Home Formula RegionalFRegional European Championship Giusti on FREC pole at Red Bull Ring as track limits cost Antonelli

Giusti on FREC pole at Red Bull Ring as track limits cost Antonelli

by Roger Gascoigne

Photo: FRECA

Alessandro Giusti maintained his impressive recent form to take pole for Formula Regional European Championship race two at the Red Bull Ring.

Prema’s Andrea Kimi Antonelli will line up alongside him on the front row after topping Group A with a time 0.087 seconds slower than Giusti’s best lap.

Antonelli actually posted a faster time which would have been good enough for pole, but his 1m26.593s was immediately deleted for exceeding track limits at turn nine.

As usual at the Red Bull Ring, track limits at turns nine and 10 caused the deletion of multiple laptimes, with 19 drivers in total being guilty at least once.

The pace improved steadily throughout the first session for the drivers in Group B, with the 10th and final lap proving decisive.

Race Performance Motorsport’s Santiago Ramos and Trident’s Nikhil Bohra were the first to break to lap sub-1m27s on their seventh tours, and Giusti moved up to second next time around.

Arden’s Tom Lebbon enjoyed his best qualifying session of the year, moving into third, just 0.08s down on Giusti.

Lebbon went faster still on his ninth lap, but track limits cost him that laptime and significantly the opportunity to improve on the following lap, his final one.

The deletion dropped him behind R-ace GP’s Martinius Stenshorne, who will line up on row three. After the session, the unfortunate Lebbon was penalised again, dropping to 10th in the group after his best remaining lap was also deleted.

The first minutes of Group A’s session featured everyone bunching up as drivers tried to avoid leading the field, causing MP Motorsport’s Sami Meguetounif to run wide through the gravel in avaoidance.

A spin from KIC Motorsport’s Maya Weug brought out red flags with just under seven minutes to go, with representative laptimes yet to be set.

When running resumed, Antonelli was straight on the pace, setting a 1m 27.109s on his seventh lap to go top, ahead of R-ace’s Tim Tramnitz.

Despite losing his next laptime, Antonelli continued to push to set Group A’s fastest lap on his penultimate tour.

Traffic and another off from Weug prevented late improvements from either Antonelli or Tramnitz, both of whom had looked on course to go faster.

Tramnitz went fastest of all in the first two sectors on his ninth lap before backing off in the final sector as he came up on a gaggle of cars. After being hindered again on his final lap he had to settle for fourth, with Meguetounif leaping ahead of Trident’s Owen Tangavelou to take second in Group A on his final lap.

Race one poleman and winner Rafael Camara failed to improve on his final two laps to end up fifth, after R-P-M’s Maceo Capietto’s fastest lap was deleted and he dropped from fifth to 11th in the group.

Series returnee Hadrien David will line up on the eighth row for Monolite Racing.

Qualifying results

Pos Driver Team Group B Group A
1 Alessandro Giusti G4 Racing 1m26.688s
2 Andrea Kimi Antonelli Prema 1m26.775s
3 Santiago Ramos R-P-M 1m26.706s
4 Sami Meguetounif MP Motorsport 1m26.878s
5 Martinius Stenshorne R-ace GP 1m26.841s
6 Owen Tangavelou Trident 1m26.942s
7 Nikhil Bohra Trident 1m26.873s
8 Tim Tramnitz R-ace GP 1m26.945s
9 Kas Haverkort Van Amersfoort Racing 1m26.874s
10 Rafael Camara Prema 1m27.075s
11 Esteban Masson Sainteloc Racing 1m26.933s
12 Joshua Duerksen Arden 1m27.154s
13 Lorenzo Fluxa Prema 1m27.003s
14 Laurens van Hoepen ART Grand Prix 1m27.178s
15 Victor Bernier MP Motorsport 1m27.021s
16 Hadrien David Monolite Racing 1m27.188s
17 Roman Bilinski Trident 1m27.091s
18 Michael Belov G4 Racing 1m27.212s
19 Tom Lebbon Arden 1m27.138s
20 Pierre-Alexandre Provost G4 Racing 1m27.341s
21 Bruno del Pino MP Motorsport 1m27.212s
22 Maceo Capietto R-P-M 1m27.500s
23 Niels Koolen Van Amersfoort Racing 1m27.439s
24 Emmo Fittipaldi Sainteloc Racing 1m27.530s
25 Matias Zagazeta R-ace GP 1m27.476s
26 Maya Weug KIC Motorsport 1m27.665s
27 Levente Revesz Arden 1m27.481s
28 Marcus Amand ART Grand Prix 1m27.766s
29 Ivan Klymenko KIC Motorsport 1m27.890s
30 Jesse Carrasquedo Van Amersfoort Racing 1m27.958s
31 William Karlsson KIC Motorsport 1m28.020s
32 Giovanni Maschio Monolite Racing 1m28.369s