Tim Tramnitz won on home soil in a hectic first race of the Formula Regional European Championship season finale at Hockenheim.
The new Red Bull junior took the lead of the race on the opening lap from fourth place on the grid, and resisted attacks from Rafael Camara to earn his third victory of the season.
He reduced gap in the standings to his R-ace GP team-mate Martinius Stenshorne, who eventually finished second, to 15 points ahead of the final race of the season, where they both will aim to become series runner-up.
Prema’s Camara claimed the lead off-the-line from polesitter Kas Haverkort, who immediately tried to cover the inside after a slow start but couldn’t hold on to first place.
Behind them, Tramnitz overtook Stenshorne, and placed himself alongside Camara and Haverkort helped by the slipstream as they headed to the hairpin. On the outside line, Tramnitz outbraked his rivals to take the lead of the race.
The safety car was deployed before the end of the first lap as MP Motorsport’s Javier Sagrera clipped the rear-left tyre of Arden’s Tom Lebbon at the hairpin spinning him round. Both drivers rejoined the track, but marshals had to recover the car of Van Amersfoort Racing’s Ivan Domingues, who had come to a halt at the exit of turn one.
The track went green again soon after, and Stenshorne didn’t hesitate and dived to the inside of Haverkort with late braking at the hairpin to take third place.
The race progressed with battles for position across the whole field. Series champion Andrea Kimi Antonelli recovered ground and moved up to seventh place, after starting 10th and dropping to 11th on the opening lap.
Haverkort ran wide into the gravel trap at the exit of the last corner, which resulted in him dropping from fourth to sixth place behind RPM Motorsport’s Maceo Capietto and VAR team-mate Nikita Bedrin.
Halfway through the race, Sainteloc Racing’s Emmo Fittipaldi went wide at the hairpin. Right behind him, his team-mate Esteban Masson went for the gap, and both touched as Fittipaldi returned to the racing line. The safety car was quickly called to the track, closing the gap Tramnitz and Camara had built at the front.
Both Fittipaldi and Masson were able to continue and racing resumed the following lap, but the green flag conditions didn’t last for long. Monolite Racing’s Valentin Kluss went off at the stadium before the restart, and then Trident’s Owen Tangavelou damaged his front-left suspension as he made contact with RPM’s Noah Stromsted in a four-car battle at the hairpin after the restart, just before the safety car was deployed for the third time.
Action resumed with under five minutes remaining on the clock with fierce battles everywhere.
Race leader Tramnitz fended off Camara first at turn eight, then at the hairpin the following lap, and Stenshorne benefitted from the momentum lost by the Ferrari junior to pass him for second place with an aggressive move on his inside at turn eight.
Camara ran off the track and Bedrin, who had moved ahead of Capietto the previous lap after he went wide while attempting to overtake Stenshorne, got past.
The battle for second place allowed Tramnitz to open a safe gap and win the race. Meanwhile, Bedrin put pressure on Stenshorne for second place in the last lap, but couldn’t make a move and finished third.
Race result (17 laps)
|1||Tim Tramnitz||R-ace GP|
|2||Martinius Stenshorne||R-ace GP||+1.690s|
|3||Nikita Bedrin||Van Amersfoort Racing||+2.589s|
|5||Kas Haverkort||Van Amersfoort Racing||+3.338s|
|6||Andrea Kimi Antonelli||Prema||+3.802s|
|9||Laurens van Hoepen||ART Grand Prix||+7.620s|
|13||Sami Meguetounif||MP Motorsport||+9.037s|
|15||Victor Bernier||MP Motorsport||+9.566s|
|16||Marcus Amand||ART Grand Prix||+9.957s|
|18||Maya Weug||KIC Motorsport||+11.172s|
|19||Javier Sagrera||MP Motorsport||+12.334s|
|20||Pierre-Alexandre Provost||G4 Racing||+13.440s|
|22||Evan Giltaire||ART Grand Prix||+15.072s|
|23||Giovanni Maschio||Monolite Racing||+15.727s|
|24||Francisco Soldavini||G4 Racing||+16.579s|
|25||Emmo Fittipaldi||Sainteloc Racing||+17.255s|
|26||Enzo Scionti||Monolite Racing||+18.195s|
|27||Ivan Klymenko||KIC Motorsport||+18.442s|
|Ret||Alessandro Giusti||G4 Racing|
|Ret||Valentin Kluss||Monolite Racing|
|Ret||Esteban Masson||Sainteloc Racing|
|Ret||Matias Zagazeta||R-ace GP|
|Ret||Ivan Domingues||Van Amersfoort Racing|
|Fastest lap: Tramnitz, 1m37.258s