Home Formula 4Italian F4 VAR’s Hiyu Yamakoshi sweeps Italian F4 poles at Imola

VAR’s Hiyu Yamakoshi sweeps Italian F4 poles at Imola

by Ida Wood

Photo: ACI Sport

Van Amersfoort Racing’s Hiyu Yamakoshi swept all three pole positions in Italian Formula 4 qualifying at Imola.

It was a very closely fought first qualifying session, with the top four covered by 0.096 seconds. US Racing’s Akshay Bohra topped the times initially with a 1m47.055s, putting him 0.324s ahead of Matheus Ferreira. Jack Beeton and Gianmarco Pradel made it a US lockout of the top four places before VAR’s Gustav Jonsson went third fastest five minutes in.

Bohra then improved to 1m45.573s, with Beeton and Ferreira 0.033s and 0.369s behind. Maxim Rehm continued US’s domination as he was fourth fastest. The top Prema driver was down in 15th, and some of the team’s drivers managed to get their second flying laps in before a full course yellow period.

Jenzer Motorsport’s Reno Francot lapped 0.119s off Bohra’s benchmark to rise to third, his team-mate Ethan Ischer was sixth and Prema duo Freddie Slater and Rashid Al Dhaheri climbed to seventh and eighth prior to the yellow flags appearing.

The track went green again eight-and-a-half minutes in, but then with five minutes left of the 15-minute session there was another FCY as Jenzer’s Shimo Zhang got stuck in the gravel at turn four.

There was less than four minutes to go when green flags waved once more, and personal bests were set again with one-and-a-half minutes remaining. Prema’s Kean Nakamura Berta went third fastest, team-mate Dion Gowda rose to fifth and PHM Racing’s Davide Larini slotted into seventh.

Yamakoshi lowered the pace by 0.32s with 50s left of Q1, and Beeton improved but remained in third as Pradel and Jonsson climbed back up to fifth and eighth.

Rehm then took over eighth place with 13s to go, and after that Francot got within 0.198s of Yamakoshi’s 1m45.253s laptime as Al Dhaheri went fourth fastest.

Those positions were not held for long, and after the chequered flag Slater, Bohra, Gowda and Prema’s Tomass Stolcermanis all beat Francot but could not outpace Yamakoshi. Slater got closest, missing out on pole by 0.038s, and Bohra was 0.059s behind.

Beeton and Jonsson qualified seventh and eighth with their final laps, and Prema’s Alex Powell got himself into the top 10. The top 26 were covered by 0.96s.

AKM Motorsport’s Wiktor Dobranzki was Q2’s surprise early pacesetter, then Yamakoshi was on top after everyone had done their second flying laps. He set a 1m45.144s almost seven minutes in, improved to 1m44.831s on his next lap, then could not go any faster but still took race two pole by 0.346s over Beeton.

Slater had trailed Yamakoshi by 0.075s at first, with Jonsson 0.186s behind, and remained in second despite not improving on his third lap. Beeton and Powell then beat him with their fourth efforts, and on his fifth lap Bohra went third fastest. Near the end Slater did improve by 0.007s, but remained in fifth place.

The second-best laptimes from Q2 set the top 27 positions on race three’s grid, and Yamakoshi secured pole by 0.077s over Beeton and 0.094s over Slater.

Qualifying round-up
Race 1 grid
1 Hiyu Yamakoshi Van Amersfoort Racing 1m45.253s
2 Freddie Slater Prema +0.038s
3 Akshay Bohra US Racing+0.059s
4 Dion Gowda Pema +0.096s
5 Tomass Stolcermanis Prema +0.191s
6 Reno Francot Jenzer Motorsport +0.198s
7 Jack Beeton US Racing +0.205s
8 Gustav Jonsson Van Amersfoort Racing +0.232s
9 Kean Nakamura Berta Prema +0.235s
10 Alex Powell Prema +0.237s

Race 2 grid
1 Yamakoshi 1m44.831s
2 Beeton +0.346s
3 Bohra +0.353s
4 Powell +0.364s
5 Slater +0.381s
6 Gianmarco Pradel US Racing+0.436s
7 Gowda +0.443s
8 Nakamura +0.474s
9 Stolcermanis +0.489s
10 Maxim Rehm US Racing +0.490s

Race 3 grid
1 Yamakoshi 1m45.125s
2 Beeton +0.077s
3 Slater +0.094s
4 Rehm +0.219s
5 Nakamura +0.236s
6 Powell +0.237s
7 Bohra +0.253s
8 Stolcermanis +0.262s
9 Francot +0.314s
10 Matheus Ferreira US Racing +0.349s