventh in the leading Carlin challenger.

Joel Granfors (Fortec Motorsport) was eighth after a five-second time penalty for infringing track limits. The same applies to Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak (Carlin), who ultimately wound up 11th behind Marcos Flack (Argenti) and his team-mate Dougie Bolger respectively.

Kai Askey (Carlin) was next across the line, with Zak Taylor besting Georgi Dimitrov to lead home Arden’s quartet of Red Arrows, the finishers completed by David Morales and Cameron McLeod.

Race 2: Dimitrov adds another reverse grid triumph at Donington Park

Arden Motorsport’s Georgi Dimitrov made a strong start and managed the gap – plus two safety car restarts – to score his third victory of the 2021 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost season in the reverse grid race at Donington Park.

The British-Bulgarian racer made a good getaway from the front row to apply early pressure to team-mate and pole-sitter Cameron McLeod, before completing a move around the outside of Redgate to annex the race lead on the second tour.

From there, his buffer at the front fluctuated with the help of two safety car interruptions, but on both occasions he was able to get the jump on the chasing pack and retain the advantage.

The first of those safety car stoppages came after contact between Carlin’s Kai Askey and McLeod at the Old Hairpin whilst disputing the runner-up spot left the #50 Arden challenger, on the outside, spinning and in the gravel, although he was able to resume shortly after.

That put Askey into second and on Dimitrov’s tail; despite hounding the race leader for the remainder of the race, an opportunity to pass never presented itself, with Askey ultimately taking the chequered flag a mere 0.220 seconds adrift.

Zak Taylor (Arden) made a mistake in the opening laps and allowed both Carlin’s James Hedley and Marcos Flack (Argenti) to capitalise, but rallied as the race wore on and gradually clawed his way back up the order to round out the podium in third.

The move came at McLeans, with the Gloucestershire teen pouncing on an ill-fated attempt by Hedley to wrestle second from team-mate Askey to take the inside line and round out the rostrum.

Hedley took fourth ahead of Flack, whilst behind Matthew Rees (JHR) kept a cool head through the chaos to go from a pit lane start to finish seventh behind chief title rival Matias Zagazeta (Argenti).

Despite finishing behind, the added bonus points for overtaking mean that Rees will head into the ITV4-televised finale later this afternoon with 4-point margin at the top of the standings.

Joel Granfors (Fortec) secured the last regular points-paying spot in eighth, the top ten completed on this occasion by Aiden Neate (Argenti) and David Morales (Arden).

Dougie Bolger (Carlin) led home McKenzy Cresswell (JHR) in 11th and 12th after an off-track excursion for the latter at McLeans; team-mate Joseph Loake would also be in the wars in the final JHR challenger after a coming together with Eduardo Coseteng (Argenti) left both on the sidelines at the same corner.

McLeod completed the finishers after recovering from his moment at the Old Hairpin via the pit lane, with Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak the other non-finisher after contact with Neate put the Thai racer off at Redgate.

Race 3: Rees cements points lead with emphatic victor

Matthew Rees scored an emphatic victory in the final F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost race of the weekend at Donington Park.

The result, secured by the JHR Developments racer over chief title rival Matias Zagazeta (Phinsys by Argenti) by 12.4 seconds, elevates Rees 12 points clear in the title race with three races remaining at Brands Hatch in a fortnight, and puts him in the frame to seal the Rookie Cup honours.

It would be fellow front-row starter and Rees’ team-mate McKenzy Cresswell who led during the opening exchanges, the latter making a move stick around the outside of Redgate on the opening tour to move ahead.

Rees held firm on the run down the Craner Curves and through the Old Hairpin to pull back alongside for the lead, with Zagazeta attempting to buy into the move on the inside of a three-wide battle heading down to McLeans.

Contact was inevitably made, the Peruvian skating wide across the gravel before re-joining further down the pack, and with second-placed Cresswell now nursing a damaged front wing, his chances at re-passing Rees were effectively over.

The Welsh teenager than set about making good his escape, and enjoyed an unchallenged run to the chequered flag. The battle for the runner-up spot, however, proved to be an absolute classic.

Initially, Cresswell found he had some breathing space as third-placed Aiden Neate (Argenti) fended off the recovering Zagazeta and Joel Granfors in the sole Fortec Motorsport challenger.

That soon evaporated after Zagazeta cleared Neate for the final spot on the podium, however, and the erstwhile points leader was able to make a similar move to that of Cresswell around the outside of Redgate with a few minutes left on the clock to assume second on the road.

Granfors soon followed Zagazeta past Cresswell, demoting the JHR racer to fourth in the final reckoning. A final lap collision at Redgate between Neate and Joseph Loake (JHR) left both in the gravel, with Carlin’s Dougie Bolger accepting the gift and moving up into fifth spot.

Zak Taylor charged up the order in the leading Arden Motorsport Red Arrow to take sixth, the Gloucestershire teen thrilling the ITV4 audience with a net gain of six positions across the 20-minute contest.

Marcos Flack (Argenti) rounded out a solid weekend in seventh, with James Hedley (Carlin) next; Eduardo Coseteng (Argenti) and Kai Askey (Carlin) complete the top ten runners on this occasion.

Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak finished just two tenths ahead of Cameron McLeod for 11th and 12th positions, Loake eventually recovering to finish 13th ahead of race two winner Georgi Dimitrov (Arden). David Morales was next, with Neate similarly making it back on circuit to finish, albeit an unlucky 16th.

Three races remain in the 2021 season, with Rees and Zagazeta now set for a Brands Hatch showdown in a fortnight (23-24 October).