Home Featured Amand takes FREC pole in weather lottery at Zandvoort

Amand takes FREC pole in weather lottery at Zandvoort

by Roger Gascoigne

Photo: Dutch Photo Agency

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.

Qualifying results
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
19 Roman Bilinski Trident 1m48.385s
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
26 Owen Tangavelou Trident 1m54.434s
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