The Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine fired up its engines again this afternoon at Paul Ricard, where the sixth of ten double events of the 2023 season is taking place. On the French track, the local driver Alessandro Giusti secured his first win behind the wheel of a car fielded by the G4 Racing team.
It was a perfect weekend for the French driver, who also clinched his first pole position in the international series this morning. After a strong start to the race, Giusti remained firmly in control from the first to the last lap, also claiming the top spot in the rookie grouping. Climbing up to the second step of the podium was his fellow countryman Sami Meguetounif, skillfully regaining a position in the early stages of the race, a maneuver that resulted in an important achievement for the MP Motorsport team, making a comeback to the series this weekend after the tragic passing of Dilano Van’ T Hoff at Spa Francorchamps. The young Martinius Stenshorne continues to impress, consolidating his lead in the overall championship standings with today’s third-place finish.
Behind the Norwegian driver, his teammate Tim Tramnitz finished the race in fourth position, showcasing the excellent form of the two R-ace GP drivers. Securing the fifth position was Prema Racing‘s Andrea Kimi Antonelli, who constantly battled with the leading pack throughout the race. Also putting on a strong performance was ART Grand Prix‘s Laurens Van Hoepen, claiming a solid sixth-place finish ahead of Victor Bernier in the second MP Motorsport car.
An interesting duel took place in the final stages of the race for the eighth position between Rafael Camara (Prema Racing) and Michael Belov, with Camara managing to get the better of the G4 Racing driver. Completing the top 10 was Maya Weug (KIC Motorsport), skillfully fending off the attacks of both Lorenzo Fluxa (Prema Racing) and Kas Haverkort (Van Amersfoort Racing), who crossed the finish line in eleventh and twelfth places, respectively.
Noteworthy was the entry of the safety car following a collision between Enzo Scionti (Monolite Racing) and Niels Koolen (Van Amersfoort Racing), with the latter forced to retire. With the engines off, a penalty was imposed on Scionti, who will be moved back four positions in tomorrow’s race.
Alessandro Giusti: “It was a major race. I’m super happy to do what we have done with the Team. We had very good pace, in qualifying and in race. Now we take some pleasure, and then tomorrow we come back to do qualifying and a good race. Sami was quite fast in the first 25 minutes. I managed to do a good safety car restart, to pull like 7 or 8 tenths straight away. Then I built a bit of gap and managed the race.”
Sami Meguetounif: “This podium is the best thing we could ask after what happened in Spa. After the loss of Dilano it was difficult for everybody to comeback at the circuit. We couldn’t hope for a better race to give some happiness. Everything we have done after Spa was for him. I’m happy for me, but I’m also to give that to the Team. We have something to do tomorrow as well, maybe the win.”
Martinius Stenshorne: “It was a good race. Bad start unfortunately, and I lost P2 to Sami. After that, I was managing. I tried to get to him in the end, but it wasn’t enough. I’m happy to be P3 anyway, of course these are good points. We don’t have any expectation at the moment, we just try to do our best every time, we try to get the best of ourselves as much as possible.”
The European series will be back in action tomorrow morning at 9.10 am for the second qualifying session, while Race 2 will start at 4.30 pm, always over a distance of 30′ plus one lap to complete. The race will be also available in live streaming on the official YouTube page of the Championship @formularegionaleubyalpine.