Home Formula RegionalFRegional European Championship Ramos and Masson top FREC practice sessions at Paul Ricard

Ramos and Masson top FREC practice sessions at Paul Ricard

by Roger Gascoigne

Photo: Niels Broekema / DPPA

Race Performance Motorsport’s Santiago Ramos continued his recent strong Formula Regional European Championship pace by topping free practice at Paul Ricard.

Ramos headed FP1, held early on Friday session, being the only driver to dip below the two-minute-mark around the 5.8-kilometre circuit.

The evening session, held on a significantly cooler track, was brought to an early close by red flags, preventing late improvements from a field building up speed on their second stints.

As a result, Sainteloc Racing’s Esteban Masson finished FP2 on top with a time 0.038 seconds slower than Ramos’s earlier benchmark.

R-ace GP’s Tim Tramnitz and Prema’s Rafael Camara led the way early in FP1 as drivers returned to the pits at the mid-point, with Tramnitz’s time of 2m00.589s, set on his seventh lap, edging Camara’s best by just over a tenth of a second.

They were the only two to have set sub-2m01s laps, with Ramos half a second back in third.

In the final 10 minutes, MP Motosport’s Sami Meguetounif jumped to the top and compatriot Masson moved into third, before Camara quickly moved back to the front.

However with eight minutes to go, Ramos broke the two-minute barrier with a 1m59.748s, before improving again by just 0.004s on his final tour.

Van Amersfoort Racing’s Kas Haverkort took second with a late improvement, and was over three-tenths down on Ramos, with Maceo Capietto underlining R-P-M’s pace in third place.

Tramnitz and Camara had to settle for fourth and fith ahead of MP duo Victor Bernier and Meguetounif as the team made its first appearance since the tragic events at Spa-Francorchamps earlier this month.

With track temperatures over six degrees cooler for FP2, laptimes fell quickly. Ramos, Meguetounif, Camara and Laurens van Hoepen took turns at the front, before Meguetounif and Haverkort broke into the 1m59s with 30 minutes remaining.

Tramnitz had just joined them in that exclusive group as the top two pitted for fresh tyres.

As the shadows around the track lengthened, the field ventured out for their final runs with 15 minutes left on the clock, and Masson immediately jumped to the top. He was fastest in the first two sectors and recorded a 1m59.782s laptime.

Before anybody else could improve, an incident between Alessandro Giusti and Giovanni Maschio at the final corner with seven minutes to go brought out red flags and stewards deciding not to resume the session.

Series debutants Pierre-Alexandre Provost for G4 Racing and Ivan Klymenko, replacing Alex Partyshev at KIC Motorsport, finished their first day 28th and 32nd respectively.

Free practice results
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Santiago Ramos R-P-M 1m59.744s 37
2 Esteban Masson Sainteloc Racing 1m59.782s +0.038s 37
3 Sami Meguetounif MP Motorsport 1m59.956s +0.212s 30
4 Kas Haverkort Van Amersfoort Racing 1m59.970s +0.226s 34
5 Tim Tramnitz R-ace GP 1m59.997s +0.253s 33
6 Rafael Camara Prema 2m00.048s +0.304s 33
7 Martinius Stenshorne R-ace GP 2m00.065s +0.321s 33
8 Maceo Capietto R-P-M 2m00.106s +0.362s 37
9 Laurens van Hoepen ART Grand Prix 2m00.173s +0.429s 35
10 Alessandro Giusti G4 Racing 2m00.311s +0.567s 33
11 Emmo Fittipaldi Sainteloc Racing 2m00.333s +0.589s 37
12 Victor Bernier MP Motorsport 2m00.336s +0.592s 30
13 Nikhil Bohra Trident 2m00.399s +0.655s 36
14 Andrea Kimi Antonelli Prema 2m00.429s +0.685s 34
15 Owen Tangavelou Trident 2m00.445s +0.701s 34
16 Roman Bilinski Trident 2m00.470s +0.726s 34
17 Lorenzo Fluxa Prema 2m00.588s +0.844s 33
18 Maya Weug KIC Motorsport 2m00.599s +0.855s 33
19 Joshua Duerksen Arden 2m00.687s +0.943s 34
20 Matias Zagazeta R-ace GP 2m00.840s +1.096s 34
21 Tom Lebbon Arden 2m00.873s +1.129s 31
22 Michael Belov G4 Racing 2m00.876s +1.132s 38
23 Marcus Amand ART Grand Prix 2m00.879s +1.135s 30
24 Joshua Dufek Van Amersfoort Racing 2m01.029s +1.285s 20
25 Pierre-Alexandre Provost G4 Racing 2m01.207s +1.463s 35
26 Niels Koolen Van Amersfoort Racing 2m01.227s +1.483s 34
27 Kirill Smal Monolite Racing 2m01.243s +1.499s 28
28 Charlie Wurz ART Grand Prix 2m01.260s +1.516s 30
29 Giovanni Maschio Monolite Racing 2m01.282s +1.538s 31
30 Lucas Medina Sainteloc Racing 2m01.381s +1.637s 35
31 Levente Revesz Arden 2m01.470s +1.726s 33
32 Ivan Klymenko KIC Motorsport 2m01.755s +2.011s 36
33 Enzo Scionti Monolite Racing 2m01.857s +2.113s 30