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Kelstrup beats van’t Hoff to win final Spa Spanish F4 race

by Peter Allen

Photo: Spanish F4

Georg Kelstrup snatched victory ahead of his MP Motorsport team-mate Dilano van’t Hoff in an erratic final race of the Spanish Formula 4 opener at Spa-Francorchamps.

Eyeing a hat-trick of wins, van’t Hoff kept the lead at the start from pole position as fellow front-row starter Dani Macia failed to get away.

Macia’s Praga team-mate Quique Bordas was then turned around at La Source by Filip Jenic, while Pepe Marti came from seventh on the grid to take second from Santiago Ramos on the run to Les Combes for the first time.

Ramos would go on to lose third to Kelstrup – who started ninth – when he ran wide at Pouhon.

Further back in the pack, Samir Ben had spun at Malmedy and been collected by Braden Lee Oxley, bringing out the safety car.

Just six of the original 18 minutes remained on the clock when the race restarted, and Marti moved past van’t Hoff into the lead down the Kemmel Straight.

A lap later, van’t Hoff pulled out of Marti’s slipstream before they even took the right-hand kink after Raidillon. That gave Kelstrup a better tow, and he took the lead on the inside at Les Combes ahead of van’t Hoff and Marti.

The safety car was then required again to recover the car of Noam Abramczyk, who had tripped over a coming together between Noah Degnbol and Francesco Braschi at La Source.

Although the clock had run down, the track was cleared in time for one final lap, and Kelstrup got a good restart.

Marti got back alongside van’t Hoff into Les Combes but found himself forced wide onto the run-off, and when he rejoined the track he nearly collided with his Campos team-mate Sebastian Ogaard, who then fended off Ramos through the following turns to secure third.

Kelstrup – coached by Belgian ex-Formula Two racer Benjamin Bailly – defended from van’t Hoff into the Bus Stop for the final time, avoiding smashed polystyrene from another incident, and clung on to take victory on his debut weekend in car racing.

Alex Dunne shared the sixth row of the grid with Ogaard and came through to finish fifth behind Ramos, with Marti having to settle for sixth.

Race results (7 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time/Gap
1 Georg Kelstrup MP Motorsport 23m57.859s
2 Dilano van’t Hoff MP Motorsport +0.248s
3 Sebastian Ogaard Campos Racing +1.499s
4 Santiago Ramos Jenzer Motorsport +2.076s
5 Alex Dunne Pinnacle Motorsport +2.239s
6 Pepe Marti Campos Racing +2.461s
7 Manuel Espirito Santo MP Motorsport +3.084s
8 Vladislav Ryabov GRS +3.278s
9 Noah Degnbol MP Motorsport +3.830s
10 Max Arkhangelskiy Drivex +4.294s
11 Oliver Michl Teo Martin Motorsport +4.738s
12 Rik Koen MP Motorsport +5.316s
13 Suleiman Zanfari MP Motorsport +5.942s
14 Santiago Trisini MP Motorsport +6.355s
15 Jorge Garciarce Jenzer Motorsport +6.629s
16 Alejandro Garcia Campos Racing +7.133s
17 Quique Bordas Praga F4 +7.316s
18 Filip Jenic Teo Martin Motorsport +7.929s
19 Francesco Braschi Jenzer Motorsport +8.354s
20 Gil Molina MP Motorsport +10.223s
21 Lola Lovinfosse Drivex +10.743s
22 Guilherme Oliveira Drivex +12.674s
23 Emely de Heus MP Motorsport +13.530s
Ret Noam Abramczyk Drivex
Ret Alex Partyshev Campos Racing
Ret Daniel Macia Praga F4
Ret Branden Lee Oxley Drivex
Ret Samir Ben Jenzer Motorsport
Fastest lap: van’t Hoff, 2m25.763s

Championship standings
1 van’t Hoff 65   2 Marti 32   3 Ramos 31   4 Kelstrup 29    5 Macia 25   6 Dunne 23   7 Ogaard 16   8 Bordas 13   9 Koen 13   10 Degnbol 10