Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine, German Formula 4 and British formula 4 started the 2022 season at Spa and Donington Park | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine, German Formula 4 and British formula 4 started the 2022 season at Spa and Donington Park

26.04.22

In Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine, Prema Racing’s Dino Beganovic claimed his first victory by winning the first round of the season under wet conditions. Then in the second race, it was Paul Aron who led every lap and won his first race of the season.

In German Formula 4, two wins for Prema’s driver Antonelli at season-opener in Spa and the Rookie Camara claims his first win of the season in Race 3.

In British Formula 4, Alex Dunne won the opening race season and the third one. Georgi Dimitrov holds firm in thrilling reverse grid contest.

Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine

This year some innovations concern the Push-to-Pass system that allows to trigger additional engine performance for a period of time when activated by a button. Another innovation are the new Pirelli tires (230/570-13 SLICKDMB front and 300/590-13 SLICKDMB back), specially developed with the collaboration of the Scuola Federale ACI Sport, with high levels of grip and consistency.

 

Dino Beganovic dominates a rain-affected race one at Monza

Prema Racing’s Dino Beganovic claimed his first Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine victory in the opener race of the weekend at Monza.

The heavy rain has not scared the Sweden racer, who headed Michael Belov (MP Motorsport). R-ace GP’s Lorenzo Fluxa completed the podium with a battling drive to the third place. The Spaniard claimed his first podium finish after contending the position with teammate Hadrien David. The French finished fourth ahead of Kas Haverkort (Van Amersfoort Racing).

Gabriel Bortoleto (R-ace GP) was sixth ahead of Mari Boya (ART Grand Prix), with Sebastian Montoya emerging among the 20 rookies to take the eighth overall position.

Sami Meguetounif (MP Motorsport) finished ninth. Some post race penalties promoted Trident Motorsport’s Leonardo Fornaroli to the tenth position.

The race was slowed by three safety car periods. The first one due to the contact between Laurens van Hoepen (ART Grand Prix) and Eduardo Barrichello (Arden Motorsport). It forced the Brazilian to return to the pits while the Dutchman had to retire. At the restart, second placed Gabriele Minì hit the rear of the leader’s car. After a short pit stop the Italian made a great recovery from the back of the field to the fifteenth position.

“It’s a good way to start the season – said Beganovic – It was a tricky race and we had to be careful with the brakes and the traction. I’m happy for this result. Tomorrow we hope to confirm another good performance”.

 

A light-to-flag victory for Paul Aron in Monza

Paul Aron led every lap as he claimed his first victory of the season in Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine. 

The Estonian driver started from pole position after setting the fastest lap in qualifying, and gradually built up a strong lead over teammate Dino Beganovic, who finished second to make it a stunning one-two finish for Prema Racing.

Beganovic, yesterday’s race winner, held off a first lap challenge from Gabriele Minì (ART Grand Prix), who settled for third place. The Italian claimed what could have been his in the first race after he was in contention with the Swedish driver for a podium finish before contact forced him to return to the pits.

Van Amersfoort Racing’s Kas Haverkort was fourth, less than a second away from the podium trio, and 0.487 seconds clear of Michael Belov.

ART Grand Prix’s Mari Boya finished just under five tenths behind MP Motorsport bearer, with Hadrien David taking seventh for R-ace GP.

Sebastian Montoya (Prema Racing) was the fastest rookie as well as scoring eighth position overall with Gabriel Bortoleto (R-ace GP) and Maceo Capietto (Monolite Racing) completing the top-10.

Two safety car periods were needed, the first one due to the contact between Pietro Armanni (Monolite Racing) and Hamda Al Qubaisi (Prema Racing) who both retired. The second one for contact at the same corner (Variante della Roggia) that involved Santiago Ramos (KIC Motorsport) and Keith Donegan (RPM), who will receive a two place grid drop at Imola. The same penalty was imposed to Armanni.

“It was a really good race and overall a really good day for me and the team – said Aron –  We were a little bit unlucky yesterday, the pace was there the whole weekend, but we had a broken front wing in qualifying which there is nothing we can do about. So for the first race we started quite far back and I also lost the front wing in the race. So today we knew we had the pace and luckily I was able to show it in qualifying and now in the race. I had a really good start and after that it was quite easy to manage the race with the tyres.”

The field will be back in action again at Imola (May 07-08) for the second round of the year.

 

GERMAN FORMULA 4

Formula 4 Germany started in 2022 with the new, sustainable fuel "Shell Blue Gasoline 98 GT Masters". This fuel is produced according to EN 228 with min. RON 98 and max. 10% ethanol. It consists of approx. 50% renewable certified components and corresponds to standard fuel, which is thus also approved for classic distribution at public filling stations for normal road traffic. It is neither a biofuel nor any other so-called eFuel. Newly registered road vehicles have had to be designed for the use of E10 since 2012.

Two wins for Prema driver Antonelli at season-opener in Spa

Italian driver Andrea Kimi Antonelli (Prema Racing) celebrated a pair of wins at the season-opener in the ADAC Formula 4 and on the debut of the new Formula 4 race car in Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium. The 15-year-old benefited from two pole positions and proved unbeatable on Saturday. There were some thrilling duels for the positions behind him on the 7.004-kilometre circuit. The best rookie was Rafael Camara (Prema Racing) from Brazil, who completed both races in second place. Austrian driver Charlie Wurz, son of the former Formula 1 driver Alex Wurz, finished third in the first race and his Australian Prema team-mate James Wharton celebrated his first podium finish in the second race.
Antonelli was initially able to defend his position in the first race, but was overtaken by Marcus Amand (16/FRA/US Racing) after a few turns during some spectacular slipstream duels. However, the Italian struck back two laps later and reclaimed first place. The Mercedes Junior then held on to that position and celebrated victory. He was followed by a three-way battle for the remaining podium spots. Camara finished stronger, holding off the challenge of his Austrian team-mate Wurz. Conrad Laursen (16/DNK/Prema Racing) crossed the finishing line in fourth, with Amand in fifth.

In spring temperatures of 16 degrees, Antonelli also started the second race of the season from first place. The championship leader defended his position at the start of the 30-minute race on the current Formula 1 circuit, turning first into the ‘La Source’ hairpin. In the early phase of the race, Amand moved up from sixth to second place but a drive-through penalty then saw him finish eighth. This reopened the battle for the podium: Camara first moved past Wharton and defended second place. The 15-year-old was rewarded for moving up from eighth place with a podium finish, becoming the second-best driver in the rookie standings. Kacper Sztuka (16/POL/US Racing) and Nikita Bedrin (16/ITA/PHM Racing) finished in fourth and fifth positions. German driver Jonas Ried (17/PHM Racing) from Ehingen made a successful debut in the ADAC high-speed school, finishing seventh. Antonelli was delighted with the win and at securing the double triumph in the team standings for Prema Racing.

 

Rookie Camara claims his first win of the season in Spa

Rafael Camara (Prema Racing) celebrated his maiden victory in ADAC Formula 4 on Sunday. After a host of overtaking manoeuvres and an action-packed final third of the race at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, the Brazilian eventually emerged triumphant ahead of Kacper Sztuka (US Racing) from Poland and his Danish team-mate Conrad Laursen. In doing so, Camara presented the Prema Racing team with its third victory at the season-opener, which took place at the Formula 1 circuit in the Ardennes, Belgium. “I am overjoyed to have won. That was hard work, but a lot of fun. The whole weekend has just been great,” said Camara. The 16-year-old finished runner-up in both races on Saturday.

The race, which featured on the support programme for the 24H Series, saw 21 drivers from 17 countries go head-to-head in brand-new, 180-hp Tatuus Formula 4 cars. Pole-sitter Marcus Amand (US Racing) made a good start in dry conditions and temperatures around 11 degrees Celsius. The field initially remained closely bunched together, thanks to the appearance of the safety car on lap two. At the re-start, the 16-year-old Frenchman was wide awake and successfully defended his lead. Behind him, some spectacular slipstream battles played out on the long Kemmel straight, as the order was given a real shake-up.

This all allowed Amand to open a small gap ahead of the chasing pack, while Camara set about working his way through the field: Having started from seventh on the grid, he found himself running second after six laps. The decisive overtaking manoeuvre took place on lap nine of the 7.004-kilometre circuit, as Camara passed Sztuka to take the lead. “The first podium in ADAC Formula 4 feels good. I could definitely have won, but I am happy with second place,” said 16-year-old Sztuka, who started the race from fifth place.

Third across the finish line was Laursen. The 16-year-old produced an impressive fightback to guide his car onto the podium from 19th on the grid. “I cannot believe I made it onto the podium. The traffic was mad at the start, but I then quickly found my rhythm and kept my cool,” said Laursen. Andrea Kimi Antonelli (15/ITA) finished fourth behind his team-mate. The reverse grid rule meant Saturday’s double winner started from eighth place. Charlie Wurz (16/Prema Racing) also made up plenty of positions: The son of former Formula 1 driver Alex Wurz started the 30-minute race from 17th place but still made it into the top five. Came home behind the Austrian in sixth, followed by the second-best rookie, Alfio Spina (15/ITA/BWR Motorsport), in seventh place. Nikita Bedrin (16/ITA/PHM Racing), James Wharton (15/AUS/Prema Racing) and Rasmus Joutsimies (19/FIN/Jenzer Motorsport) completed the top ten.

The second race weekend in the ADAC’s high-speed school will also share the bill with the 24H Series, this time at the Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg from 13th to 15th May, when the stars of tomorrow will battle it out for more points at the 4.574-kilometre former F1 circuit. Antonelli leads the championship with 62 points, just one point ahead of Camara.

 

BRITISH FORMULA 4

Alex Dunne denies Carlin duo to win season opener

Hitech GP’s Alex Dunne took a controlled victory in the opening round of the 2022 ROKiT F4 British Championship certified by FIA at Donington Park, keeping the Carlin duo of Oliver Gray and Ugo Ugochukwu at arm’s length.

After jumping polesitter Ugochukwu on the run down to the first corner, the Irish racer was never again headed at the front of the field, gradually stretching his legs to pull out an eventual 4.5-second margin at the chequered flag, and deliver victory on both his and Hitech’s debut outing in Britain’s FIA Formula 4 series.

In his absence, the battle for second spot between two Formula 1 junior drivers took center stage. Having followed Dunne through at the start to assume second on the road, Gray found it harder to escape the attention of his team-mate Ugochukwu, with the gap ebbing and flowing between the pair over the course of the 20-minute contest.

Ugochukwu looked – briefly – to have an opportunity to strike into Redgate on the final tour, but a real chance to pass never materialised, and the 15-year-old was forced to settle for the final spot on the rostrum, with the bonus point for setting the Motul Fastest Lap.

Aiden Neate (Phinsys by Argenti) kept a watching brief on the pair ahead but had to settle for fourth on the road, with a 2-second buffer in turn over fifth-placed Joseph Loake (JHR Developments).

Eduardo Coseteng (Hitech) put in arguably the drive of the race to recover from a stall off the line to finish sixth. Having picked his way back through in the opening laps to the foot of the top ten, the Filipino made Redgate a happy hunting ground, dispatching both Virtuosi Racing’s Michael Shin and Daniel Guinchard (Argenti) to move into seventh.

One final move past JHR’s Georgi Dimitrov at McLeans completed a stellar return to the top six; but for that stall, Coseteng clearly had the pace to challenge higher up the order. He finished ahead of Edward Pearson (Virtuosi) and Guinchard in a near dead-heat at the flag, the pair behind settling for seventh and eighth respectively.

Reigning champions JHR made it all three cars in the top ten to kick off their title defence, Dimitrov eventually resting in ninth ahead of Noah Lisle, who was promoted into the top ten as a result of a wide moment at Coppice for Shin.

The South Korean racer eventually finished 13th, behind Oliver Stewart (Hitech) and Adam Fitzgerald (Argenti), and ahead of a battling Joel Pearson (Chris Dittmann Racing) and Daniel Mavlyutov (Hitech GP).

 

Georgi Dimitrov holds firm in thrilling reverse grid contest

JHR Developments’ Georgi Dimitrov successfully fended off team-mate Joseph Loake and a charging Alex Dunne to claim a fourth career victory in the second ROKiT F4 British Championship certified by FIA race of the weekend at Donington Park.

Starting from pole courtesy of setting the tenth fastest time in qualifying, Dimitrov held the advantage over Loake off the line, the latter taking advantage of a stalled Edward Pearson (Virtuosi) to move into second spot.

From there, Dimitrov set about extending his lead out front, which peaked at 1.7 seconds, but he was reeled in over the closing laps as a six-car train formed behind him. After showing his nose on the inside at the Roberts chicane with two laps remaining, Loake tried the outside line at the same corner a lap later, but was forced to take avoiding action over the gravel.

That brought race one winner Alex Dunne into contention, the Hitech GP racer having quietly picked his way through from tenth to the final spot on the podium. As Loake recovered momentum, Dunne struck, moving into second at Hollywood, but there has no time left for him to seriously challenge Dimitrov for the win.

Dimitrov’s winning advantage, therefore, was a slender 0.197 seconds over Dunne, with Loake surviving late contact with a charging Michael Shin (Virtuosi) at McLeans to round out the podium.

Shin continues to go from strength to strength and finished fourth, plus banked the bonus point for the Motul Fastest Lap, with Eduardo Coseteng rounding out the top five. Having kept a watching brief on Dimitrov and Loake’s scrap up front, Daniel Guinchard (Argenti) fell back in the late race action, but still made an advance on the previous day with sixth.

Edward Pearson did well to recover from that start line stall to take seventh, his namesake for Chris Dittmann Racing scoring his first points of the season behind in eighth spot. Ugo Ugochukwu (Carlin) was another to struggle at the start, and spend much of the race frustrated by Hitech’s Oliver Stewart, but eventually found a way past on the outside at McLeans and led the Scot home in ninth and tenth.

Noah Lisle (JHR), Adam Fitzgerald (Argenti) and Daniel Mavlyutov rounded out the finishers, with Aiden Neate (Argenti) and Oliver Gray (Carlin) both forced to retire after making contact at Redgate, causing a broken wing and right-rear puncture respectively.

 

Alex Dunne throws down early gauntlet with lights-to-flag victory

Alex Dunne marked his card as an early championship contender with a controlled, lights-to-flag victory in the final ROKiT F4 British Championship certified by FIA race of the weekend at Donington Park.

The pole-sitter was forced on the defensive by a fast-starting Aiden Neate (Phinsys by Argenti), but successfully held the inside line into Redgate, and from there he was able to escape up the road, building up a 6-second winning margin by the chequered flag.

The result extends Dunne’s early advantage in the overall championship standings to 37 points over Carlin’s Oliver Gray, who finished third after being similarly kept at arm’s length by Neate. Second spot for Neate marks a career-best result for the 15-year-old in his 30th start.

The most engaging battle on track the skirmish for fourth spot between Dunne’s Hitech team-mate Eduardo Coseteng and the Carlin of Ugo Ugochukwu.

Having slipped back to sixth off the start, Ugochukwu rallied and re-passed Loake to move into fifth. He showed excellent one-lap pace to reel Coseteng in thereafter, but a stellar defensive drive by the Filipino racer ensured a clear opportunity to pass never presented itself to the McLaren junior behind.

Reverse grid race winner Georgi Dimitrov moved forward to sixth from the foot of the top ten but was forced to defend heavily in a near photo-finish with Virtuosi Racing’s Edward Pearson. Michael Shin was next in the other Virtuosi challenger, the South Korean racer completing a hat-trick of points finishes on debut.

Loake eventually took ninth, besting Phinsys by Argenti’s Daniel Guinchard by 0.7 seconds after a late-race battle, whilst Hitech’s Oliver Stewart came out on top of a frenetic scrap with JHR’s Noah Lisle and Chris Dittmann Racing’s Joel Pearson in eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth respectively.

Daniel Mavlyutov was next, with Adam Fitzgerald finishing a lap down after being forced to pit early on with a damaged front wing after tagging the car ahead at Coppice.

After a three-week hiatus, Britain’s FIA Formula 4 series heads next to Brands Hatch’s Indy circuit over the weekend of 14-15 May.