Home News Alonso protege Nikola Tsolov wins in first weekend in cars in Spanish F4

Alonso protege Nikola Tsolov wins in first weekend in cars in Spanish F4

by Ida Wood

Photo: Spanish F4

Alpine Academy affiliate and Fernando Alonso protege Nikola Tsolov won from pole in the third race of the Spanish Formula 4 opener at Algarve.

The Campos Racing driver, in his first weekend racing single-seaters, was passed on the run to turn one by MP Motorsport’s Tymoteusz Kucharczyk while his team-mate Hugher Barter passed MP driver Valerio Rinicella for third exiting the corner.

Barter attacked Tsolov, but then had Rinicella repass him later around the lap. He reclaimed third though through the long final corner, where Tsolov got in Kucharczyk’s slipstream and passed him entering turn one for the second time.

The safety car was then called out after Jef Machiels – driving for the alliance between Van Amersfoort Racing and Monlau Motorsport – spun and led to Jorge Campos joining him in retirement in the gravel and Ricardo Gracia having to pit.

When racing resumed the top two avoided pressure from Barter as he was being attacked by MP’s Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak who along with team-mate Suleiman Zanfari had passed Rinicella before the safety car.

By the end of the restart lap there was another safety car-requiring incident as Vladislav Ryabov was spun around by Ricardo Escotto, then his stationary car was hit at speed by Gael Julien who was without his rear after being violently mounted by Ricardo Gracia.

Escotto and Gracia made it back to the pits but retired, while Julien and Ryabov emerged seemingly unscathed. The second restart came on what became the last lap, and Tsolov nailed it to lead a huge mass of cars into turn one. Zanfari got inside of Barter for third, and the Australian almost lost another place to Inthraphuvasak who dived down his inside at the hairpin.

Barter went off at the exit but kept fourth position, albeit with the warning flag for track limits abuse, and he then hassled Zanfari to the finish as Tsolov took the win.

Race result (9 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Nikola Tsolov Campos Racing 20m27.224s
2 Tymoteusz Kucharczyk MP Motorsport +0.733s
3 Suleiman Zanfari MP Motorsport +2.248s
4 Hugh Barter Campos Racing +2.534s
5 Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak MP Motorsport +2.736s
6 Robert De Haan VAR/Monlau Motorsport +2.886s
7 Kirill Smal MP Motorsport +3.664s
8 Valerio Rinicella MP Motorsport +3.727s
9 Bruno del Pino Drivex School +4.121s
10 Max Arkhangelskiy Drivex School +4.921s
11 Georg Kelstrup Campos Racing +5.022s
12 Christian Ho MP Motorsport +5.448s
13 Filip Jenic Campos Racing +5.854s
14 Manuel Espirito Santo Teo Martin Motorsport +6.129s
15 Miron Pingasov MP Motorsport +6.360s
16 Daniel Nogales Teo Martin Motorsport +6.422s
17 Lucas Malek GRS +6.882s
18 Noah Lisle Drivex School +7.121s
19 Alvaro Garcia Formula de Campeones +7.241s
20 Sebastian Gravlund MP Motorsport +7.528s
21 Max Mayer Formula de Campeones +7.973s
22 Lola Lovinfosse Teo Martin Motorsport +8.214s
23 Jesse Carrasquedo Jr Campos Racing +8.396s
24 Anshul Gandhi Cram Motorsport +8.728s
Ret Ricardo Escotto Cram Motorsport
Ret Ricardo Gracia GRS
Ret Vladislav Ryabov GRS
Ret Gael Julien Drivex School
Ret Jef Machiels VAR/Monlau Motorsport
Ret Jorge Campos Formula de Campeones
Fastest lap: Tsolov, 1m47.296s

Championship standings
1 Inthraphuvasak 51   2 Barter 45   3 Kucharczyk 42   4 Tsolov 30   5 Zanfari 26   6 Jenic 24   7 Pingaov 16   8 Juilen 10   9 Rinicella 7   10 Kelstrup 6