Formula Regional and Formula 4 weekend recap | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

Formula Regional and Formula 4 weekend recap

28.09.21

Here's everything you need to know about last weekend's Formula Regional Championships and Formula 4 Championships.

Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine

Race 1

From pole position starts Franco Colapinto (MP Motorsport), and on his side is the Spanish David Vidales (Prema Powerteam). In second row another national driver, the Rookie Mari Boya (Van Amersfoort Racing), and Michael Belov (G4 Racing). In third row are Paul Aron (Prema Powerteam) and Alex Quinn (Arden Motorsport). Gianluca Petecof (KIC Motorsport) starts last on the grid due to the change of the engine on car n11 for the third time this season.

At the start Vidales is faster than Colapinto, comes close to the Argentinian at the first corner and manages to overtake him for a moment, but the MP Motorsport driver is great in reconquering the lead in turn 2, when the Spanish goes wide. From there, it will be a battle of nerves with Vidales at first losing some distance from Colapinto, but then coming back close, even below 5 tenths of a second.

Behind the two is Boya, while Belov tries more times to attack him, but as it often happens is slowed down and Aron nis great in overtaking the G4 Racing driver. Quinn in the meantime keeps well his sixth position.

Behind Eduardo Barrichello (JD Motorsport) makes a good overtake on Oliver Goethe (MP Motorsport) for the 18th position. Grégoire Saucy, starting from the tenth position after having been slowed down during qualifying due to technical problems, does not manage to recover positions, and instead loses a couple and will end up finally 12th.

 

The two leaders, Colapinto and Vidales, continue their battle, with the Spanish pressing and hoping for a mistake by the Argentinian, a mistake that will never come. Boya in third position loses distance and will finally end up more than 3.6 seconds from the lead, but still conquering a fantastic podium.

One of the best drivers of the day is also Zane Maloney (R-ace GP), the driver from Barbados, recovering 4 positions from 12th to 8th, on a track that makes it very difficult to overtake, with few straights and continuous curves.

The second driver in the general standings, Hadrien David (R-ace GP) will end up seventh, recovering 4 points on Saucy, who does not score any in this first race in Valencia. Isack Handjar (R-ace GP) and Dino beganovic (Prema Powerteam) will end up respectively 9th and 10th.

The best lap time of the race will be set by Colapinto on lap 10, in 1:30.257.

10 seconds of time penalties have been gives to Rosso, Pizzi and Goethe, and 25 seconds to Pasma and Ferati, all for not respecting track limits, with the time difference depending on the number of times this has happened.

Race 2

At the start it is Michael Belov (G4 Racing) to start from pole position, in front of the amazingly fast here in Valencia Franco Colapinto (MP Motorsport). Behind the two, in P3, is the championship leader Grégoire Saucy (ART Grand Prix), who after the issue had at the steering wheel on Saturday, is back in the first positions. Great fourth for Isack Hadjar (R-ace GP), Red Bull Ring Junior team driver, who recently had not been performing at his top. In fifth position is his teammate Hadrien David (R-ace GP), second in the championship standings. Sixth and second of the Rookies after Hadjar is Gabriel Bortoleto (FA RAcing), after excellent qualifying.

At the start, Belov is faster than Colapinto and is safe from any attack coming from the Argentinian, who instead is partially side by side with Saucy, who though cannot try an overtake.  Fourth is Hadjar, then an excellent David Vidales (Prema Powerteam), who manages to overtake Hadrien David and Bortoleto immediately in the first turns. Eighth is Zane Maloney, the R-ace GP driver from Barbados. Ninth is Mari Boya (Van Amersfoort Racing), excellent third in Race 1. Tenth is Gabriele Minì (ART Grand Prix), not at his top at Red Bull Ring and here in Valencia.

In a track where it is difficult to overtake, an amazing move by Maloney permits him in a few turns to gain the seventh position from Bortoleto, who goes wide and off track and is finally also overtaken by Boya.

At 23:30 to the end of the race Dino Beganovic (Prema Powerteam) is stopped by technical problems, after setting the best lap time of the race.

The distance between Belov and Colapinto in the first laps is below 1 second, and at 19:00 to the end of the race the Argentinian also tries to attack the Russian, but from too far and with no success. After mid-race, Belov manages to find more speed and increase his advantage to over one second.

In the meantime, Vidales is extremely close to Hadjar and tries more times to overtake him.

8 minutes to the end of the race Josè Garfias (Monolite Racing) and Dino Van T Hoff (MP Motorsport) in the back positions crash and are out of the race. The Safety Car enters on track. At the restart (2:30 to the end of the race), positions do not change. Still, Colapinto is a little more effective than Belov and tries a timid overtake with no success.

Finally, Belov wins in front of Colapinto, Saucy, Hadjar, Vidales, David, Boya, Maloney (losing one position for going off track and gaining advantage), Bortoleto and Minì.

After the Valencia weekend Saucy increases his advantage on David (239 points vs 161) and with 100 points available with the remaining two rounds in Mugello and Monza, the Swiss only needs 22 to conquer the title. Also Zane Maloney is still mathematically in the battle for the championship with 151 points.

The next round of the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine will take place in Mugello on the weekend of the 9-10 October.

Formula Regional Japanese Championship

Yuga Furutani consolidated his Formula Regional Japanese Championship lead at Fuji Speedway. In Race 1, Furutani took the lead to finish over 13 seconds clear from his rivals. Furutani was on pole for race two, but quickly lost the lead to Sawa, the two drivers even making contact during the race. Sawa was then given a penalty which dropped him to 10th, awarding a maiden victory to Miura.

Race 3 began with an early safety car because of contact at Turn 1, while Furutani made another poor start and dropped to fifth. Sawa on his side, jumped to second after the restart, gaining three places in less than two laps. Sawa and Furutani went on to finish the race in 1st and 2nd position.

In the championship, Furutani is now 41 points clear of Sawa with 170 points to his tally. The next round of the championship will be in Sugo on October 9th.

Formula Regional Americas Championship

Missig & Francis Jr. victorious at VIR

Both of Saturday's races at the Andy Scriven Memorial Race Weekend at VIRginia International Raceway were action-packed as Jordan Missig, driver of the No. 48 Autobahn Country Club,  took home his maiden victory in commanding fashion during Race 1, and Ernie Francis Jr., driver of the No. 98 Future Star Racing, Wings & Wheels Foundation, stormed from eighth to first during the second race of the day.

Race 1 saw Dylan Tavella, No. 14 Crosslink Coatings, bring it home second with rookie Ryan Yardley, No. 78 Kiwi Motorsport/Helmet House, on the final step of the podium.

Yardley made up one position in Race 2, finishing second, ahead of Missig.

Francis Jr. Makes It Two in a Row at VIR

Ernie Francis Jr. is now a three-time race winner in FR Americas after a stellar drive to end the Andy Scriven Memorial Race Weekend at VIRginia International Raceway. 

Francis Jr., No. 98 Future Star Racing, Wings & Wheels Foundation, made it two in a row fending off Championship-leader Kyffin Simpson and Varun Choksey who came home second and third respectively. 

Simpson, No. 21 Simpson Race Products/GoPro/Spy Optic, was never so close to clinching the 2021 FR Americas Championship but will have to wait until Circuit of the Americas to pop the bottles of sparkling grape juice. 

Formula 4 United States Championship

Alder & Clark Winners at VIR

Drivers Jason Alder, No. 77 Velocity Racing Development, and Mac Clark, No. 26 Gonella Racing, provisionally win the first two races of the Andy Scriven Memorial Race Weekend at VIRginia International Raceway.

In both races, Nico Christodoulou, No. 22 Velocity Racing Development, and Noel Leon, No. 19 DEForce Racing, took home second and third place respectively.

Alder takes Checkered in Race 3 to close out Andy Scriven Memorial Weekend at VIR. Jason Alder, No. 77 Velocity Racing Development, held off Noel Leon, No. 19 DEForce Racing, and Mac Clark, No. 26 Gonella Racing, during a difficult session marred by full course cautions.

The trio lead charged to the front quickly after the standing start on the 17-turn, 3.27-mile circuit.

The final round of the championship will be held at COTA on the 22nd to 24th of October.

Formula 4 French Championship

The FIA French F4 Championship had an eventful Saturday with setbacks experienced by many title contenders and undisputed success for rookie Elliott Vayron. Macéo Capietto took advantage of this to make the most of the day.

While the majority of the drivers were taking part in their fifth race since the beginning of the season and some of them are repeaters in the discipline, Elliott Vayron succeeded with a masterly victory on his second attempt in F4. On the Monza circuit, whose fast track favours the phenomenon of slipstreaming and overtaking, Saturday began with pole position for Macéo Capietto in difficult conditions, as he tells us…

“The Qualifying session was complicated, with two red flags interrupting our momentum. It all came down to the end of the session and I was able to put in a great lap at the last minute to take pole.” The 18 hundredths separating the top five once again demonstrated the standard of the FFSA Academy Championship.

As expected, Race 1, which took place a few hours later, was not lacking in excitement. On the first lap, Australian Hugh Barter had a problem after starting in 2nd position. An exciting battle ensued between Macéo Capietto, Elliott Vayron and Daniel Ligier, watched by Noah Andy, who made an excellent start. On the fourth lap, Ligier took over from Capietto in the lead of the race. By delaying their braking, the two drivers lost some time shortly before the halfway point and let Elliot Vayron slip away. He was happy to be in the lead and managed the last few laps perfectly, despite the pressure exerted by Capietto at the end of the race, confirmed by a fastest lap.

“It’s great to win on this legendary circuit of Monza,” said Elliott, who will take part in the last races of the season. “The start was a bit of a battle and the first few laps were very competitive. Along with Macéo Capietto and Daniel Ligier, we were able to distance ourselves from the rest of the field and the race finally went in my favour. The last few minutes were intense with Macéo, it reminded me of our beginnings in karting where we competed against each other for several years.”

On Sunday at Monza, the weather turned rainy for the fifth of seven races in the FIA French F4 Championship, leading to the cancellation of Race 3. In the morning, Vayron had won a second consecutive race against Capietto, the new overall leader.

By moving to the Autodromo di Monza as part of the international GT Open series, the FFSA Academy was probably not expecting such an eventful Sunday. First of all, on the track, during a totally crazy Race 2, which led to a series of upsets and suspense that lasted until the last lap! Then the weather was so unsettled that the organisers were forced to cancel Race 3 for legitimate safety reasons. The amount of water on the tarmac and very poor visibility made it impossible to hold a race with young drivers in the middle of their training.

With the start of Race 2 being given in reverse order to the finish of Race 1 for the top 10, Angelina Favario had the honour of starting from pole position. Due to heavy rain, the Race Director decided to start the drivers behind the safety car. The difficult conditions did not prevent Angelina Favario from resisting the pressure perfectly during the first three laps, before the safety car returned following an incident that led to the successive retirements of Noah Andy, Enzo Géraci and Enzo Richer.

The restart was to prove fatal for Angelina, who was relegated to the back of the field. In just one lap, Macéo Capietto moved up from 4th to 1st place with three laps to go. Elliott Vayron, who started 10th just behind Macéo, also found the right feeling in his Mygale-Renault Sport on rain tyres. Back in the wake of Capietto, he tocok the lead and went on to take his second victory of the weekend as well as pocketing the best lap point. In the dry on Saturday and in the rain on Sunday, the recent Feed Racing Volant finalist showed great potential in only his second F4 meeting.

With Vayron not scoring any points in the Championship, Macéo Capietto left Monza with a big score, which puts him neck and neck with Esteban Masson in the title race. Esteban, who started 14th, did not lose out, however, and also made remarkable progress to 4th place behind Daniel Ligier, another great beneficiary of the Italian trip. Already on the podium the day before, Daniel made every effort to repeat his performance. On this track with little grip, the best drivers of the French Championship were present, with 5th place for Owen Tangevelou and the 6th for the Australian Hugh Barter, who came back from 15th position.

The next round of the championship will be held at Circuit Paul Ricard next weekend.

Formula 4 British Championship

Matias Zagazeta was able to extend his advantage out front in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost to 17 points, despite a turbulent weekend (25-26 September) for the chief title contenders at Silverstone.

Ford’s rising stars arrived at the 1.6-mile Northamptonshire venue for the only back-to-back event on this season’s schedule, with Phinsys by Argenti racer Zagazeta having moved into a slender championship lead over Matthew Rees (JHR) at Croft a week prior.

The Peruvian left it late to secure pole position in one of the hardest-fought sessions of the season to-date, a benchmark time of 56.090 seconds enough to narrowly beat team-mate Aiden Neate, with Rees and McKenzy Cresswell occupying the second row.

Rees made the best start from third in the opening race, out-dragging Neate before mounting a challenge on the inside line at Copse for the race lead versus Zagazeta. The pair ran side-by-side for virtually the entire opening tour, with Rees forced to eventually concede and slot into second.

The Welsh teenager kept the pressure up, but Zagazeta weathered the worst of the storm and kept his cool out front to take the chequered flag 0.9 seconds clear and register a fourth victory of the campaign, with Neate third to mark a second successive trip to the rostrum.

That boosted his advantage over Rees in the standings to 11 points, which he was able to extend further by virtue of six overtaking points in a reverse grid race won by Arden Motorsport’s Georgi Dimitrov.

The British-Bulgarian racer was able to use experience to get the better of pole-sitter and team-mate Cameron McLeod in the opening exchanges, the Australian enjoying a spell up front on his debut weekend in the series.

Passing the newcomer had been one thing but staying ahead proved to be entirely another; Dimitrov was kept honest for the duration by McLeod, but ultimately the two Red Arrows finished line-a-stern, Dimitrov annexing his second win of the campaign, and a first for his new team.

Kai Askey (Carlin) claimed the final step on the podium, and the Brit’s late-season charge up the standings would receive a further boost with more silverware in an action-packed, ITV4-televised finale.

Once again, Rees made an excellent start, this time from the front row and the 15-year-old ran side-by-side with Zagazeta on the run through Copse. Their battle allowed Cresswell to buy in on the inside line heading towards Becketts, but contact on the apex dropped the trio back, and allowed Marcos Flack (Argenti) to storm into the lead, albeit briefly.

He was passed a few corners later by a charging Joseph Loake (JHR), the Macclesfield racer making a move stick on the inside at Luffield to secure the race lead.

He would have to endure race-long pressure and two safety car restarts to notch up his third victory of the campaign by 0.3 seconds from Flack and Askey, but behind every major championship contender hit yet more trouble.

The first of the two safety car interventions came about after a collision between a recovering Rees and Fortec’s Joel Granfors; the Swede attempted a bold pass around the outside at Brooklands, ran over the kerb and vaulted onto the engine cover of Rees’ JHR machine at the apex of Luffield, before coming to rest in the gravel trap.

Both were ruled out of competing further. Advantage Zagazeta? It would seem not.

Brooklands was once again the stage as the Peruvian was tagged on the inside by David Morales (Arden), spinning Zagazeta’s car round and breaking the front-left suspension. Oliver Gray (Fortec) was also caught up the incident, putting him on the sidelines prematurely.

Cresswell was able to recover from the opening lap tussle via the pit lane and score points, but could only manage ninth, with a bonus point for fastest lap.

And so victory for Loake moves him into sixth in what is now a seven-driver battle for the honours with six races left to run, starting at Donington Park, Leicestershire on 9-10 October.