Home Formula RegionalFRegional European Championship Barashi and Gao join FREC’s Hungaroring grid, Badoer tops test

Barashi and Gao join FREC’s Hungaroring grid, Badoer tops test

by Ida Wood

Photo: Dutch Photo Agency

Two additions to the grid for this weekend’s Formula Regional European Championship round at the Hungaroring were announced during Thursday’s pre-event test.

Isaac Barashi will stand in for Nikita Bedrin at MP Motorsport, as the Russian is racing in the FIA Formula 3 Championship round at Barcelona instead, and Yujia Gao will drive KIC Motorsport’s third entry which Costa Toparis started the season in.

The arrival of both FREC debutants is a surprise, since only three days prior Barashi had been announced as joining Chris Dittmann Racing in the supporting GB3 races at the Hungaroring, while Gao’s only experience above Formula 4 in single-seaters is a FRegional Middle East campaign in which he came 31st in the standings and finished no higher than 17th. The pair ended FREC’s test in 30th and 32nd place respectively.

Brando Badoer led a Van Amersfoort Racing one-two in the test, with all but four drivers setting their best laps in the second of the day’s two sessions.

R-ace GP’s Tuukka Taponen topped session one, setting a 1m40.631s and leading Badoer by 0.057 seconds. Taponen’s team-mate Enzo Deligny was a further 0.09s behind in third, and ART Grand Prix’s Evan Giltaire was 0.294s back in fourth. A second covered the top 20, with Prema’s Ugo Ugochukwu the only driver to complete less than 20 laps and ending up down in 28th place.

The pace was lowered by over half a second in session two, with Badoer setting a 1m40.104s. He had a 0.163s gap to team-mate Pedro Clerot, with ART GP’s Alessandro Giusti just 0.009s further behind in third. Prema’s points leader Rafael Camara was the only other driver within a quarter of a second of Badoer, and Taponen completed a top five spread by 0.409s. Everyone else was more than half a second off the pace, with a second splitting the top 17 at the end of the day.