Home Formula 3Formula Regional European Championship Petecof tops in-season FREC test at Monza, Vips absent

Petecof tops in-season FREC test at Monza, Vips absent

by Elliot Wood

Photo: ACI Sport

Gianluca Petecof and his Prema team-mates set the pace in Formula Regional European Championship’s in-season test at Monza, which KIC Motorsport’s Juri Vips was absent from.

Red Bull junior Vips was due to get his planned Super Formula campaign under way this weekend at Sportsland SUGO, having missed the first two rounds, but immigration issues caused by the coronavirus pandemic means he was unable to travel to Japan.

That should have freed him up to race in FREC this coming weekend instead, but he did not take part in the test the rest of the grid was using as a warm-up for the races at Monza.

Prema’s Oliver Rasmussen and Arthur Leclerc were the pacesetters on the morning of the Wednesday test, which marked the delayed first appearance of Brad Benavides at the RP Motorsport-supported DR Formula team.

Also in action was Euroformula champion and FIA Formula 3 Championship race-winner Leonardo Pulcini, driving a development chassis of FREC’s Tatuus T-318 car, and Nico Gohler at KIC.

Formula 4 graduate Gohler’s last appearance in the series was at the Red Bull Ring, where he drove KIC’s third car due to an absent Vips, suggesting he may be doing the same at Monza.

Van Amersfoort Racing’s Alessandro Famularo was quickest in the opening session of the afternoon, but nobody got close to Rasmussen’s early benchmark until Petecof set day-best times in sectors one and two to surpass his team-mate by 0.041 seconds towards the end of the final test session.

The final session of the day was interrupted by a red flag caused by Famularo’s team-mate Pierre-Louis Chovet stopping in the final sector, and only left four minutes of green flag running at the end.

KIC’s Patrik Pasma, who only managed two installation laps in the morning, went third fastest in the final session and ended up in fifth overall behind the closely matched Petecof, Rasmussen and Leclerc, and the similarly quick Chovet.

Benavides was little over three quarters of a second off the pace, while Pulcini’s best lap was 1.086s slower than Petecof’s.

Test results
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Gianluca Petecof Prema 1m46.907s 69
2 Oliver Rasmussen Prema 1m46.948s +0.041s 68
3 Arthur Leclerc Prema 1m46.975s +0.068s 68
4 Pierre-Louis Chovet Van Amersfoort Racing 1m47.054s +0.147s 64
5 Patrik Pasma KIC Motorsport 1m47.163s +0.256s 31
6 Konsta Lappalainen KIC Motorsport 1m47.166s +0.259s 71
7 Alessandro Famularo Van Amersfoort Racing 1m47.170s +0.263s 67
8 Jamie Chadwick Prema 1m47.540s +0.633s 70
9 Gillian Henrion Gillian Track Events 1m47.553s +0.646s 74
10 Brad Benavides DR Formula by RP Motorsport 1m47.702s +0.795s 58
11 Leonardo Pulcini 1m47.993s +1.086s 65
12 Emidio Pesce DR Formula by RP Motorsport 1m48.147s +1.240s 71
13 Nico Gohler KIC Motorsport 1m48.500s +1.593s 57
14 Andrea Cola Monolite Racing 1m48.645s +1.738s 72