Marcus Amand took a surprise pole for the second Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine race at Zandvoort as the changeable weather played havoc with the morning’s qualifying.
The Sauber Acandemy driver set the quickest time on the only dry lap of the two qualifying sessions before the heavens opened. Heavy rain and two red flags prevented anybody in Amand’s group getting close to his time.
Wet tyres were obligatory for the second session for Group A, and times began to improve in the early minutes.
However, after a serious accident for KIC Motorsport’s Ivan Klymenko the session was red-flagged, and at the same moment that the restart was announced, the rain returned with a vengeance, forcing the stewards to abandon the session.
Van Amersfoort Racing’s Kas Haverkort had set the fastest time up to that point and will start alongside ART Grand Prix’s Amand as he looks to repeat his race one win.
Prema’s Andrea Kimi Antonelli will start from the fourth row as he looks to wrap up the title ahead of the final round at Hockenheim, with his challenger, Martinius Stenshorne lining up alongside him for R-ace GP.
Despite a damp track, conditions were dry for the start of the first session, for drivers in Group B, although the weekend’s strong winds continued to prove tricky.
Out immediately on slicks, Amand went fastest on his first (and only) flying lap with a time of 1m43.205s, with team-mate Laurens Van Hoepen in second, 0.311s behind.
However, with 10 minutes remaining and only 10 drivers having set a time at all the rain appeared and as everybody returned to the pits to fit wet tyres, conditions worsened as the rain began to pour down.
Back on track, Stenshorne was one of those caught out, spinning through 360° between turns 12 and 13 before rejoining.
The best times were eight seconds off the pace, and when Van Amersfoort Racing’s Niels Koolen found himself beached in the gravel at turn seven, the red flag was shown with four minutes remaining.
After a brief interruption and with the rain having abated, the field was released again but KIC Motorsport’s Maya Weug went off at turn two almost immediately, bringing out another red flag.
With just two minutes left the session was not resumed, leaving the ART Grand Prix pairing in the top two positions, ahead of Prema’s Rafael Camara and G4 Racing’s Alessandro Giusti, with Stenshorne down in fifth.
Frits van Amersfoort had not been optimistic about prospects for the wet conditions, the team having struggled in the wet in testing and , but it was race one winner, Haverkort who set the early pace in the wet session for Group A.
Times dropped quickly as the line began to dry, although Haverkort’s best time of 1m48.703s was still five-and-a-half seconds shy of Amand’s time.
Monolite Racing’s Nikita Bedrin was an impressive second, over 0.6s slower than Haverkort, with R-ace GP’s Tim Tramnitz in third ahead of Antonelli.
With just under five minutes still on the clock KIC Motorsport’s Ivan Klymenko brought out the red flag, putting a temporary halt to the session.
After a brief glimpse of blue sky to the north of the track, and a pause in the rain, the optimism proved misplaced and heavy rain and hail returned, forcing the cancellation of the rest of the session.
|Pos||Driver||Team||Group B||Group A|
|1||Marcus Amand||ART Grand Prix||1m43.205s|
|2||Kas Haverkort||Van Amersfoort Racing||1m48.703s|
|3||Laurens Van Hoepen||ART Grand Prix||1m43.516s|
|4||Nikita Bedrin||Monolite Racing||1m49.353s|
|5||Rafael Camara||Prema Racing||1m43.768s|
|6||Tim Tramnitz||R-ace GP||1m49.843s|
|7||Alessandro Giusti||G4 Racing||1m44.191s|
|8||Andrea Kimi Antonelli||Prema Racing||1m50.260s|
|9||Martinius Stenshorne||R-ace GP||1m44.624s|
|10||Maceo Capietto||Race Performance Motorsport||1m50.366s|
|11||Evan Giltaire||ART Grand Prix||1m45.912s|
|12||Matias Zagazeta||R-ace GP||1m50.957s|
|13||Pierre-Louis Chovet||Sainteloc Racing||1m45.999s|
|14||Emmo Fittipaldi||Sainteloc Racing||1m51.661s|
|15||Tom Lebbon||Arden Motorsport||1m46.870s|
|16||Lorenzo Fluxa||Prema Racing||1m51.784s|
|17||Enzo Scionti||Monolite Racing||1m46.908s|
|18||Pierre-Alexandre Provost||G4 Racing||1m51.902s|
|20||Victor Bernier||MP Motorsport||1m52.081s|
|21||Sami Meguetounif||MP Motorsport||1m51.852s|
|22||Giovanni Maschio||Monolite Racing||1m52.551s|
|23||Javier Sagrera||MP Motorsport||1m58.352s|
|24||Ivan Domingues||Van Amersfoort Racing||1m52.688s|
|25||Joshua Duerksen||Arden Motorsport||1m53.219s|
|27||Francesco Soldavini||G4 Racing||1m58.412s|
|28||Ivan Klymenko||KIC Motorsport||2m00.225s|
|29||Nikhil Bohra||Trident||No time|
|30||Maya Weug||KIC Motorsport||No time|
|31||Niels Koolen||Van Amersfoort Racing||No time|