Prema’s Arthur Leclerc was fastest on the first day of Formula Regional European Championship’s in-season test at the Red Bull Ring.
The FREC runners were split into two and put alongside Formula 4 drivers due to the number of F4 cars entered for the test, with each driver participating in four sessions.
Leclerc and his Prema team-mates were all in ‘Group A’, and he started the day on top. Bad weather meant times were significantly slower in the second of the Group A sessions, which he also topped.
While the track got faster again, it was Group B that benefitted more as it ran afterwards when the track was more rubbered in, and Leclerc was toppled from top spot in the third of the B sessions.
Van Amersfoort Racing’s Pierre-Louis Chovet set the pace there, just ahead of KIC Motorsport’s Patrik Pasma. The second KIC car of Konsta Lappalainen was also faster than Leclerc’s morning benchmark, as was Nico Gohler in a Mucke Motorport-run car.
German team Mucke does not compete in FREC, but raced in German Formula 3 from 1999 to 2002, and in F3 Euro Series and its FIA-branded successor from 2003 to 2016.
The final Group A session was shortened by a red flag, but Leclerc reclaimed his place at the top, while Chovet also improved later on but was over half a second off Leclerc’s time.
Prema’s Oliver Rasmussen and Gianluca Petecof, who has revealed he does not have the budget to contest the full season despite being points leader, were closely matched in third and fourth.
Lappalainen also improved in the final session to beat his team-mate to fifth, with Emidio Pesce continuing as the only DR Formula by RP Motorsport entry – despite Brad Benavides being signed – in seventh place.
The late departure of Alessandro Famularo meant VAR had a free car, which was driven by 2013 GP3 runner-up and driver coach Facu Regalia. He set the least laps but was ninth fastest, ahead of reigning W Series champion Jamie Chadwick.
|2||Pierre-Louis Chovet||Van Amersfoort Racing||1m26.712s||+0.584s||94|
|5||Konsta Lappalainen||KIC Motorsport||1m26.924s||+0.796s||105|
|6||Patrik Pasma||KIC Motorsport||1m27.072s||+0.944s||95|
|7||Emidio Pesce||DR Formula by RP Motorsport||1m27.229s||+1.101s||96|
|8||Nico Gohler||Mucke Motorsport||1m27.438s||+1.310s||95|
|9||Facu Regalia||Van Amersfoort Racing||1m27.503s||+1.375s||62|