Home Formula RegionalFRegional Middle East Francesco Braschi fastest for R-ace GP in FRegional Middle East testing

Francesco Braschi fastest for R-ace GP in FRegional Middle East testing

by Ida Wood

R-ace GP’s Franscesco Braschi ended Formula Regional Middle East’s pre-season test at Dubai Autodrome on top.

Hitech GP’s Gabriele Mini was first on track in Wednesday’s opening session, but no representative laptimes came in until R&B Racing’s Giovanni Maschio posted a 1m59.750s seven minutes in.

Mini was still out on his first run and he lapped in the 1m58s, with Maschio and then Pinnacle VAR’s Tasanapol Inthaphuvasak moving ahead before three successive improvements from Pinnacle team-mate Pepe Marti brought the pace down into the 1m57s.

Braschi went 0.480 seconds faster to break into the 1m56s, and was on top for 11 minutes before Hitech’s Sebastian Montoya bettered him. He quickly responded, taking back top spot by 0.019s.

The fastest lap was disputed between Mini and Montoya for the next 10 mins, and Mini was first to go sub-1m56s.

With 10 minutes to go the pace was improved even further, as R-ace’s Nikhil Bohra posted a 1m55.837s. But Braschi took top spot back with 1m55.303s, and his next lap was the session’s fastest: 1m55.174s.

PHM Racing’s Taylor Barnard got within 0.166s of Braschi to go second, with Bohra in third and Levente Revesz (R-ace), Dino Beganovic (Mumbai Falcons) and Matias Zagazeta (R-ace) all over half a second back in fourth to sixth. The top 11 were split by a second.

Hitech’s drivers were the early pacesetters again in session two, with Montoya and Jak Crawford setting the first flying laps. Mumbai Falcons pair Andrea Kimi Antonelli and Beganovic also took to the track early, knocking the pace down into the 1m57s, and Bohra was then first into the 1m56s.

Braschi went fatest 12 minutes in, and spent a lengthy amount of time there before Hyderabad Blackbirds powered by MP driver Mari Boya found the pace to better him.

While the pace then moved sub-1m56s, the session one benchmark was not bettered and in total 13 drivers failed to match their morning laptimes, including 11 of the drivers who had been in the top 14 of the first hour of running.

That included Braschi, who topped session two with a 1m55.480s lap. Inthraphuvasak and Mini were 0.088s slower in second and third, putting them fourth and fifth overall in the day’s combined classification, with fellow improver Antonelli went fifth fastest in the session and sixth overall.

Barnard headed session three with a 1m55.580s lap, posted just 17 minutes into the hour-long session.

It put him 0.242s ahead of team-mate Nikita Bedrin, one of only two drivers to set their personal best lap then. The other was Kirill Smal, who had replaced Beganovic.

Joshua Dufek made it a session 1-2-3 for PHM, 0.580s behind, and Marti was the only other driver within a second of Barnard.

Brad Benavides and Aiden Neate were on top early, with Dufek and Bedrin leading the way before Barnard’s benchmark lap.

Test day two results
Pos Driver Team Time Gaps Laps
1 Francesco Braschi R-ace GP 1m55.174s 54
2 Taylor Barnard PHM Racing 1m55.340s +0.166s 53
3 Nikhil Bohra R-ace GP 1m55.391s +0.217s 55
4 Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak Pinnacle VAR 1m55.568s +0.394s 54
5 Gabriele Mini Hitech GP 1m55.568s +0.394s 61
6 Andrea Kimi Antonelli Mumbai Falcons 1m55.690s +0.516s 59
7 Levente Revesz R-ace GP 1m55.724s +0.550s 56
8 Dino Beganovic Mumbai Falcons 1m55.734s +0.560s 42
9 Mari Boya Hyderabad Blackbirds 1m55.736s +0.562s 49
10 Pepe Marti Pinnacle VAR 1m55.756s +0.582s 43
11 Matias Zagazeta R-ace GP 1m55.757s +0.583s 56
13 Nikita Bedrin PHM Racing 1m55.822s +0.648s 53
12 Jak Crawford Hitech GP 1m55.978s +0.804s 62
14 Joshua Dufek PHM Racing 1m56.026s +0.852s 55
15 Brad Benavides Hyderabad Blackbirds 1m56.056s +0.882s 60
16 Sebastian Montoya Hitech GP 1m56.192s +1.018s 56
17 Lorenzo Fluxa Mumbai Falcons 1m56.312s +1.138s 61
18 Rafael Camara Mumbai Falcons 1m56.319s +1.145s 55
19 Aiden Neate Prema 1m56.520s +1.346s 55
20 Sami Meguetounif Hyderabad Blackbirds 1m56.613s +1.439s 59
21 Cenyu Han R&B Racing 1m56.703s +1.529s 51
22 Sebastian Ogaard Hyderabad Blackbirds 1m56.820s +1.646s 60
23 Giovanni Maschio R&B Racing 1m57.175s +2.001s 60
24 Kirill Smal Mumbai Falcons 1m57.254s +2.080s 16
25 Michael Shin Prema 1m57.605s +2.431s 58
26 Niels Koolen Pinnacle VAR 1m57.622s +2.448s 61
27 Daniel Mavlyutov Hitech GP 1m57.931s +2.757s 58
28 Rafael Villagomez Pinnacle VAR 1m58.217s +3.043s 48
29 Zhongwei Wang R&B Racing 1m58.931s +3.757s 55