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Bearman wins, title rivals retire in Italian F4’s Imola opener

by Ida Wood

Photo: ACI Sport

Ollie Bearman boosted his Italian Formula 4 points lead by a significant amount with victory at Imola while his title rivals failed to finish.

The Van Amersfoort Racing driver led from start to finish, but had to contend with an early safety car restart caused by a dramatic second lap of the race.

Iron Lynx’s Leonardo Fornaroli, who had started second on the grid, had been passed by Prema’s Sebastian Montoya on the opening lap and tried getting back past around the outside of Tamburello. Instead he headed through the gravel, and in the dust he kicked up BVM Racing’s Leonardo Bizzotto clouted VAR’s Bence Valint.

On the restart, Montoya was then tapped in the rear by team-mate Kirill Smal, leading to Smal’s front wing coming off while Montoya’s car started to lose drive a few laps later and dropped him down the order before he took to the pits.

The next of Bearman’s rivals to disappear was Mucke Motorsport’s Joshua Duerksen, who span out of fifth place and then eventually retired.

It calmed down after that, and VAR locked out the podium with Bearman, Nikita Bedrin and Joshua Dufek.

Jenzer Motorsport’s Francesco Braschi got among the latter two drivers, and claimed fastest lap, but his race also ended in the pits with rear-end damage that required inspection of the drivetrain.

That promoted Mucke’s Erick Zuniga to a surprise fourth place, ahead of Prema’s Conrad Laursen and Jenzer’s Samir Ben.

Hamda Al Qubaisi recovered from a stall at the start to finish 18th.

Race results
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Ollie Bearman Van Amersfoort Racing 17 laps
2 Nikita Bedrin Van Amersfoort Racing +2.701s
3 Joshua Dufek Van Amersfoort Racing +3.502s
4 Erick Zuniga Mucke Motorsport +5.706s
5 Conrad Laursen Prema +9.212s
6 Samir Ben Jenzer Motorsport +13.990s
7 Pietro Armanni Iron Lynx +15.128s
8 Piotr Wisnicki Jenzer Motorsport +17.049s
9 Vittorio Catino Cram Motorsport +17.338s
10 Jorge Garciarce Jenzer Motorsport +18.310s
11 Lorenzo Patrese AKM Motorsport +20.729s
12 Santiago Ramos Jenzer Motorsport +22.511s
13 Nicolas Baptiste Cram Motorsport +23.583s
14 Kacper Sztuka AS Motorsport +24.734s
15 Levente Revesz AKM Motorsport +26.043s
16 Cenyu Han Van Amersfoort Racing +27.029s
17 Maceo Capietto Prema +27.570s
18 Hamda Al Qubaisi Prema +29.521s
19 Jonas Ried Mucke Motorsport +34.490s
20 Eron Rexhepi BVM Racing +35.604s
21 Georgios Markogiannis Cram Motorsport +36.809s
22 Maya Weug Iron Lynx +37.149s
23 Pedro Perino DR Formula +43.807s
24 Francesco Braschi Jenzer Motorsport +3 laps
25 Joshau Duerksen Mucke Motorsport +5 laps
Ret Sebastian Montoya Prema
Ret Kirill Smal Prema
Ret Leonardo Fornaroli Iron Lynx
Ret Leonardo Bizzotto BVM Racing
Ret Bence Valint Van Amersfoort Racing
Fastest lap: Braschi, 1m45.304s

Championship standings
1 Bearman 207   2 Tim Tramnitz 116   3 Montoya 99   4 Smal 90   5 Fornaroli 89   6 Dufek 57   7 Duerksen 44   8 Laursen 42   9 Vlad Lomko 37   10 Victor Bernier 30