At Paul Ricard, the French Rookie Alessandro Giusti of G4 Racing secured his maiden pole position, achieving the great feat in his home circuit. The top grid spot was obtained with a record lap time of 1’58.968 in the second group on the track this morning. Joining him on the front row for Race 1 is the best of Group A, Norwegian Martinius Stenshorne from Team R-ace GP.
In Qualifying 1, with the drivers from Group A on the track, the phase of warming up the tires was crucial, especially on a challenging track like the one in Le Castellet. It required a few extra laps compared to usual to bring the tires to the right temperature. Kirill Smal from Team Monolite Racing was among the first drivers to set a fast time. He then surrendered the top spot to Victor Bernier, the Frenchman from MP Motorsport. Tim Tramnitz, the German driver from R-ace GP, then set his hot lap and held the P1 for a long time in the session, before being bested only in the final lap by Stenshorne. The Norwegian driver set the benchmark for the group with a time of 1’59.176. Tramnitz finished second, securing a one-two for the Team, with a gap of 0.111. French driver Esteban Masson, representing Saintéloc Racing, delivered an excellent performance, claiming the third position with a gap of 0.391. Following closely was Bernier, who finished the session in fourth place with a gap of 0.397 from Stenshorne. The fifth position went to Brazilian driver Rafael Camara, representing Prema Racing, with a gap of 0.425. He was followed by Maya Weug, KIC Motorsport driver, who set another impressive performance, finishing 0.573 seconds behind.
In the second group on the track, Dutch driver Laurens Van Hoepen from ART Grand Prix is among the early leaders in the session, bringing his time under two minutes but not enough to surpass Stenshorne. Then it’s Alessandro Giusti’s turn, who sets a record lap time of 1’58.968, securing the overall pole position on French soil. Once again, it will be a Rookie driver leading the pack in Race 1. The second position in the Group B session went to another French driver, Sami Meguetounif of MP Motorsport, who gains it in the last lap with a spectacular performance, finishing with a gap of 0.111.
The third position went to the driver from Bologna, Andrea Kimi Antonelli, representing Prema Racing, who also set a flying lap at the very last moments of the session and briefly held the second position before relinquishing it to the French driver by a few hundredths. His gap from Giusti is 0.183. Van Hoepen finished fourth with a gap of 0.198. Michael Belov, the driver of G4 Racing, secured then the fifth position with a gap of 0.229. The qualifying session was very tight in both groups, promising an exciting spectacle for the first race scheduled for today.
Alessandro Giusti: “It was a very good qualifying. We did well on the weekend, unfortunately we did a barrel roll yesterday…it is a bit of an up and down situation. Yesterday I was upside-down, and today we are on pole. It is amazing, we did very good in qualifying, the car was so good and I did my job to do the pole. It is my home track, I like this track, I did the pole here in F4…but now in Formula Regional is more important. I want to win the race, obviously, but take points is the most important thing.”
Martinius Stenshorne: “The speed was really good in this qualifying as well. In Group B, Giusti was a bit faster, but I’m still happy with the P1 in the group. The wind is changing the breaking point in some corners a bit, but it is the same for everyone, so not a big problem in the end. In Race 1 we will do our best for sure!”.
The first race of the weekend, lasting 30 minutes plus one lap, will start at 15:50. On Sunday, July 23rd, the second qualifying session will start at 9:10, with each group having a 15-minute session. The engines of the Tatuus cars will then roar for the final race of round 6, which will last 30 minutes plus one lap and start at 16:30. Both the qualifying and race sessions will be live-streamed on the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine YouTube page (@formularegionaleubyalpine).