Home Formula RegionalFRegional European Championship Camara and Antonelli take 1-2 for Prema in first FREC qualifying of 2023

Camara and Antonelli take 1-2 for Prema in first FREC qualifying of 2023

by Roger Gascoigne

Photo: FRECA

Prema duo Rafael Camara and Andrea Kimi Antonelli locked out the front row in qualifying for the opening race of the Formula Regional European Championship season at Imola.

In perfect conditions, Camara set the fastest time of the split qualifying session to ensure pole position, with Antonelli, fastest in group B, starting alongside him for Saturday’s first race.

Camara emerged on top of a thrilling 15-minute session for Group A, edging R-ace GP’s impressive Martinius Stenshorne by just 0.003 seconds with his final lap.

The early pace was set by Stenshorne and his team-mate Tim Tramnitz, but times improved on each successive lap. Camara moved to the top with five minutes remaining, just 0.005s ahead of Trident’s Roman Bilinski, before Tramnitz reasserted himself by 0.004s on his sixth lap.

Camara was on a flyer, and crossed the line in 1m39.253s to put himself almost 0.4s clear. Stenshorne moved up to second before going top in the closing seconds with a 1m39.133s.

Tramnitz was unable to match his team-mates’ pace at the end of the session, ending up a disappointed fourth behind Prema’s Lorenzo Fluxa, who held onto third despite spinning backwards into the gravel at Tamburello in the final minute.

However, there was one last twist remaining as on his final lap Camara pipped Stenshorne to guarantee a front-row grid spot.

G4 Racing’s Alessandro Giusti took a deserved fifth, ahead of MP Motorsport’s Sami Meguetounif and Bilinski, who dropped back as others improved at the end.

At the end of a very tight group session, just 0.75s separated Camara down to Arden’s Joshua Duerksen in 10th.

Race Performance Motorsport’s Santiago Ramos was the first driver to break the 1m40s barrier in Group B’s session, followed immediately by Antonelli. On his fifth lap, the Prema driver was 0.339s behind the Mexican driver but improved next time around to move to the top with a 1m39.303s.

The Van Amersfoort Racing pair of Joshua Dufek and Kas Haverkort moved into the top four, ahead of Trident’s Nikhil Bohra.

With just over a minute remaining, Antonelli lowered his best time by 0.01s but it wasn’t enough to beat Camara’s Group A benchmark.

Haverkort was the only driver to improve on his final lap, jumping to third in the session ahead of Bohra, with Dufek back in fifth having got held up by Antonelli on his final lap.

Qualifying results

Pos Driver Team Group A Group B
1 Rafael Camara Prema 1m39.130s
2 Andrea Kimi Antonelli Prema 1m39.303s
3 Martinius Stenshorne R-ace GP 1m39.133s
4 Santiago Ramos R-P-M 1m39.441s
5 Lorenzo Fluxa Prema 1m39.298s
6 Kas Haverkort Van Amersfoort R 1m39.675s
7 Tim Tramnitz R-ace GP 1m39.413s
8 Nikhil Bohra Trident 1m39.722s
9 Alessandro Giusti G4 Racing 1m39.603s
10 Joshua Dufek Van Amersfoort Racing 1m39.767s
11 Sami Meguetounif MP Motorsport 1m39.629s
12 Laurens van Hoepen ART Grand Prix 1m39.917s
13 Roman Bilinski Trident 1m39.647s
14 Michael Belov G4 Racing 1m39.945s
15 Victor Bernier MP Motorsport 1m39.771s
16 Owen Tangavelou Trident 1m40.183s
17 Matias Zagazeta R-ace GP 1m39.785s
18 Dilano van’t Hoff MP Motorsport 1m40.321s
19 Joshua Duerksen Arden 1m39.884s
20 Maceo Capietto R-P-M 1m40.354s
21 Marcus Amand ART Grand Prix 1m40.295s
22 Charlie Wurz ART Grand Prix 1m40.676s
23 Maya Weug KIC Motorsport 1m40.690s
24 Shannon Lugassy KIC Motorsport 1m40.925s
25 Emmo Fittipaldi Sainteloc Racing 1m40.710s
26 Niels Koolen Van Amersfoort Racing 1m40.988s
27 Enzo Scionti Monolite Racing 1m40.815s
28 Adam Fitzgerald R-P-M 1m41.124s
29 Alex Partyshev KIC Motorsport 1m40.874s
30 Tom Lebbon Arden 1m41.135s
31 Giovanni Maschio Monolite Racing 1m41.746s
32 Levente Revesz Arden 1m41.165s
33 Lucas Medina Sainteloc Racing 1m42.427s