Home Featured Stenshorne takes untroubled win in shortened FREC opener at Imola

Stenshorne takes untroubled win in shortened FREC opener at Imola

by Roger Gascoigne

Photo: Dutch Photo Agency

Martinius Stenshorne converted his inherited pole position into a convincing victory in a shortened opening Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine race at Imola.

Despite two safety car restarts, the R-ace GP driver was never threatened by the three Prema cars running line astern behind him, taking victory when the race was brought to an early finish by an incident at the back of the field.

Andrea Kimi Antonelli held off team-mate Rafael Camara to take second, with the third Prema car of Lorenzo Fluxa in fourth.

Camara had one brief look at making a move on Antonelli into Tamburello but otherwise the order remained stable throughout the 12-lap race.

Kas Haverkort took fifth for Van Amersfoort Racing ahead of R-ace GP’s Tim Tramnitz, who resisted a challenge from G4 Racing’s Alessandro Giusti.

There was drama before the start when second-row starter, R-P-M’s Santiago Ramos pulled into the pits at the end of the formation lap, and though he could rejoin he was unable to progress higher than 23rd by the finish.

ART Grand Prix’s Charlie Wurz almost stalled before getting going and was lucky not to be collected by any of those behind him.

With Stenshorne already pulling out in front the safety car was soon deployed with Oleksandr Partyshev beached in the gravel on the exit of Tamburello after a coming-together with Enzo Scionti.

To add to R-P-M’s disastrous race, Maceo Capietto was forced to retire with damage, while Arden’s Tom Lebbon pitted under yellow to replace a damaged front wing.

When green flag running resumed, Giusti was the man on the move. In a beautiful manoeuvre to pass Nikhil Bohra he dummied to the right on the run down to Tamburello, before switching to the inside to outbrake the Trident driver into the corner.

VAR’s Joshua Dufek was able to follow Giusti through as Bohra dropped back to ninth.

The safety car was soon out again after Trident’s Roman Bilinski pulled off the track after running through the gravel at Tamburello with 10 mins remaining.

Quick work by the marshals saw the safety car return to the pits after a single lap with Stenshorne again timing the restart to perfection.

Giusti was looking to repeat his party trick into Tamburello on Tramnitz, but as he dived back to the inside, the German driver was wise to the move and defended his position successfully.

A scrap at the lower end of the top ten between Michael Belov, Bohra and Laurens van Hoepen saw  Belov emerge in front after Van Hoepen ran wide, slowing both him and Bohra.

However, another incident between Lucas Medina and Adam Fitzgerald, completing R-P-M’s nightmare afternoon, brought out a red flag.

The stewards took the decision not to restart the race with three minutes plus one lap remaining.

As a result, the final classification reverted to the positions at the end of lap 12, promoting Bohra back ahead of Belov and Van Hoepen in the final results.

Race results (12 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Martinius Stenshorne R-ace GP 24m46.495s
2 Andrea Kimi Antonelli Prema +0.828s
3 Rafael Camara Prema +1.275s
4 Lorenzo Fluxa Prema +1.825s
5 Kas Haverkort Van Amersfoort Racing +2.363s
6 Tim Tramnitz R-ace GP +3.006s
7 Alessandro Giusti G4 Racing +3.481s
8 Joshua Dufek Van Amersfoort Racing +4.751s
9 Nikhil Bohra Trident +5.174s
10 Michael Belov G4 Racing +5.227s
11 Laurens van Hoepen ART Grand Prix +5.492s
12 Victor Bernier MP Motorsport +5.735s
13 Matias Zagazeta R-ace GP +6.229s
14 Dilano van’t Hoff MP Motorsport +6.562s
15 Joshua Duerksen Arden +6.962s
16 Owen Tangavelou Trident +7.347s
17 Sami Meguetounif MP Motorsport +8.076s
18 Marcus Amand ART Grand Prix +8.207s
19 Emmo Fittipaldi Sainteloc Racing +8.434s
20 Maya Weug KIC Motorsport +9.029s
21 Shannon Lugassy KIC Motorsport +9.473s
22 Adam Fitzgerald R-P-M +9.803s
23 Santiago Ramos R-P-M +9.894s
24 Levente Revesz Arden +10.944s
25 Enzo Scionti Monolite Racing +11.081s
26 Charlie Wurz ART Grand Prix +13.352s
27 Lucas Medina Sainteloc Racing +14.878s
28 Giovanni Maschio Monolite Racing +15.019s
29 Niels Koolen Van Amersfoort Racing +16.571s
30 Tom Lebbon Arden +18.158s
Ret Roman Bilinski Trident
Ret Maceo Capietto R-P-M
Ret Alex Partyshev KIC Motorsport
Fastest lap: Stenshorne, 1m40.249s