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Bearman extends Italian F4 lead to over 100 points with Imola win

by Ida Wood

Photo: ACI Sport

Ollie Bearman extended his record run of Italian Formula 4 wins to seven in a row in the second race at Imola.

A strong start from pole meant Bearman evaded any opening lap pressure, but the gap he created early on was then whittled down by Iron Lynx’s Leonardo Fornaroli over the next laps until a safety car period then reduced it to nothing.

The safety car was called out after Prema’s Kirill Smal and Jenzer Motorsport’s Francesco Braschi collided at Tamburello. Braschi stopped in the gravel, while Smal kept going in 12th after launching over the kerbs.

Fornaroli attacked Bearman on the restart but then had Bearman’s Van Amersfoort Racing team-mate Nikita Bedrin to defend from too and that meant the lead went unchanged  until the safety car was summoned again a lap later as Eron Rexhepi went off at Villeneuve and Jenzer’s Samir Ben span off at Tamburello. Mucke Motorsport’s Jonas Ried also retired.

The second restart went perfectly for Bearman and Fornaroli, who fled the battling behind to continue their own lead battle. Fornaroli never quite got close enough to pass, although tried to draw alongside entering Tamburello a few times, and Bearman took victory by 0.282 seconds.

Bedrin finished third ahead of Prema’s Sebastian Montoya, who passed Mucke’s Joshua Duerksen down the inside of Tamburello on the penultimate lap.

Montoya attacked Fornaroli at the start of the race but ran through Tamburello and tumbled down the order, with Prema team-mate Smal also making an error that dropped him places. Both recovered places, with Montoya up to seventh by the time of the first safety car period.

He made up another spot on the restart, while Smal had several more trips through the gravel that compounded his progress before retiring in the pits.

VAR’s Joshua Dufek went to pass Duerksen for fifth with a lap to go but locked up and dropped to seventh behind team-mate Bence Valint.

Mucke’s Erick Zuniga stalled at the start and fell to last, but recovered to finish 13th.

Race results

Pos Driver Team Time
1 Ollie Bearman Van Amersfoort Racing 16 laps
2 Leonardo Fornaroli Iron Lynx +0.282s
3 Nikita Bedrin Van Amersfoort Racing +0.820s
4 Sebastian Montoya Prema +1.364s
5 Joshua Duerksen Mucke Motorsport +2.715s
6 Bence Valint Van Amersfoort Racing +3.898s
7 Joshua Dufek Van Amersfoort Racing +4.049s
8 Conrad Laursen Prema +4.789s
9 Pietro Armanni Iron Lynx +9.975s
10 Cenyu Han Van Amersfoort Racing +10.267s
11 Vittorio Catino Cram Motorsport +10.674s
12 Kacper Sztuka AS Motorsport +10.741s
13 Erick Zuniga Mucke Motorsport +11.746s
14 Maya Weug Iron Lynx +12.401s
15 Jorge Garciarce Jenzer Motorsport +12.759s
16 Lorenzo Patrese AKM Motorsport +15.806s
17 Leonardo Bizzotto BVM Racing +15.814s
18 Pedro Perino DR Formula +16.768s
19 Levente Revesz AKM Motorsport +17.047s
20 Piotr Wisnicki Jenzer Motorsport +17.140s
21 Hamda Al Qubaisi Prema +17.538s
22 Santiago Ramos Jenzer Motorsport +18.135s
23 Georgios Markogiannis Cram Motorsport +18.554s
24 Nicolas Baptiste Jenzer Motorsport +18.907s
25 Kirill Smal Prema +1 lap
Ret Samir Ben Jenzer Motorsport
Ret Jonas Ried Mucke Motorsport
Ret Eron Rexhepi BVM Racing
Ret Francesco Braschi Jenzer Motorsport
Ret Maceo Capietto Prema
Fastest lap: Fornaroli, 1m44.791s

Championship standings
1 Bearman 232   2 Tim Tramnitz 116   3 Montoya 111   4 Fornaroli 107   5 Smal 90   6 Dufek 63   7 Duerksen 54   8 Laursen 46   9 Bedrin 44   10 Vlad Lomko 37