Home News James Egozi gets FWinter Series win, Spanish F4 seat and RBJT spot

James Egozi gets FWinter Series win, Spanish F4 seat and RBJT spot

by Ida Wood

Photo: Gedlich Racing/Daniel Burgin

Formula Winter Series attracted 38 cars for round three at Motorland Aragon, and race three winner James Egozi was the weekend’s big story.

The 16-year-old American not only returned to Campos Racing’s FWinter Series line-up but was revealed as joining the team for Spanish Formula 4 and joining the Red Bull Junior Team.

Egozi won the 2023 WSK Super Master Series for OK karts then stepped up to cars and came 14th in Italian F4 and won in a F4 Central European Zone cameo.

Rodin Motorsport grew its weekend line-up by signing Preston Lambert and Ella Lloyd. Lambert was fourth in F4 Western in 2023 and will race for Rodin in Spanish F4, while Lloyd – who came 21st in Ginetta Junior in 2022 and second in the Ginetta GT Championship’s GT5 Pro standings last year – will join JHR Developments in British F4.

Two qualifying sessions kicked off the Aragon event, and for much of Q1 it looked like Jack Beeton would take pole. He was usurped with a minute to go by Keanu Al Azhari, who improved further to secure pole by 0.137 seconds.

Andres Cardenas and Gianmarco Pradel were split by 0.002s in third and fourth, and Maciej Gladyz completed the top five. Just 0.922s covered the top 20, and at the bottom of the order Enea Frey and Enzo Tarnvanichkul were black flagged for track limits abuse.

Egozi controlled Q2, setting a 1m59.751s with 10 minutes to go. He later improved to 1m59.738s, taking pole by 0.078s over Al Azhari. Juan Cota and Beeton were third and fourth.

Race one began with Gladyz and Kabir Anurag stalling. Gladysz was hit hard from the left by Carrie Shreiner, with a wheel flying off, and his car was then sent into the path of Ernesto Rivera who had tried swerving off in avoidance. The race was stopped for 25 minutes, and restarted with two laps behind the safety car.

Francisco Macedo spun away eighth place on the second of those laps, and Al Azhari went early on the restart. Cardenas defended hard against Pradel into turn one then fell to 29th by going off, with Beeton and Pradel left chasing Al Azhari.

Maxim Rehm ran fourth, but lacked pace and lost out to Rene Lammers. Both were passed by Lucas Fluxa at the start of lap six, and Rehm ended the lap eighth. Egozi – who started 15th – passed Lammers on lap eight.

Race-ending red flags waved as Al Azhari began lap 10 (due to Nathanael Berreby reversing into the gravel), securing victory for MP Motorsport’s series debutant.

Al Azhari’s second fastest Q1 lap earned him race two pole ahead of Beeton, Gladyz and Kabir Anurag, and he led the first five laps before fellow debutant Beeton got past. On the penultimate lap both were passed by Thomas Strauven, who had taken three laps to rise from sixth to third then bided his time before attacking again. US Racing’s Beeton got back by Al Azhari for second place, and Mikkel Pedersen rose from ninth to finish fourth.

There was drama before race three started as Pradel beached his car in gravel en route to the grid and Peter Bouzinelos’s car was wheeled off it.

Egozi initially led Al Azhari up front. Cota tried diving down the inside of Al Azhari at turn 15 on lap three but went deep and it led to them going three-wide with Beeton. He had the outside line for turn one and took second ahead of Cota, who lost third to Al Azhari at turn five. Akshay Bohra passed both at turn 15, then at turn 16 Cota went to his inside and Al Azhari to his outside. Cota ended up flying over Al Azhari’s car at the apex, ending the latter’s race.

Peebles and Pradel slotted in behind Bohra, then the safety car appeared as Lucas Fluxa spun. Racing resumed on lap eight and the top two broke away until the safety car returned on lap 13 after Lorenzo Castillo’s car shedded bodywork. There was time for one more lap of racing, and Egozi won.

Bohra had held off Peebles and then Pradel for third, and Pedersen beat Gladysz, Cardenas and Lammers in an intense fight for sixth.

Results round-up
Race 1 (8 laps)
1 Keanu Al Azhari Campos Racing 18m24.427s
2 Jack Beeton US Racing +1.107s
3 Gianmarco Pradel US Racing +2.013s
4 Lucas Fluxa MP Motorsport +7.649s
5 James Egozi Campos Racing +8.933s
6 Rene Lammers MP Motorsport +9.505s
7 Juan Cota Drivex School +11.979s
8 Thomas Strauven Rodin Motorsport +12.428s
9 Flavio Olivieri Cram Motorsport +13.232s
10 Griffin Peebles MP Motorsport +14.183s
Pole: Al Azhari, 2m00.257s
Fastest lap: Al Azhari, 2m00.425s

Race 2 (13 laps)
1 Strauven 32m03.569s
2 Al Azhari +0.224s
3 Beeton +0.748s
4 Mikkel Pedersen Drivex School +1.159s
5 Kabir Anurag US Racing +2.205s
6 Akshay Bohra US Racing +2.394s
7 Adam Hideg Jenzer Motorsport +3.131s
8 Lin Hodenius Monlau Motorsport +4.599s
9 Douwe Dedecker GRS +4.952s
10 Maciej Gladyz MP Motorsport +6.300s
P: Al Azhari, 2m00.331s
FL: Anurag, 2m01.294s

Race 3 (15 laps)
1 Egozi 34m21.209s
2 Beeton +0.239s
3 Bohra +1.051s
4 Pradel +1.459s
5 Peebles +1.843s
6 Pedersen +3.116s
7 Gladysz +3.223s
8 Andres Cardenas Campos Racing +3.492s
9 Lammers +3.920s
10 Ernesto Rivera Campos Racing +4.039s
P: Egozi, 1m59.738s
FL: Egozi, 2m00.436s

Championship standings
Peebles 119   Cardenas 112   3 Gladyz 77   4 Matheus Ferreira 75   5 Bohra 72   6 Cota 64   7 Pradel 61   8 Egozi 54   9 Pedersen 53   10 Beeton 51