Home Formula RegionalFRegional European Championship Mini snatches FREC runner-up spot with victory in Mugello finale

Mini snatches FREC runner-up spot with victory in Mugello finale

by Roger Gascoigne

Photo: Diederik van der Laan / DPPA

Gabriele Mini rounded off a frustrating season with a fighting victory for ART Grand Prix in the final race of the Formula Regional European Championship season at Mugello.

Needing to win with rival Paul Aron failing to score, Mini had conceded before the race that second in the championship was almost out of reach. But with Aron finishing only 11th after a disastrous qualifying session, a jubilant Mini overhauled his rival by a single point in the final standings.

Having dismissed front-row starter Joshua Dufek, at the start, Mini slotted in behind poleman Gabriel Bortoleto in the early laps. As they passed the pits to start lap six of 17, Mini used his push-to-pass to maximum effect and eased into the lead before the braking zone for the first corner.

The lead that Mini had quickly built up disappeared with the appearance of the safety car after Francesco Braschi tangled with FA Racing team-mate Victor Bernier at Luco on lap 11.

The safety car pulled in two laps later, allowing Mini to dictate the pace into the final corner. Weaving down the straight to break the tow to Bortoleto, he held onto the lead which he extended to 1.84 seconds at the flag.

Aron was unable to make significant progress from 16th on the grid and failed to score points to round off a disappointing weekend for the Estonian despite his race one victory.

Champion Dino Beganovic followed Mini past Dufek on lap one and had a lonely race in third place as he lacked the pace to challenge the leading pair.

Dufek looked to have the rookie championship in his pocket as he ran a comfortable fourth before the intervention of the safety car, with his rival Trident’s Leonardo Fornaroli languishing in ninth and unable to make any headway.

However, an opportunistic move from Hadrien David into turn three at the restart forced Dufek wide and onto the gravel. As the unfortunate Dufek fought to rejoin he lost two more places, dropping behind Owen Tangavelou and Lorenzo Fluxa.

Dufek held on to seventh, but Fornaroli’s fourth place was enough to give rookie honours to the Italian.

Fluxa managed to get ahead of Tangavelou around the outside of San Donato on the penultimate lap to take fifth, though the latter secured his first rookie classification win of the season in sixth.

Race results (17 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Gabriele Mini ART Grand Prix
2 Gabriel Bortoleto R-ace GP +1.842s
3 Dino Beganovic Prema +2.975s
4 Hadrien David R-ace GP +3.905s
5 Lorenzo Fluxa R-ace GP +5.211s
6 Owen Tangavelou R-P-M +6.466s
7 Joshua Dufek VAR +6.931s
8 Leonardo Fornaroli Trident +8.524s
9 Dilano van’t Hoff MP Motorsport +9.627s
10 Kas Haverkort VAR +9.999s
11 Paul Aron Prema +11.103s
12 Mari Boya MP Motorsport +12.088s
13 Joshua Duerksen Arden +13.247s
14 Tim Tramnitz Trident +14.681s
15 Victor Bernier FA Racing by MP +14.907s
16 Pierre-Louis Chovet R-P-M +15.538s
17 Laurens van Hoepen ART Grand Prix +15.701s
18 Maceo Capietto Monolite Racing +16.542s
19 Santiago Ramos R-P-M +16.735s
20 Sebastian Montoya Prema +17.161s
21 Nicolas Baptiste FA Racing by MP +18.070s
22 Esteban Masson ART Grand Prix +18.341s
23 Eduardo Barrichello Arden +18.689s
24 Pietro Armanni Monolite Racing +20.353s
25 Roman Bilinski Trident +20.545s
26 William Alatalo KIC Motorsport +21.021s
27 Noel Leon Arden +21.559s
28 Sami Meguetounif MP Motorsport +21.840s
29 Matias Zagazeta G4 Racing +22.543s
30 Sebastian Ogaard KIC Motorsport +23.384s
31 Nicola Marinangeli Monolite Racing +24.199s
32 Axel Gnos G4 Racing +24.626s
Ret Francesco Braschi FA Racing by MP
Ret Levente Revesz VAR
Ret Amna Al Qubaisi Prema
Ret Piotr Wisnicki KIC Motorsport
Fastest lap: Mini, 1m44.204s

Championship standings
1 Beganovic 282   2 Mini 242   3 Aron 241   4 David 224   5 Haverkort 186   6 Bortoleto 176   7 Michael Belov 93   8 Fornaroli 82   9 Dufek 79   10 Boya 69