Home Featured Camara wins first Italian F4 race at Imola after Antonelli hits trouble

Camara wins first Italian F4 race at Imola after Antonelli hits trouble

by Roger Gascoigne

Photo: ACI Sport

Rafael Camara took victory in the first race of the Italian Formula 4 season at Imola after Prema team-mate Andrea Kimi Antonelli was forced to retire from the lead with mechanical problems.

Before Antonelli’s retirement the duo had fought a close battle for the lead, but with Camara unable to find a way past.

Ferrari junior Camara made a strong getaway from the front row to challenge poleman Antonelli into Tamburello and around the first lap but the Mercedes-AMG junior was able to resist the attacks to retain the lead.

US Racing’s Alex Dunne was another strong starter, latching onto the tail of the PHM Racing duo of Nikita Bedrin and Taylor Barnard.

After the first safety car period, caused by Ricardo Escotto, Camara was immediately back onto his team-mates tail, looking for a way past into Tamburello again.

The race was soon neutralised again as Brando Badoer ground to a halt in the middle of the circuit on the run down from Variante Alta.

This time Antonelli was able to pull out a gap of over 1s at the front, as Dunne passed Barnard into Piratella for fourth.

Prema’s Conrad Laursen was right under the rear wing of team-mate Wharton into Rivazza, and seemed to completely miss his braking point, spearing off into the gravel, though thankfully some distance from the circuit.

On lap 10 Antonelli suddenly slowed, handing the lead to Camara, before pulling into the pits to retire with a gearbox issue that left him unable to shift up to fifth gear.

Dunne completed his progress through the field, demoting Bedrin for second, before the safety car made its last appearance of the race as Frederik Lund was launched over Arias Deukmedjian’s car under braking for Tamburello.

Camara came under late pressure from Dunne but held him off to win by 0.338s, with Bedrin resisting Wharton for the final podium place. Any late overtaking moves were hindered by double waved yellows at Tamburello, Alex Partyshev being the guilty party on this occasion.

Race results (15 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Rafael Camara Prema Racing 32m47.517s
2 Alex Dunne US Racing +0.338s
3 Nikita Bedrin PHM Racing +1.297s
4 James Wharton Prema Racing +1.678s
5 Martinus Stenshorne Van Amersfoort Racing +3.763s
6 Taylor Barnard PHM Racing +4.445s
7 Charlie Wurz Prema Racing +5.205s
8 Marcus Amand US Racing +5.476s
9 Ivan Domingues Iron Lynx +7.040s
10 Maya Weug Iron Lynx +7.390s
11 Emerson Fittipaldi Jr Van Amersfoort Racing +7.695s
12 Alfio Spina BWR Motorsport +8.619s
13 Nikhil Bohra US Racing +8.792s
14 Jonas Ried PHM Racing +9.856s
15 Ethan Ischer Jenzer Motorsport +14.249s
16 Jules Castro Van Amersfoort Racing +14.525s
17 Viktoria Blokhina PHM Racing +14.557s
18 Pedro Clerot AKM Motorsport +14.946s
19 Marcos Flack R-ace GP +15.093s
20 Andrea Frassineti Cars Racing +17.601s
21 Rishab Jain BWR Motorsport +21.560s
22 Ismail Akhmed AKM Motorsport +22.660s
23 Elia Sperandio Maffi Racing +52.982s
24 Alex Partyshev Jenzer Motorsport +2 laps
25 Andrea Kimi Antonelli Prema Racing +5 laps
26 Arias Deukmedjan Van Amersfoort Racing +5 laps
27 Frederik Lund R-ace GP +5 laps
Ret Kacper Sztuka US Racing
Ret Conrad Laursen Prema Racing
Ret Brando Badoer Van Amersfoort Racing
Ret Pedro Perino US Racing
Ret Ricardo Escotto Cram Motorsport
Ret Giovanni Maschio AS Motorsport
Fastest lap: Antonelli, 1m45.751