Home Formula 4ACCR F4 PHM Racing drivers share wins in F4 CEZ round two at the Red Bull Ring

PHM Racing drivers share wins in F4 CEZ round two at the Red Bull Ring

by Ida Wood

Photo: F4 CEZ

PHM Racing’s Andrej Petrovic, Maximilian Popov and Kamal Mrad won Formula 4 Central European Zone’s races at the Red Bull Ring as Jenzer Motorsport’s Oscar Wurz grew his points lead.

Friday featured two 25-minute test sessions and a 27-minute practice session. Popov led the way in testing, setting a 1m31.521s to edge Enea Frey by just 0.004 seconds. Petrovic and Mrad were 0.259s and 0.32s behind in third and fourth, with BVM Racing’s Shimo Zhang completing a top five covered by 0.336s.

Conditions were worse for practice, and a 1m46.004s put Mrad on top by 0.093s over guest driver Ethan Ischer. Petrovic was third again, 0.485s off the pace.

The track was nice and dry again for qualifying on Saturday morning, and Mrad set a 1m31.704s to pip team-mate Davide Larini to race one pole by 0.02s. Ischer was 0.187s behind in third after failing to improve on his last laps, Petrovic was fourth, and the top seven was rounded out by Luca Viisoreanu, Popov and Frey. The 24-car field marked a 10-car increase on the season opener.

Larini took the lead from Mrad on the opening lap of race one, and on lap two there was drama as Ischer pitted and Max Karhan crashed, prompting the safety car to appear. Frey passed Popov for fourth just before that, and Oscar Wurz overtook Viisoreanu for sixth.

Racing resumed on lap five and Kirill Kutskov retired, meaning the safety car immediately returned.

The next restart was on lap eight, and Mrad fell from second to fifth. That did not make life easier for Larini, who traded fastest laps with the chasing Petrovic until he got past at turn three on the last lap. They went side-by-side through the final two corners and Petrovic prevailed by 0.01s.

Popov took third from Frey, Wurz and Viisoreanu demoted Mrad to seventh, and Ischer recovered to eighth after Matus Ryba was penalised two seconds for track limits abuse.

The finishing positions set race two’s grid, but Petrovic immediately threw away his pole advantage by stalling. Larini inherited the lead, then the safety car appeared due to Nathanel Berreby spinning out. After the restart, Popov passed Larini and went on to win by 0.778s. Mrad was gapped in third, and Ischer was fourth.

Race one’s top six were then reversed for race three’s grid, and Viisoreanu made the most of his pole starting spot to lead the first 11 laps of the race. But with four to go he was overtaken by Kamal Mrad, who had started seventh but made it up to third on lap one and had passed Wurz on lap eight of 15.

Wurz also managed to pass Viisoreanu, after making contact, to finish second.

Fourth place made Larini the weekend’s top scorer, and Wurz grew his championship lead during the event by 34 points.

Kutskov had a race-ending incident for the third time in three races, resulting in the safety car being summoned mid-race.

Race 1 (14 laps)
1 Andrej Petrovic PHM Racing 25m51.363s
2 Davide Larini PHM Racing +0.010s
3 Maximilian Popov PHM Racing +2.061s
4 Enea Frey Jenzer Motorsport +2.699s
5 Oscar Wurz Jenzer Motorsport +3.801s
6 Luca Viisoreanu Real Racing Team +4.821s
7 Kamal Mrad PHM Racing +5.185s
8 Ethan Ischer Jenzer Motorsport +7.867s
9 Jonathan Correrella Gender Racing Team +9.072s
10 Matus Ryba Jenzer Motorsport +9.277s
Pole: Mrad, 1m31.704s
Fastest lap: Petrovic, 1m32.632s

Race 2 (15 laps)
1 Popov 24m21.958s
2 Larini +0.778s
3 Mrad +3.851s
4 Ischer +4.711s
5 Frey +9.263s
6 Petrovic +9.414s
7 Shimo Zhang BVM Racing +10.548s
8 Wurz +12.586s
9 Viisoreanu +13.990s
10 Miroslva Mikes JMT Racing +19.228s
FL: Petrovic, 1m32.209s

Race 3 (15 laps)
1 Mrad 25m55.916s
2 Wurz +0.574s
3 Viisorenau +1.345s
4 Larini +1.808s
5 Frey +5.343s
6 Petrovic +6.592s
7 Popov +7.377s
8 Andrija Kotic Jenzer Motorsport +9.152s
9 Zhang +9.464s
10 Ryba +10.358s
FL: Mrad, 1m32.652s

Championship standings
1 Wurz 102   2 Kirill Kutskov 58   3 Larini 48   4 Popov 46   5 Mrad 46   6 Petrovic 43   7 Zhang 41   8 Mikes 36   9 Frey 34   10 Viisoreanu 27