Home Formula 3Formula Regional European Championship Leclerc leads Lappalainen in FREC free practice one at Barcelona

Leclerc leads Lappalainen in FREC free practice one at Barcelona

by Elliot Wood

Photo: Elliot Wood

Arthur Leclerc started round six of the Formula Regional European Championship season at Barcelona with the fastest time in free practice one.

The debuting Dennis Hauger, reuniting with the Van Amersfoort Racing team he won the 2019 Italian Formula 4 title with, was quick to adapt to the Tatuus T-318 car and set the early pace.

Halfway through the Friday morning session he was pushed down to second place by KIC Motorsport’s Konsta Lappalainen, and it wasn’t until there was 15 minutes to go that another driver went faster.

Leclerc took a while to get up to speed, with the Prema driver only moving into the top three in the second half of the session and then setting his benchmark 1m40.400s lap a few minutes later.

While many drivers remained on track in the time left, there was only one improvement in the top half of the order in the final 10 minutes and Leclerc’s lap remained unbeaten.

Lappalainen was second, with his team-mate Patrik Pasma jumping up to third place with just under three minutes left of the session.

Hauger and VAR team-mate Pierre-Louis Chovet were fourth and fifth, while points leader Gianluca Petecof could do no better than sixth. He wasn’t the only Prema driver unable to trouble the frontrunning pace, with Oliver Rasmussen one second behind in eighth and Jamie Chadwick 1.827s back in 10th.

Monolite Racing’s series returnee Matteo Nannini, who is replacing Andrea Cola at the team this weekend, ended the session in seventh.

Free practice results
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Arthur Leclerc Prema 1m40.400s 17
2 Konsta Lappalainen KIC Motorsport 1m40.629s +0.229s 17
3 Patrik Pasma KIC Motorsport 1m40.878s +0.478s 16
4 Dennis Hauger Van Amersfoort Racing 1m40.884s +0.484s 21
5 Pierre-Louis Chovet Van Amersfoort Racing 1m40.957s +0.557s 20
6 Gianluca Petecof Prema 1m41.202s +0.802s 15
7 Matteo Nannini Monolite Racing 1m41.344s +0.944s 17
8 Oliver Rasmussen Prema 1m41.400s +1.000s 16
9 Emidio Pesce DR Formula by RP Motorsport 1m41.821s +1.421s 17
10 Jamie Chadwick Prema 1m42.227s +1.827s 18
11 Gillian Henrion Gillian Track Events 1m42.610s +2.210s 19