Enzo Deligny reduced the points lead of Theophile Nael during Spanish Formula 4’s Sunday races at Estoril, although his title chances remain slim.
The day’s action began with the weekend’s second qualifying session, and five different drivers spent time atop the timesheet. Sainteloc Racing’s Nael was fastest at first, then Global Racing Service’s Carl Bennett was briefly on top before Campos Racing’s Christian Ho brought the pace down into the 1m42s.
Nael went 1.625 seconds faster than Ho on his next lap, but Ho then went 1.037s faster than him. He improved again on his next two laps, and a 1m38.679s laptime kept him on top for two-and-a-half minutes before team-mate Deligny posted a 1m38.5580s. Nael beat that by 0.045s, then MP Motorsport’s Valerio Rinicella shaved another 0.101s off, before Ho secured race three pole by 0.017s over Deligny with a 1m38.335s.
The race two grid was set from each driver’s second-best lap from qualiftying, and Nael took pole by 0.199s with a 1m38.616s lap. He converted that into victory, with Deligny weaving down the pit straight after a slow start but successfully turning his front row spot into second place in the race.
George Zhuravskiy’s car set on fire at the end of the formation lap, meaning another formation lap was required and the race was shortened by a lap. One driver pitted at the end of that formation lap, and when the race did begin Jeronimo Berrio failed to get off the line. Marshals pushed his car to eventually get it going, leading to him being black-flagged, while title contener Valerio Rinicella got spun around at turn one and Jesse Carrasquedo retired in the pits at the end of lap one.
Ho and Matteo De Palo established themselves in third and fourth before the safety car appeared due to Juan Cota spinning. Nael went incredibly early on the lap four restart, while behind Pedro Clerot and Keanu Al Azhari fought over sixth. Clerot got his pass done on the next lap, and Al Azhari later lost another spot to Noah Stromsted who started 13th.
Alex Ninovic was involved in their battles but finished ninth following a failed move on Al Azhari, dropping him behind Valentin Kluss.
Race three was also dramatic, with Al Azhari having a big trip through the gravel on lap one, and the safety car appearing on lap two due to Isaac Barashi, Sebastian Murray and Zhuravskiy colliding. Lin Hodenius pitted for a new front wing following that, and when racing resumed on lap six Deligny took the lead around the outsie of turn one while Andres Cardenas passed Noah Lisle for fifth.
The safety car soon returned to track due to Fernando Barrichello and Alexander Abkhazava colliding, and on the next restart there was further drama as Nael’s rear wing broke and fell down the order. He and Carl Bennett retired in the pits, while Deligny won by 1.35s over Ho who has moved ahead of Rinicella for third in the standings.
Race 2 (14 laps)
1 Theophile Nael Sainteloc Racing 24m47.206s
2 Enzo Deligny Campos Racing +0.807s
3 Christian Ho Campos Racing +1.479s
4 Matteo De Palo Campos Racing +2.387s
5 Pedro Clerot MP Motorsport +2.959s
6 Noah Stromsted Campos Racing +4.270s
7 Keanu Al Azhari MP Motorsport +8.442s
8 Valentin Kluss MP Motorsport +9.295s
9 Alex Ninovic Carlin +10.718s
10 Andres Cardenas Campos Racing +11.070s
Pole: Nael, 1m38.616s
Fastest lap: Stromsted, 1m39.196s
Race 3 (15 laps)
1 Deligny 32m22.873s
2 Ho +1.350s
3 Valerio Rinicella MP Motorsport +2.254s
4 Cardenas +4.737s
5 Clerot +5.402s
6 Noah Lisle Carlin +8.894s
7 Kluss +9.219s
8 Juan Cota Drivex School +10.275s
9 De Palo +11.169s
10 Hiyu Yamakoshi Tecnicar Motorsport +12.810s
P: Ho, 1m38.335s
FL: Clerot, 1m38.968s
1 Nael 242 2 Deligny 181 3 Ho 167 4 Rinicella 164 5 Clerot 140 6 De Palo 109 7 Stromsted 103 8 Cardenas 87 9 Al Azhari 83 10 Lisle 40