Newly crowned Formula Regional Europe champion Andrea Kimi Antonelli topped pre-event testing for the final round of the season at Hockenheim.
R-ace GP’s Tim Tramnitz was fastest in the first of three test sessions on Thursday, setting a 1m51.728s to lead Antonelli by just 0.031 seconds. His Prema team-mate Rafael Camara was a further 0.09s behind in third, and Arden’s Joshua Duerksen was 0.272s back in fourth with just under a second covering the top 12 on pace.
The half-hour session took place in the wet, and the track had significantly gripped up for the 26-and-a-half minutes of session two. Antonelli lowered the pace to 1m37.424s, with every single driver at least 11s quicker than Tramnitz’s session one benchmark.
This time Tramnitz was second fastest, 0.068s slower than Antonelli, and his R-ace team-mate Martinius Stenshorne was 0.187s behind in third. Van Amersfoort Racing’s Kas Haverkort was 0.344s off Antonelli in fourth.
Camara was fifth, Trident drivers filled positions six to eight and Nikita Bedrin was ninth fastest on his first outing with VAR after making his debut in the previous round with Monolite Racing.
Heavy rain hit again for the 24-minute session three, topped by Tramnitz with a 1m52.796s lap. Camara were 0.036s and 0.12s slower than him in second and third. Monolite Racing’s Valentin Kluss failed to set any laps.
Free practice one took place the next morning on a wet track, and was twice interrupted by red flags. Tramnitz was the pacesetter, and at the halfway point of the session – when the red flags were out – he topped the timesheet with a 1m53.140s.
Sainteloc Racing’s Esteban Masson was 0.103s behind, and Antonelli was third fastest at that point. Race Performance Motorsport’s Maceo Capietto took over third place with 15 minutes to go, but half a minute later Antonelli went fastest with a 1m52.883s.
Stenshorne knocked 0.44s off the pace a minute after that, then Tramnitz returned to the top by half a second. That gap was reduced to 0.4s by Stenshorne with 10 minutes to go, but Tramnitz then improved to 1m51.623s to lead Antonelli by 0.633s going into the final seven minutes.
MP Motorsport’s Sami Meguetounif lapped 0.511s off Tramnitz’s benchmark, then with two-and-a-half minutes remaining the session was ended by red flags caused by Masson. Antonelli and Stenshorne ended the morning third and fourth fastest, with G4 Racing’s Alessandro Giusti in fifth. Capietto and Duerksen were the only other two drivers within a second of the pace.
The track dried to a degree for FP2, but it was still a session filled with drama. Haverkort was fastest at first, followed by Stenshorne, and then Camara as he became first to lap sub-1m54s. Antonelli was on top not long after, briefly being usurped by Meguetounif before Masson went fastest by 0.187s.
Tramnitz was next to lead the way, then Haverkort got into the 1m52s. Antonelli beat him by 0.3s, and was still on top when red flags waved 17 minutes in after Arden’s Tom Lebbon struck trouble.
A flurry of improvements with 19 minutes to go put Meguetounif back on top, and Antonelli down in 12th, but he reclaimed first place with a 1m50.652s. Masson and Stenshorne brought the pace into the 1m49s, then Tramnitz and Stenshorne went fastest.
Trident’s Roman Bilinski went 1.294s faster than anyone else but had his lap deleted, however Capietto then went 1.615s clear at the top with five minutes remaining. He improved by another 1.2s but that lap was deleted, so Bilinski then moved ahead with a 1m46.042s.
Soon Haverkort set a 1m45.149s, then Capietto lapped 0.854s faster before Antonelli went 0.118s faster than him.
Giusti set a 1m43.893s after the chequered flag, and Capietto a deleted 1m42.778s, which then left Haverkort on top with a 1m43.231s. The top two had their laps deleted, putting Giusti back ahead with Meguetounif in second as Bedrin caused red flags to appear.
|1||Andrea Kimi Antonelli||Prema||1m37.424s|
|2||Tim Tramnitz||R-ace GP||1m37.492s||+0.068s|
|3||Martinius Stenshorne||R-ace GP||1m37.611s||+0.187s|
|4||Kas Haverkort||Van Amersfoort Racing||1m37.768s||+0.344s|
|9||Nikita Bedrin||Van Amersfoort Racing||1m38.069s||+0.645s|
|10||Alessandro Giusti||G4 Racing||1m38.198s||+0.774s|
|11||Laurens van Hoepen||ART Grand Prix||1m38.230s||+0.806s|
|12||Victor Bernier||MP Motorsport||1m38.370s||+0.946s|
|14||Maya Weug||KIC Motorsport||1m38.471s||+1.047s|
|2||Sami Meguetounif||MP Motorsport||1m44.166s||+0.273s|
|7||Esteban Masson||Sainteloc Racing||1m44.349s||+0.456s|
|11||Van Hoepen||ART Grand Prix||1m45.485s||+1.592s|
|13||Evan Giltaire||ART Grand Prix||1m45.587s||+1.694s|
|14||Enzo Scionti||Monolite Racing||1m45.594s||+1.701s|