Ferrari Formula 1 junior Gianluca Petecof won the final Italian Formula 4 race of the weekend at Vallelunga, taking victory after two controversial last lap moves.
After rain had washed out the preceding Formula Regional European Championship race, the Italian F4 field started its race behind the safety car for the first three laps.
Surprise poleman Lucas Alecco Roy, benefiting from Van Amersfoort Racing team-mate Niklas Krutten being sent to the back of the grid, led away without issue while Petecof passed Ido Cohen for second place.
Having started in seventh, Petecof’s Prema team-mate Paul Aron was immediately on the attack and was up to fourth by the end of the lap, the last position coming after a dicy battle with Ivan Berets.
The Russian almost got the position back with a great attempt on the inside of the final corner on the next lap, and they were side-by-side going through the next set of corners before they sighted marshals waving the safety car board.
Red Bull junior Jonny Edgar had spun and beached himself on a kerb, and it took several laps before his Jenzer Motorsport car was removed. When racing got back underway Aron passed Cohen for fourth, and started battling with SMP Racing-backed Mikhail Belov.
They made contact twice before Belov got loose and punted Aron into the gravel, something Cohen couldn’t benefit from after making mistakes at successive corners. Further back in the order there were more spinners, with Krutten being one of several retirements.
The safety car was called out again, and it withdrew to the pitlane with one lap to go and a top three of Roy, Petecof and Belov. The Russian had got his wheels ahead of Petecof down the straight leading to the Turn 7 hairpin, but Petecof was unwilling to concede position and pinned Belov between himself and the wall.
Thankfully Belov missed the wall and safely span off, but a few corners later Petecof was using all the track and more once again. At the Turn 11 right-hander he passed Roy down the inside, and was heading to the racing line when a kick of oversteer caused his car to shift to the left and lead Roy to put two wheels off track in avoidance.
Roy couldn’t respond through the final corners, with Petecof taking his first won of the season and extending his championship lead.
Joshua Durksen rose from 12th to finish third, ahead of Berets and Gregoire Saucy.
Having been battling for the lower points positions, Roman Stanek found himself in sixth and leading a train of cars that included Oliver Rasmussen, Giorgio Carrara, Andrea Rosso and Lorenzo Ferrari.
Race round-up (14 laps)
|2||Lucas Alecco Roy||Van Amersfoort Racing||+0.605s|
|3||Joshua Durksen||Mucke Motorsport||+0.954s|
|4||Ivan Berets||DRZ Benelli||+4.238s|
|5||Gregoire Saucy||R-ace GP||+4.616s|
|6||Roman Stanek||US Racing||+5.083s|
|8||Giorgio Carrara||Jenzer Motorsport||+6.097s|
|9||Andrea Rosso||Antonelli Motorsport||+6.419s|
|10||Lorenzo Ferrari||Antonelli Motorsport||+6.714s|
|11||Dennis Hauger||Van Amersfoort Racing||+7.046s|
|12||Ido Cohen||Van Amersfoort Racing||+7.666s|
|13||Daniel Vebster||Cram Motorsport||+8.108s|
|15||Francesco Simonazzi||Cram Motorsport||+8.754s|
|16||Axel Gnos||Jenzer Motorsport||+9.489s|
|17||Sebastian Freymuth||AS Motorsport||+10.049s|
|18||Filippe Ugran||BVM Racing||+10.975s|
|19||Emidio Pesce||Jenzer Motorsport||+11.497s|
|20||Emilio Cipriani||Cram Motorsport||+11.712s|
1?Petecof 68? ?2 Stanek 45? ?3?Durksen 30? ?4?Mikhail Belov 28? ?5?Roy 18? ?6?Alessandro Famularo 15? ?7?Rasmussen 15? ?8?Cohen 12? ?9?Berets 12? ?10?Paul Aron 10