Hadrien David took a lights-to-flag victory in the penultimate Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine race of the season at Monza, his second win of the year.
His R-ace GP team-mates Isack Hadjar and Zane Maloney took the other two podium positions, having fought their way through from seventh and fifth respectively on the grid, to give the team the perfect result.
David, whose only previous win had come at Paul Ricard in May, had started from pole and was never seriously threatened. David had been confident for the race, telling Formula Scout after qualifying that “if I get a good start then it will be OK because the pace is very strong”.
It was Franco Colapinto for MP Motorsport who started the strongest from third on the grid, passing Gregoire Saucy of ART Grand Prix into the first chicane on lap 1, as the top three began to ease away from their pursuers.
Hadjar had been particularly disappointed with his qualifying performance, feeling he was losing all his time under braking for the first chicane, but had been confident that a podium place was attainable.
In the early laps, he and Maloney were making strong progress up the order, and on lap 4 Maloney passed his team-mate into the Roggia chicane with Hadjar taking to the escape road but rejoining still ahead.
Saucy passed Colapinto around the outside on the entry to Parabolica to move up to second. Colapinto ran wide at Lesmo on the following lap to let Hadjar past, and then dropped steadily backwards to finish eighth.
Behind David, Saucy and Hadjar joined battle and the two touched into the first chicane on lap 13 with Hadjar needing to use the escape road once more.
With some breathing space behind, Saucy caught up to David’s tail, the Frenchman weaving on the back straight to try to break the tow. However, into the first chicane on lap 15 Saucy made a mistake under braking which allowed Hadjar to move up to second.
The positions seemed to be set but Maloney managed to attack Saucy into the first chicane on the last lap and, despite a response by Saucy into Roggia, was able to hold on to give R-ace GP a clean sweep of the podium positions.
Saucy came home fourth, ahead of Dino Beganovic for Prema Powerteam. Beganovic had made quick progress from 11th on the grid to attach himself to the leading pack, where he ran for most of the race without being able to challenge for one of the top positions.
Beganovic was followed home by Prema team-mates David Vidales and Paul Aron who enjoyed a number of dices as they came through the midfield.
Andrea Rosso was forced to retire after contact on the first lap, and fellow Italian Gabriele Mini also dropped out in the early stages to continue his recent struggles.
Race results (18 laps)
|1||Hadrien David||R-ace GP||32m25.497s|
|2||Isack Hadjar||R-ace GP||+1.159s|
|3||Zane Maloney||R-ace GP||+2.149s|
|4||Gregoire Saucy||ART Grand Prix||+2.561s|
|5||Dino Beganovic||Prema Powerteam||+2.847s|
|6||David Vidales||Prema Powerteam||+3.446s|
|7||Paul Aron||Prema Powerteam||+4.672s|
|8||Franco Colapinto||MP Motorsport||+6.334s|
|9||Gabriel Bortoleto||FA Racing||+6.443s|
|10||Michael Belov||G4 Racing||+7.856s|
|11||Kas Haverkort||MP Motorsport||+13.223s|
|12||Francesco Pizzi||Van Amersfoort Racing||+13.869s|
|15||Sami Meguetounif||R-ace GP||+17.010s|
|16||Patrik Pasma||ART Grand Prix||+17.751s|
|18||Pietro Delli Guanti||Monolite Racing||+25.587s|
|19||Nico Gohler||Kic Motorsport||+26.135s|
|20||Alexandre Bardinon||FA Racing||+26.253s|
|21||Gianluca Petecof||KIC Motorsport||+27.026s|
|22||Callum Hedge||G4 Racing||+27.241s|
|23||Lorenzo Fluxa||Van Amersfoort Racing||+27.580s|
|24||Dilano Van’t Hoff||MP Motorsport||+28.955s|
|25||Ido Cohen||JD Motorsport||+31.299s|
|26||Oliver Goethe||MP Motorsport||+34.176s|
|27||Emidio Pesce||DR Formula||+36.663s|
|28||Tommy Smith||JD Motorsport||+38.347s|
|29||Axel Gnos||G4 Racing||+41.224s|
|30||Lena Buhler||R-ace GP||+42.298s|
|31||Eduardo Barrichello||JD Motorsport||+1 lap|
|Ret||Konsta Lappalainen||KIC Motorsport|
|Ret||Mari Boya||Van Amersfoort Racing|
|Ret||Gabriele Mini||ART Grand Prix|
|Ret||Andrea Rosso||FA Racing|
|Fastest lap: Hadjar, 1m47.236s