Home News Konsta Lappalainen closes on F4 NEZ lead with Moscow double

Konsta Lappalainen closes on F4 NEZ lead with Moscow double

by Elliot Wood

Two wins at the Moscow Raceway for Konsta Lappalainen has brought the Finn closer to the Formula 4 North European Zone championship lead.

The Kart In Club Driving Academy driver topped the first qualifying session, which sets the grid for the first two races, by a scant 0.022 seconds over MP Motorsport’s Isaac Blomqvist.

Lappalainen set the foundations for his first victory of the season with a strong start in the opening race, pulling away from Blomqvist and returnee Aleksandr Vartanyan, who finished third in the championship in 2016 and has since raced in the Formula Renault Eurocup.

Vartanyan was guaranteed second when Blomqvist was handed a drive-through penalty in the closing stages of the race, which dropped him to last. Ivan Berets followed SMP Racing team-mate Vartanyan home in a distant third.

Mikhail Belov finished fourth, with Lappalainen’s team-mate Jesse Salmenautio completing the top five.

Blomqvist struck back in the second race, hunting down and then pulling away from Lappalainen. On the final corner of the last lap Lappalainen lost second to Vartanyan, although with the latter ineligible for points the move was not too costly.

Tuomas Haapalainen, who took fastest lap in the first race, finished fourth, with Salmenautio once again completing the top five.

The final race of the weekend was a classic, with Lappalainen and Haapalainen trading the lead and battling all the way to the line for race victory.

Lappalainen took pole, but it was Haapalainen who led into the final corner at the end of the race, and looked to set victory in what was his first appearance of the season. Lappalainen thought otherwise though, and drew level with Haapalainen as they crossed the line. The win went to Lappalainen, by a scant 0.003 seconds.

Blomqvist finished third, with his championship lead reduced to 10 points by Lappalainen. Ivans Shvetsov and Berets were fourth and fifth.

Results round-up
Race 1 (17 laps)
1 Konsta Lappalainen Kart In Club Driving Academy 27m37.357s
2 Aleksandr Vartanyan SMP Racing +0.346s
3 Ivan Berets SMP Racing +7.351s
4 Mikhail Belov SMP Racing +8.067s
5 Jesse Salmenautio Kart In Club Driving Academy +9.288s
6 Amaury Cordeel MP Motorsport +19.856s
7 Ivan Shvetsov SMP Racing +20.549s
8 Pavel Bulantsev SMP Racing +24.935s
9 Patrick Schott MP Motorsport +27.159s
10 Artem Lobanenko SMP Racing +31.853s
Pole: Lappalainen, 1m36.583s
Fastest lap: Tuomas Haapalainen, 1m36.966s

Race 2 (12 laps)
1 Isaac Blomqvist MP Motorsport 19m38.211s
2 Vartanyan +4.321s
3 Lappalainen +4.488s
4 Haapalainen MP Motorsport +7.550s
5 Salmenautio +8.149s
6 Berets +8.445s
7 Belov +9.590s
8 Shvetsov +9.843s
9 Cordeel +12.738s
10 Lobanenko +22.505s
P: Lappalainen, 1m36.611s
FL: Blomqvist, 1m37.334s

Race 3 (17 laps)
1 Lappalainen 27m36.513s
2 Haapalainen +0.003s
3 Blomqvist +4.909s
4 Shvetsov +11.746s
5 Berets +11.988s
6 Cordeel +13.332s
7 Belov +14.759s
8 Salmenautio +16.995s
9 Vartanyan +17.094s
10 Bulantsev +18.055s
P: Lappalainen, 1m36.900s
FL: Vartanyan, 1m36.860s

Championship standings
1 Blomqvist 128? ?2?Lappalainen 118? ?3 Belov 100? ?4 Berets 98? ?5 Shvetsov 64? ?6 Salmenautio 60? ?7 Bulantsev 53? ?8 Freek Schothorst 36? ?9 Schott 29? ?10?Lobanenko