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Masterclass from Belov to dominate first FREC race at Spa

by Roger Gascoigne

Photo: Formula Regional by Alpine

Michael Belov took his and the G4 Racing team’s first win in the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine by dominating race one in awful conditions at Spa-Francorchamps.

On an initially damp track, Belov led away from pole position as fellow front row starter Isack Hadjar bogged down.

Hadjar’s R-ace GP team-mate, Hadrien David on the other hand made a lightning start from the second row, putting two wheels on the grass on the short run to La Source before diving inside Belov.

David ran wide on the exit and Belov was able to repass, before the third R-ace GP driver Zane Maloney got a good run up the straight and made an unsuccessful attempt to pass Belov round the outside at Les Combes.

From that point the Russian driver was never threatened.

Prema Powerteam’s David Vidales made a superb start from eighth to take fourth place on lap one, but on the next lap he put two wheels onto the kerb running through Curve Paul Frere, spinning into the barrier on the inside. With the car in a dangerous position the safety car was mobilised.

After three laps and over 14 minutes behind the safety car, Belov managed the restart to perfection. Within a lap he had pulled out a gap of 2.9 seconds, which he extended to 9.1s by the flag

Maloney ran wide out of Pouhon on the penultimate lap, allowing David back up to second place at the finish.

Dino Beganovic took his best-ever result (and was first rookie home) in fourth after a well-judged race. ART Grand Prix drivers Patrik Pasma and Gabriele Mini came home in fifth and sixth places respectively. Hadjar recovered to seventh after his poor start.

Championship leader Gregoire Saucy (ART Grand Prix) made outstanding progress from 24th on the grid. After just one lap he was up to 10th, moving up to eighth on the next tour. Saucy took a look at Hadjar at the start of the last lap but dropped back after running wide at Raidillon.

Saucy retains a comfortable 50-point lead at the top of the table from David in second, while Maloney moves up to third, eight more points behind.

Race results (10 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time/Gap
1 Michael Belov G4 Racing 31m22.736s
2 Hadrien David R-ace GP +9.069s
3 Zane Maloney R-ace GP +11.853s
4 Dino Beganovic Prema +15.717s
5 Patrik Pasma ART Grand Prix +17.428s
6 Gabriele Mini ART Grand Prix +18.015s
7 Isack Hadjar R-ace GP +20.182s
8 Gregoire Saucy ART Grand Prix +20.831s
9 William Alatalo Arden +25.341s
10 Alex Quinn Arden +27.214s
11 Mari Boya Van Amersfoort Racing +28.719s
12 Lorenzo Fluxa Van Amersfoort Racing +34.002s
13 Francesco Pizzi Van Amersfoort Racing +34.484s
14 Kas Haverkort MP Motorsport +35.400s
15 Pietro Delli Guanti Monolite Racing +36.554s
16 Elias Seppanen KIC Motorsport +38.728s
17 Andrea Rosso FA Racing by MP +41.419s
18 Paul Aron Prema +42.384s
19 Dexter Patterson Monolite Racing +45.152s
20 Axel Gnos G4 Racing +45.698s
21 Ido Cohen JD Motorsport +49.260s
22 Tommy Smith JD Motorsport +52.431s
23 Nico Gohler KIC Motorsport +55.045s
24 Oliver Goethe MP Motorsport +1m01.938s
25 Eduardo Barrichello JD Motorsport +1m03.844s
26 Nicola Marinangeli Arden +1m14.985s
27 Lena Buhler R-ace GP +1m22.918s
28 Gabriel Bortoleto FA Racing by MP +1 lap
Ret Emidio Pesce DR Formula
Ret Franco Colapinto MP Motorsport
Ret Alexandre Bardinon FA Racing by MP
Ret David Vidales Prema
Ret Jasin Ferati KIC Motorsport
Fastest lap: Belov, 2m34.930s

Championship standings
 Saucy 164   2 David 114   3 Maloney 106   4 Hadjar 99   5 Mini 97   6 Aron 94   7 Quinn 80   8 Alatalo 72   9 Pasma 55   10 Vidales 52