Igor Fraga took a lights-to-flag victory in the opening Formula Regional European Championship race at Imola.
After a dominant performance throughout most of the race, including a strong safety car restart, Fraga found himself under pressure from the Prema Powerteam trio in the final laps.
Olli Caldwell led the attack but fell away from Fraga on the penultimate lap, backing up his team-mates and allowing Fraga to finish more than two seconds ahead of the rest of the field.
Caldwell took second ahead of points leader Frederik Vesti, having taken the position at the start of the race. Vesti spent much of his time defending from Fraga’s DR Formula by RP Motorsport team-mate Raul Guzman.
After the safety car was brought out to clear the car of US Racing’s Marcos Siebert, who had fallen into the gravel, Guzman fell back and Enzo Fittipaldi joined his Prema team-mates in the battle for the lower podium positions.
He pulled alongside Vesti on the restart, snatching third and bringing the fight to Caldwell.
The trio ran nose to tail in the closing laps, briefly challenging Fraga but falling away as Caldwell seemed to slow. Vesti was able to find a way past Fittipaldi on the penultimate lap and, though his team-mate tried to reclaim the position, held on to take his eighth consecutive podium finish.
Matteo Nannini spent the second half of the race locked in a battle with Guzman, with Sophia Floersch later joining to make it a three-way fight for fifth. Guzman finished 0.7s ahead of Nannini to take fifth, with Floersch a further 0.7s back.
David Schumacher, who had been fighting in the midst of the top 10 early in the race, fell backwards after dropping a wheel into the gravel. He returned to the track in 10th, but managed to climb up to eighth before the chequered flag.
Race results (18 laps)
|1||Igor Fraga||DR Formula by RP Motorsport||32m47.977s|
|5||Raul Guzman||DR Formula by RP Motorsport||+5.925s|
|6||Matteo Nannini||Scuderia DF Corse by Corbetta||+6.681s|
|7||Sophia Floersch||Van Amersfoort Racing||+7.446s|
|8||David Schumacher||US Racing||+9.068s|
|9||Isac Blomqvist||KIC Motorsport||+12.044s|
|11||Konsta Lappalainen||KIC Motorsport||+17.435s|
|12||Alexandre Bardinon||Van Amersfoort Racing||+23.588s|
|Ret||Sharon Scolari||ScoRace Team|
|Ret||Marcos Siebert||US Racing|
|Pole: Fraga, 1m40.285s? ? ? Fastest lap: Vesti, 1m40.555s