Giorgio Carrara won all three races at Paul Ricard on his Spanish Formula 4 debut, holding off Jenzer Motorsport team-mate and single-seater rookie Jonny Edgar.
The Swiss team is contesting the Italian F4 championship this year with Carrara, Edgar and Emidio Pesce, and entered Spanish F4’s second round to gain karting graduate and Red Bull junior Edgar experience of car racing ahead of his Italian campaign.
Edgar was on it immediately, topping both free practice sessions, including the damp first one by 1.328 seconds. When it came to qualifying he was edged by Praga F4’s Killian Meyer by just 0.066s. On second fastest laps Edgar did have the advantage though, beating team-mate Carrara.
Meyer’s race pace couldn’t match his qualifying form on the Saturday though, and although he led the first half of the race, his pace dropped off late on. Fernando Alonso protege Franco Colapinto was the first to demote him from the lead, but frequently looked unstable through Turn 11 and span out of the position late on.
Carrara’s patience was rewarded with first place, with Edgar sealing second. The British teenager had actually stalled on the warm-up lap, but having not been overtaken by the full field was still able to take up his front row spot.
Colapinto finished third, putting him into the lead of the championship as rival Shihab Al Habsi finished a distant eighth.
The positions were pretty much reversed in the second race, with Al Habsi putting Colapinto under pressure for third and claiming the position when the Argentinian span again on the final lap. Once again it was a Jenzer one-two, with Edgar holding onto the lead until the penultimate lap, at which point Carrara pounced to take a second win.
At the start of the race there was a scary airborne crash for Ghanem Rashed, who launched several metres into the air at Turn 3 after running over the rear of another car.
Edgar took pole again the for final race, but his lead lasted less than a lap with team-mate Carrara launching past at the end of the Minsral straight. Meyer had the race pace to match these two this time, and after a few laps passed Edgar.
The battle among the top three lasted to the very end of the race, with Meyer applying pressure on Carrara through the first two sectors. At the final corner it was Edgar who was ambitious enough to make a move, briefly touching wheels with Meyer and ultimately forcing no change in position.
Colapinto almost joined that battle in fourth, and had a huge gap to the fifth and sixth placed cars of Glenn van Berlo and Al Habsi.
Despite starting 15th, Al Habsi was up to eighth by the end of lap one, and was in sixth two laps later. His pace dropped off significantly in the second half of the race though, and sixth puts him five points behind leader Colapinto. Having missed the Navarro season opener, Carrara is already level with Al Habsi.
During the weekend, Jenzer confirmed to Formula Scout that if its drivers had the desire to, then it would contest more Spanish rounds.
Race 1 (10 laps)
1 Giorgio Carrara Jenzer Motorsport 21m18.022s
2 Jonny Edgar Jenzer Motorsport +3.179s
3 Franco Colapinto Drivex School +4.138s
4 Glenn van Berlo MP Motorsport +8.648s
5 Killian Meyer Praga F4 +8.982s
6 Artem Lobanenko Drivex School +18.062s
7 Carles Martinez Praga F4 +18.345s
8 Shihab Al Habsi Xcel Motorsport +28.747s
9 Emidio Pesce Jenzer Motorsport +34.211s
10 Belen Garcia Global Racing Service +40.479s
Pole: Meyer, 2m06.839s
Fastest lap: Carrara, 2m05.938s
Race 2 (10 laps)
1 Carrara 21m16.311s
2 Edgar +1.154s
3 Al Habsi +6.040s
4 Meyer +6.169s
5 van Berlo +13.251s
6 Nicolas Baert MP Motorsport +13.727s
7 Colapinto +14.438s
8 Lobanenko +15.190s
9 Rafael Villanueva MP Motorsport +19.971s
10 Martinez +21.358s
P: Edgar, 2m07.161s
FL: Meyer, 2m06.153s
Race 3 (10 laps)
1 Carrara 27m32.754s
2 Meyer +0.529s
3 Edgar +0.714s
4 Colapinto +1.450s
5 van Berlo +4.373s
6 Al Habsi +11.939s
7 Lobanenko +13.570s
8 Axel Gnos G4 Racing +18.725s
9 Martinez +18.891s
10 Villanueva +23.447s
P: Edgar, 2m05.139s
FL: Colapinto, 2m05.679s
1 Colapinto 70? ?2 Carrara 65? ?3 Al Habsi 65? ?4 van Berlo 49? ?5 Meyer 48? ?6?Edgar 45? ?7 Lobanenko 27? ?8?Villanueva 23? ?9?van der Helm 22? ?10??Garcia 20