Pedro Juan Moreno was the dominant driver in NACAM Formula 4’s season opener in Mexico City, but it was Cristian Cantu who emerged as points leader.
Moreno topped qualifying by 1.574 seconds over Alexandra Monhaupt, with he same gap covering Monhaupt, Cantu and Marco Alquicira.
The entry list was depleted through practice and qualifying, and only 10 cars started race one. Moreno was unstoppable in it, building a lead of 2.614s after two laps and being 7.266s clear after seven. He then managed his gap before the safety car was summoned on lap 12 of the timed half-hour race.
There were two stallers at the start, and Cantu came out on top of a three-wide fight into the first corner to take second place. He held that position for seven laps, despite a huge lock-up into the turn 4/5 chicane on lap five, before a lock-up at the opening section of corners enabled Monhaupt to pass down the second straight on lap eight.
Monhaupt had dropped to fourth on lap one, and had claimed third on lap five by passing Alquicira – who then dropped back. After getting ahead of Cantu, Monhaupt resisted several laps of pressure before the safety car’s appearance.
Cantu went back past Monhaupt in a three-wide move when racing resumed on lap 14, and fended her off to the finish while Moreno won by 2.174s.
Alquicira fell so far back he dropped to sixth behind the previously distant David Cardenas and Arturo Flores by lap 11, and retired following the restart. That enabled the lapped Joe Sandoval to be the last finisher in sixth.
Sandoval’s Morelia Racing Team team-mates also retired, while Richard Motorsport driver Diego de la Torre’s race ended in the pits.
Moreno had a clear pace advantage again in race two the next day, but a winning margin of only 1.071s over Cardenas.
This time 11 cars made the start, however only seven finished and Sandoval once again met the chequered flag a lap down in seventh.
Moreno was 5.2s clear in race three when a big lock-up on lap seven led to him slowing down and then pitting. Several more slow laps followed, and he finished a lapped seventh as Cantu won.
Once Cantu inherited the lead he looked dominant, before a safety car period due to de la Torre stopping on track. Following the restart he pulled a 3.201s gap in three laps to claim victory and the points lead while Alquicira dropped from second to sixth and so Cardenas and Monhaupt completed the podium.
Only nine cars raced, with Dewey Richards attempting to take part but ending up being wheeled into the garage at the start.
Race 1 (16 laps)
1 Pedro Juan Moreno Ram Racing 29m44.928s
2 Cristian Cantu RE Racing +2.174s
3 Alexandra Monhaupt Ram Racing +3.371s
4 David Cardenas Ram Racing +3.560s
5 Arturo Flores Ram Racing +4.369s
6 Joe Sandoval Morelia Racing Team +1 lap
Ret Marco Alquicira Santinel Racing Team
Ret Daniel Forcadell Morelia Racing Team
Ret Julian Diaz Morelia Racing Team
Ret Diego de la Torre Richard Motorsport
Pole: Moreno, 1m41.444s
Fastest lap: Moreno, 1m44.022s
Race 2 (16 laps)
1 Moreno 27m32.957s
2 Cardenas +1.071s
3 Cantu +13.989s
4 de la Torre +16.251s
5 M Alquicira +22.750s
6 Diaz +1m24.422s
7 Sandoval +1 lap
Ret E Alquiciria
Ret Dewey Richards Richard Motorsport
FL: Moreno, 1m40.795s
Race 3 (16 laps)
1 Cantu 30m21.347s
2 Cardenas +3.201s
3 Monhaupt +3.989s
4 Flores +4.766s
5 Diaz +14.519s
6 M Alquicira +40.868s
7 Moreno +1 lap
8 Sandoval +1 lap
Ret de la Torre
FL: Moreno, 1m41.023s
1 Cantu 58 2 Moreno 56 3 Cardenas 48 4 Monhaupt 30 5 Flores 22 6 Sandoval 18 7 M Alquicira 18 8 Diaz 18 9 de la Torre 12