Home Featured Mini takes deserved maiden FREC win in dry-wet race at Imola

Mini takes deserved maiden FREC win in dry-wet race at Imola

by Roger Gascoigne

Photo: FRECA

Gabriele Mini survived a mid-race downpour, multiple safety cars and a red flag stoppage to take his first ever victory in the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine in the second race at Imola.

The ART Grand Prix driver had been in commanding form all weekend, this win compensating slightly for the false start – influenced by a clutch problem – which cost him victory in race one.

Ferrari junior Dino Beganovic continued his superb start to the season with second place to extend his championship lead, with Kas Haverkort taking the final podium position, his first in FREC, for Van Amersfoort Racing.

Front-row starter Tim Tramnitz slipped down the order to take eighth at the flag, though this was enough to take rookie honours.

After a pre-race rain shower the drivers frantically changed back to slicks on the grid. With a significant difference in grip levels on either side of the grid, the race ran its first two laps behind the safety car.

ART GP’s Mini got a jump on fellow front-row starter, Trident’s Tramnitz, the German coming under immediate pressure from race one winner Dino Beganovic.

As the field came past the pits Beganovic pulled alongside, passing around the outside into Tamburello as Tramnitz defended the inside line, with Michael Belov diving inside Tramnitz into Rivazza.

Beganovic began to make some inroads into Mini’s lead, bringing it below 10s on lap 5.

Tramnitz was slipping further down the field, as Haverkort, having disposed of Bortoleto around the outside at Tamburello, repeated the move on Tramnitz for fourth on the next lap.

Before Haverkort could make further progress, a sudden thunderstorm caused havoc around the circuit. Pietro Delle Guanti touched the grass verge on the run down to Tamburello, spinning across Paul Aron. A following Sebastian Montoya, confronted with Delli Guanti sideways in front of him was launched over the car and into the gravel trap.

The inevitable red flag period allowed most of the field to mount wet tyres, although a few chose to take the safety car restart with slicks despite the treacherous conditions, earning themselves an investigation from the stewards in the process.

A strong restart from Mini after four laps behind the safety car put him out of reach of Beganovic.

Tramnitz continued to slide down the top ten as Bortoleto, Hadrien David and Aron found a way past in the spray.

With a maiden FREC podium in his sights, Haverkort was all over Belov who ran wide at Acque Minerali before a slight mistake at Tamburello allowed the VAR man past, with Bortoleto and David immediately following suit.

With the clock ticking down to zero, the safety car was deployed again, meaning the race would finish under yellows.

Though Sami Meguetounif had participated in qualifying in the morning, he was withdrawn from the race itself after his heavy crash in race one.

Race result (15 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Gabriele Mini ART Grand Prix 52m44.263s
2 Dino Beganovic Prema Racing +0.262s
3 Kas Haverkort Van Amersfoort Racing +0.592s
4 Gabriel Bortoleto R-ace GP +0.874s
5 Hadrien David R-ace GP +1.077s
6 Michael Belov MP Motorsport +1.257s
7 Paul Aron Prema Racing +1.752s
8 Tim Tramnitz Trident +2.548s
9 Leonardo Fornaroli Trident +2.683s
10 Maceo Capietto Monolite Racing +3.134s
11 Joshua Dufek Van Amersfoort Racing +3.451s
12 Lorenzo Fluxa R-ace GP +3.685s
13 Joshua Duerksen Arden Motorsport +3.899s
14 Laurens Van Hoepen ART Grand Prix +4.847s
15 Roman Bilinski Trident +5.157s
16 Noel Leon Arden Motorsport +7.181s
17 Owen Tangavelou G4 Racing +7.561s
18 Eduardo Barrichello Arden Motorsport +9.210s
19 Dilano Van’t Hoff MP Motorsport +10.521s
20 Santiago Ramos KIC Motorsport +11.145s
21 Esteban Masson FA Racing +12.990s
22 Mari Boya ART Grand Prix +13.137s
23 Levente Revesz Van Amersfoort Racing +13.574s
24 Patrik Pasma KIC Motorsport +14.797s
25 Francesco Braschi KIC Motorsport +15.013s
26 Keith Donegan RPM +15.865s
27 Nicolas Baptiste FA Racing +16.010s
28 Pietro Armanni Monolite Racing +17.024s
29 Matias Zagazeta G4 Racing +18.979s
30 Hamda Al Qubaisi Prema Racing +19.148s
31 Axel Gnos G4 Racing +19.372s
32 Han Cenyu Monolite Racing +21.847s
33 Victor Bernier FA Racing +2 laps
Ret Pietro Delli Guanti RPM
Ret Sebastian Montoya Prema Racing
Fastest lap: Mini, 1m42.595s

Championship standings
Beganovic 86   2 Haverkort 47   3 Aron 46   4 Mini 40   5 Belov 36   Boya 32   7 David 29   8 Bortoleto 28   9 Montoya 20   10 Fluxa 15