Gabriele Mini has taken a hat-trick of pole positions for his car racing debut with Prema in the Italian Formula 4 Championship opener at Misano.
Mini, the 15-year-old protege of Nicolas Todt, edged out Van Amersfoort Racing’s practice pacesetter Francesco Pizzi to top both qualifying sessions.
In qualifying for race one, Mini hit the front with five minutes remaining, although his time was then bettered by his team-mate Sebastian Montoya – the son of ex-Formula 1 and Indycar star Juan Pablo.
F4 UAE champion Pizzi then took over top spot with around 90 seconds to go before Mini snatched first place back after the chequered flag with a 1m35.121s lap, 0.039s quicker than Pizzi.
In the second session, Pizzi was again on top before Mini posted two faster laps in the closing minutes. While his best of 1m34.537s gave him pole for race two, he will also begin race three from the front based on the best second-fastest times from across both sessions.
Leonardo Fornaroli made it a one-two-three for Italian first-year single-seater racers in Q1 with a late effort for Andrea Piccini’s Iron Lynx outfit.
Montoya, another single-seater debutant, was demoted to fourth in front of Jenzer Motorsport’s Filip Ugran.
Pietro Delli Guanti, a relative veteran of three rounds last season, took sixth for BVM Racing ahead of Prema’s two other rookies, Dino Beganovic and Gabriel Bortoleto.
Andrea Rosso, who won the Motorsport Games F4 gold medal for Italy last year, was ninth for Cram Motorsport and then completed another top-three lock-out for home-grown talent in the second session.
Ferrari junior Beganovic improved to fourth place ahead of Ugran, Fornaroli, Montoya and Delli Guanti. Bortoleto was 10th sandwiched by Bhaitech drivers Jesse Salmenautio and Dexter Patterson.
For race three, the top 10 will be the same as race two with the exceptions of Montoya moving up to fifth and Delli Guanti slipping back to 10th.
Race 1 grid
1 Gabriele Mini Prema 1m35.121s
2 Francesco Pizzi Van Amersfoort Racing +0.039s
3 Leonardo Fornaroli Iron Lynx +0.076s
4 Sebastian Montoya Prema +0.098s
5 Filip Ugran Jenzer Motorsport +0.129s
6 Pietro Delli Guanti BVM Racing +0.224s
7 Dino Beganovic Prema +0.356s
8 Gabriel Bortoleto Prema +0.390s
9 Andrea Rosso Cram Motorsport +0.530s
10 Sebastian Ogaard Bhaitech +0.633s
Race 2 grid
1 Mini 1m34.537s
2 Pizzi +0.115s
3 Rosso +0.215s
4 Beganovic +0.329s
5 Ugran +0.573s
6 Fornaroli +0.608s
7 Montoya +0.654s
8 Delli Guanti +0.707s
9 Jesse Salmenautio Bhaitech +0.710s
10 Bortoleto +0.848s
Race 3 grid
1 Mini 1m34.537s
2 Pizzi +0.207s
3 Rosso +0.457s
4 Beganovic +0.508s
5 Montoya +0.682s
6 Ugran +0.691s
7 Fornaroli +0.700s
8 Salmenautio +0.762s
9 Bortoleto +0.850s
10 Delli Guanti +0.891s