Italy’s Andrea Rosso took victory in the first ever Motorsport Games Formula 4 Cup race at Vallelunga in a dramatic encounter.
Poleman Pavel Bulantsev and several others received grid penalties prior to the race, leaving Israel’s Ido Cohen and Rosso starting on the front row of the grid. Technical issues meant Cohen had to change his steering wheel after lining up.
Rosso launched into the lead on the still slightly damp track at the start, but lost the place to Germany’s Niklas Krutten around the outside of Turn 7 later in the lap.
By the end of the lap he was also under pressure from Cohen, who swept past at Curva Grande on the second lap before the safety car was called out to retrieve the crashed car of Kazuto Kotaka.
New leader Krutten made a brilliant restart, but the hybrid KCMG-designed F4 cars promoted close action and he remained under pressure from Cohen.
Cohen tried passing on the outside on multiple occasions, but Krutten was a crafty defender and Cohen’s last attempt led to Rosso breifly reclaiming second place instead.
Lapped traffic led to more action between the top three, with Rosso claiming second place at Turn 9 after Cohen made a failed crack at the lead.
Krutten used the tactics on Rosso as he had on Cohen, but by the penultimate lap his strategy was clear. Rosso hung on around the outside when Krutten tried forcing him wide over the Turn 5 kerbs, and he managed to remain alongside long enough to take the lead at the next corner.
Cohen then dived down the inside of Krutten at one of the hairpins and demoted him to third, but did not have enough time to track down Rosso for victory.
Hungary’s Laszlo Toth came from 10th on the grid to pressure Krutten for third place in the final moments of the race, some distance ahead of the all-Scandinavian battle for fourth between William Alatalo (Finland) and Malthe Jakobsen (Denmark).
A clash meant Bulantsev finished the race down in ninth, behind Belgium’s Nicolas Baert and Australia’s Luis Leeds.
Brazils’ Joao Rosate stalled on the grid but started from his planned position of fifth despite falling to the back, and was handed a drive-through penalty as a result. He finished a lap down, while multiple spins for Kuwait’s Mohammed Al Nusif led to him retiring.
Hugo Hung, representing Hong Kong, was not allowed to start the race due to causing multiple red flag stoppages in qualifying.
Race results (20 laps)
|1||Andrea Rosso||Italy||12 laps|
|10||Reshad De Gerus||France||+9.118s|
|16||Flynn Mullany||New Zealand||+37.512s|
|17||Joao Rosate||Brazil||+1 lap|
|18||Mohammed Al Nusif||Kuwait|
|Fastest lap: Rosso, 1m36.471s|