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Saucy returns to top spot in action-packed FREC race two at Spa

by Roger Gascoigne

Photo: Formula Regional by Alpine

Gregoire Saucy took a deserved win in a thrilling second race of the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine round at Spa-Francorchamps, holding off a late challenge from Zane Maloney.

Saucy and ART Grand Prix team-mate, Gabriele Mini, made perfect starts from their front row starting positions, with the rest of the field filing through La Source without any incidents.

Mini got a run through Raidillon, and after running side-by-side with Saucy down the Kemmel straight, got ahead round the outside through Les Combes.

Having tried to repass Mini on lap two, Saucy managed to slipstream past in the same spot on lap three. Despite a brief safety car intervention, Saucy was able to maintain a gap to his pursuers of around one second for the rest of the race.

Mini was shuffled down to fourth on lap fourth as first Maloney and then Hadrien David (both R-ace GP) found a way past at the top of the circuit.

Though Maloney was able to reduce the gap to Saucy over the final laps, he was never close enough to make a challenge for the lead.

Behind the four leaders the racing was frenetic, with a train of up to 10 cars swapping places repeatedly around the Ardennes circuit. Prema Powerteam drivers Paul Aron and David Vidales tangled at Les Combes on lap nine, demoting Vidales to the back of the field.

Saturday’s dominant race winner, Michael Belov, had been making quiet progress from 11th on the grid, and the Prema drivers’ clash promoted him to sixth place. With a clear track the G4 Racing driver began to fly, setting fastest lap on lap 10 and again on lap 11.

His pace enabled him to catch and pass Franco Colapinto (MP Motorsport) before hauling in Mini at over 0.7s a lap. He closed to just 0.35s behind at the flag after a superb drive.

Colapinto held on for sixth, ahead of Dexter Patterson (Monolite), Paul Aron (Prema Powerteam), Isack Hadjar (R-ace GP) and William Alatalo (Arden).

With the next round at Nurburgring having been cancelled as a result of the terrible flooding in the Eifel region, Saucy heads into the enforced summer break with his series lead restored to 60 points over David.

Race results (14 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time/Gap
1 Gregoire Saucy ART Grand Prix 33m55.704s
2 Zane Maloney R-ace GP +0.745s
3 Hadrien David R-ace GP +1.610s
4 Gabriele Mini ART Grand Prix +3.908s
5 Michael Belov G4 Racing +4.259s
6 Franco Colapinto MP Motorsport +8.960s
7 Dexter Patterson Monolite Racing +11.045s
8 Paul Aron Prema +11.753s
9 Isack Hadjar R-ace GP +14.102s
10 William Alatalo Arden +14.589s
11 Patrik Pasma ART Grand Prix +15.955s
12 Gabriel Bortoleto FA Racing by MP +17.722s
13 Mari Boya Van Amersfoort Racing +17.871s
14 Dino Beganovic Prema +18.708s
15 Ido Cohen JD Motorsport +19.738s
16 Francesco Pizzi Van Amersfoort Racing +20.246s
17 Oliver Goethe MP Motorsport +22.701s
18 Kas Haverkort MP Motorsport +23.497s
10 Lorenzo Fluxa Van Amersfoort Racing +24.556s
20 Elias Seppanen KIC Motorsport +24.657s
21 Andrea Rosso FA Racing by MP +25.005s
22 Eduardo Barrichello JD Motorsport +25.540s
23 Axel Gnos G4 Racing +28.510s
24 Nico Gohler KIC Motorsport +30.167s
26 David Vidales Prema +38.170s
25 Emidio Pesce DR Formula +40.329s
27 Lena Buhler R-ace GP +40.478s
Ret Alex Quinn Arden
Ret Nicola Marinangeli Arden
Ret Pietro Delli Guanti Monolite Racing
Ret Tommy Smith JD Motorsport
Ret Jasin Ferati KIC Motorsport
Ret Alexandre Bardinon FA Racing by MP
Fastest lap: Belov, 2m17.678s

Championship standings
 Saucy 189   2 David 129   3 Maloney 124   4 Mini 109   5 Hadjar 103   6 Aron 100   7 Quinn 80   8 Alatalo 74   9 Pasma 56   10 Vidales 52