Home Formula RegionalFRegional European Championship Antonelli fastest in FREC practice at wet and windy Zandvoort

Antonelli fastest in FREC practice at wet and windy Zandvoort

by Roger Gascoigne

Photo: FRECA

Prema’s Andrea Kimi Antonelli was fastest in both Formula Regional European Championship practice sessions at Zandvoort as strong winds and rain made driving extremely difficult.

Frequent stoppages disrupted both sessions, each ended early by red flags.

Rafael Camara was second fastest overall, just 0.034 seconds shy of team-mate Antonelli, with R-ace GP’s Tim Tramnitz and Race Performance Motorsport’s Maceo Capietto third and fourth.

Although the morning rain abated for the start of FP1, track conditions remained tricky throughout and restricted the field to wet tyre running, although with the weather forecast predicting showers throughout the weekend, the experience could prove valuable.

Red flags waved before any laptimes were set, as Monolite Racing’s Giovanni Maschio went off on the exit of turn six. The session restarted eight minutes in but was stopped again seven minutes later as G4 Racing’s debuting Francisco Soldavini pulled off on the run to turn 11.

No driver had completed more than four laps at that point, and Kas Haverkort was fastest ahead of Roman Bilinski and Victor Bernier, while Alessandro Giusti, Niels Koolen and Prema’s trio did not have any laptimes to their names.

FP1 restarted with 29 minutes to go, and Antonelli quickly moved to the front, ahead of Capietto, who is R-P-M’s sole driver this weekend as Santiago Ramos is absent, seemingly for budgetary reasons.

Antonelli improved again later, the only driver to lap sub-1m43s, with Capietto holding onto second place but almost half a second adrift when red flags ended the session with three minutes left on the clock.

Tramnitz, who topped pre-event testing, was third fastest and just 0.002s ahead of team-mate Martinius Stenshorne. Giusti and Camara completed the top six.

FP2 in the afternoon started in gale force winds and rain, making conditions extremely difficult, although the wind direction from the south boosted speeds along the pit straight. Capietto set the early pace, recording a 1m43.627s on his fourth tour.

Monolite’s debuting Nikita Bedrin initially slotted into second. However, he was quickly demoted by Camara and then Antonelli, the Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 junior going just 0.008s slower than Capietto. Both were slower than the morning pace.

Antonelli moved to the top on his eighth lap with a 1m43.364s, which Capietto was unable to match him despite going fastest in the second and third sectors.

Two laps later Antonelli went faster still, but this time Capietto could match him, a 1m43.091s putting him 0.13s clear at the top. Giusti meanwhile moved up to third, ahead of the evenly matched Tramnitz and Stenshorne.

Going fastest overall in sector three helped propel Van Amersfoort Racing’s Haverkort to third with 20 minutes remaining, and when team-mate Koolen got beached in the gravel at Tarzan it brought out red flags for the first time in FP2.

Running resumed with 10 minutes left, and Antonelli set a 1m42.344s to beat his morning benchmark. Tramnitz briefly moved up to second before a flyer from Camara put him into the position, 0.103s behind his team-mate.

FP2 ended two minutes early after series returnee Pierre-Louis Chovet brought had a red flag-causing incident.

Pierre-Alexandre Provost was the only driver whose fastest lap came in FP1.

Free pracrice results
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Andrea Kimi Antonelli Prema 1m42.344s 18
2 Rafael Camara Prema 1m42.447s +0.103s 16
3 Tim Tramnitz R-ace GP 1m42.720s +0.376s 20
4 Maceo Capietto R-P-M 1m42.793s +0.449s 17
5 Martinius Stenshorne R-ace GP 1m42.936s +0.592s 19
6 Alessandro Giusti G4 Racing 1m42.981s +0.637s 15
7 Joshua Duerksen Arden 1m42.984s +0.640s 18
8 Marcus Amand ART Grand Prix 1m43.052s +0.708s 17
9 Nikhil Bohra Trident 1m43.082s +0.738s 18
10 Roman Bilinski Trident 1m43.155s +0.811s 17
11 Maya Weug KIC Motorsport 1m43.182s +0.838s 20
12 Laurens van Hoepen ART Grand Prix 1m43.184s +0.840s 15
13 Evan Giltaire ART Grand Prix 1m43.210s +0.866s 17
14 Kas Haverkort Van Amersfoort Racing 1m43.261s +0.917s 19
15 Matias Zagazeta R-ace GP 1m43.313s +0.969s 20
16 Nikita Bedrin Monolite Racing 1m43.347s +1.003s 19
17 Javier Sagrera MP Motorsport 1m43.426s +1.082s 20
18 Emmo Fittipaldi Sainteloc Racing 1m43.443s +1.099s 19
19 Victor Bernier MP Motorsport 1m43.537s +1.193s 19
20 Lorenzo Fluxa Prema 1m43.826s +1.482s 17
21 Owen Tangavelou Trient 1m43.839s +1.495s 18
22 Sami Meguetounif MP Motorsport 1m43.840s +1.496s 20
23 Ivan Domingues Van Amersfoort Racing 1m43.952s +1.608s 18
24 Tom Lebbon Arden 1m44.156s +1.812s 20
25 Pierre-Louis Chovet Sainteloc Racing 1m44.176s +1.832s 18
26 Pierre-Alexandre Provost G4 Racing 1m44.803s +2.459s 15
27 Enzio Scionti Monolite Racing 1m45.069s +2.725s 19
28 Ivan Klymenko KIC Motorsport 1m45.276s +2.932s 19
29 Niels Koolen Van Amersfoort Racing 1m45.322s +2.978s 15
30 Francisco Soldavini G4 Racing 1m45.871s +3.527s 19
31 Giovanni Maschio Monolite Racing 1m46.084s +3.740s 18
32 Santiago Ramos R-P-M no time