Home Formula RegionalFRegional European Championship Camara handles traffic best to comfortably claim FREC pole at Spa

Camara handles traffic best to comfortably claim FREC pole at Spa

by Ida Wood

Photo: FRECA

Prema’s Rafael Camara mastered traffic to comfortably claim pole for Formula Regional European Championship race two at Spa-Francorchamps.

Camara was in Group A, whose 15-minute qualifying session came after Group B’s. Iron Dames’ Doriane Pin was absent from the latter and will miss today’s race “due to pain from an earlier flu-like condition”, according to the team.

There was drama early in Group B’s session as Prema’s Ugo Ugochukwu narrowly avoided clashing with KIC Motorsport’s Alex Sawer on the pit straight as he was about to start his first timed lap, then there were further near misses across the field as drivers bunched up and ineffectively sought to then have clean air in front of them.

Van Amersfoort Racing’s Pedo Clerot was at the front of the queue and set the initial pace, a 2m35.059s putting him 9.617 seconds ahead of Prema’s James Wharton.

Wharton moved ahead on the second laps, setting a 2m15.932s to lead Ugochukwu by 0.243s, Race Performance Motorsport’s Noah Stromsted by 0.644s and R-ace GP’s Zachary David by 0.687s. Only three others were within a second of the pace.

Stromsted was fastest next time by, pipping Wharton by 0.054s with a 2m15.592s. Ugochukwu was 0.138s behind, and less than 0.5s covered the top seven. R-P-M’s Giovanni Maschio was the sole non-improver, and went on another flying lap while everyone else committed to a cooldown lap.

Maschio was fastest through sector one on his final lap, with Wharton setting a new sector two benchmark and reclaiming top spot with a 2m15.162s. Ugochukwu was 0.284s behind in second, and Stromsted was third despite having his last lap deleted for track limits abuse.

Trident’s Roman Bilinski, ART Grand Prix’s Evan Giltaire and VAR’s Brando Badoer completed the top six, with David and Sainteloc Racing’s Matteo De Palo failing to improve in seventh and eighth. Clerot ended the session 10th.

Group A had similar traffic problems, and MP Motorsport’s Nikhil Bohra was first to the top with a 2m37.567s. Camara lowered the pace to 2m15.125s on lap two, ensuring the pole-sitter would come from his group, and was fastest by 0.618s over Sainteloc’s Theophile Nael.

Enzos Peugeot and Deligny were fastest in the first two sectors, but their laptimes put them third and last. Bohra fell out of the top 10 after almost hitting Trident’s Niko Lacorte at Les Combes.

Camara had to overtake several cars while improving to 2m14.254s on his next lap, putting him 0.699s ahead of R-ace’s Tuukka Taponen. ART GP’s Alessandro Giusti and R-ace’s Deligny were the only others within a second of him and VAR’s Ivan Domingues was fifth fastest.

Traffic was a huge problem the two laps after, and Camara almost hit G4 Racing’s Jesse Carrasquedo Jr at the end of his final lap before following Deligny by diving into the pits.

Nael, MP’s Valerio Rinicella and Iron Dames’ Marta Garcia were the only improvers, going sixth, ninth and 10th fastest respectively, with Sainteloc’s Peugeot and G4’s Kanato Le in seventh and eighth.

Qualifying results
Pos Driver Team Group B Group A
1 Rafael Camara Prema 2m14.254s
2 James Wharton Prema 2m15.162s
3 Tuukka Taponen R-ace GP 2m14.953s
4 Ugo Ugochukwu Prema 2m15.446s
5 Alessandro Giusti ART Grand Prix 2m15.118s
6 Noah Stromsted R-P-M 2m15.592s
7 Enzo Deligny R-ace GP 2m15.124s
8 Roman Bilinski Trident 2m15.815s
9 Ivan Domingues Van Amersfoort Racing 2m15.293s
10 Evan Giltaire ART Grand Prix 2m15.832s
11 Theophile Nael Sainteloc Racing 2m15.417s
12 Brando Badoer Van Amersfoort Racing 2m15.837s
13 Enzo Peugeot Sainteloc Racing 2m15.581s
14 Zachary David R-ace GP 2m16.042s
15 Kanato Le G4 Racing 2m15.586s
16 Matteo De Palo Sainteloc Racing 2m16.085s
17 Valerio Rinicella MP Motorsport 2m15.605s
18 Edgar Pierre R-P-M 2m16.213s
19 Marta Garcia Iron Dames 2m15.653s
20 Pedro Clerot Van Amersfoort Racing 2m16.348s
21 Ruiqi Liu Trident 2m15.808s
22 Nandhavud Bhirombhakdi KIC Motorsport 2m16.884s
23 Niko Lacorte Trident 2m15.810s
24 Alex Sawer KIC Motorsport 2m16.985s
25 Nikhil Bohra MP Motorsport 2m16.175s
26 Giovanni Maschio R-P-M 2m17.510s
27 Yaroslav Veselaho ART Grand Prix 2m17.078s
28 Romain Andriolo G4 Racing 2m17.728s
29 Jesse Carrasquedo Jr G4 Racing 2m17.356s
30 Lena Buhler ART Grand Prix 2m18.287s
31 Costa Toparis KIC Motorsport 2m17.368s