Evan Giltaire soars to victory in Race 2 at Hockenheim

The Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine Race 2 at Hockenheim is full of twists right from the start. Leading the pack is Evan Giltaire, the ace of ART Grand Prix, who takes the inside line of turn 1 and grabs the lead starting from P2. The Frenchman remains at the front of the race and perfectly manages the various restarts after the Safety Car interventions, in a race that sees multiple interruptions due to incidents within the group. Giltaire, in his Rookie season, flies towards victory, redeeming a first Championship weekend that had seen him consistently performant but was halted on Saturday by a fuel pump issue. Following closely behind, crossing the finish line in second place, is Rafael Camara, Prema Racing Ferrari Driver Academy driver, who maximizes his weekend haul thanks to a superb start from the second row. With the victory secured in Race 1, the Brazilian accumulates the most points from the opening round and establishes himself as the leaderboard leader with 43 points. The third step of the Race 2 podium is claimed by Portuguese driver Ivan Domingues of Van Amersfoort Racing, who had already impressed on Saturday by clinching the Rookie win with a fifth-place finish overall. Now, Giltaire and Domingues share the second spot in the drivers’ standings, with 25 points each.

While Sunday at Hockenheim was an unlucky race day for the pole-sitter James Wharton, who encountered problems and is forced to pit already on the first lap, unable to rejoin the race afterward, it was very profitable for Enzo Deligny. The Red Bull junior driver of R-ace GP obtained infact the fourth place in Race 2, followed by the Italian McLaren junior driver of Van Amersfoort Racing, Brando Badoer. Both drivers put on a spectacle with an exhilarating battle to climb the standings, which also involved Saintéloc Racing’s Théophile Naël. Naël, in particular, thrilled with breathtaking overtakes in Race 2, eventually crossing the finish line in P5, but the Frenchman was demoted to P7 post-race due to a penalty for track limits violation. Sixth place is secured by Brazilian Pedro Clerot, representing Van Amersfoort Racing, who had the challenging task of holding off Nikita Bedrin, the incredibly fast MP Motorsport driver, who finished eighth.

Rounding off the Top 10 were Finnish Ferrari Driver Academy driver Tuukka Taponen of R-ace GP in ninth place and Italian Alpine Academy driver Nicola Lacorte of Trident Motorsport in tenth. Lacorte tenaciously secured the final point at stake in Race 2, following a fierce battle with his teammate Roman Bilinski and Matteo De Palo from Saintéloc Racing, who were equally determined to break into the points. De Palo, too, was penalized post-race with a two-place drop for track limits infringement.

Several incidents during the final race of the season’s opening round caused interruptions. Drivers forced to stop included Australian Costa Toparis of KIC Motorsport; Kanato Le of G4 Racing; Sauber-affiliated ART Grand Prix driver Léna Buhler; McLaren junior driver Ugo Ugochukwu of Prema Racing; KIC Motorsport’s Vietnamese driver Hoang Dat Sawer; and Edgar Pierre of RPM.

 

Evan Giltaire:It has been a tough race with the safety cars. Honestly it wasn’t the best race ever, but we managed every time to secure the first place after the safety car restart. The team did an amazing job, I’m really happy about my performance also. I just want to thank my team, my family, my sponsors…it’s just the best day of my life! It has been a really difficult weekend for us. The free practices were a bit hard. We then come back a lot in the qualifying yesterday, with the P4, it was very nice. Then the mechanical issue in the first race when I was battling for the top 3, but it is like it is. This morning the qualifying, still a good performance, not the pole unfortunately, but the performance was great. Then today the perfect start of the race. I want to win this Championship, even if I’m a rookie, and even if we are struggling a bit, now I’m sure that we can win this Championship at the end of the year. It’s going to be a long year, but I’m sure we can do well.”

Hockenheim (GER), May 09-12 2024 – Round One of Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine 2024 at Hockenheim Ring. Evan GILTAIRE #95, ART Grand Prix. © 2024 Dutch Photo Agency.

Rafael Camara:we had a really good start and first lap. I was able to go to P2, and from there on, there were many Safety Cars, it was very difficult to get tyres in temp and racing. It’s very important to grab the points, and that’s what we did in this race. It’s important for the Championship, it’s still a long way to go, but this is almost a perfect start. Now we focus on the next race, we work hard as we did all the way in the winter.”

Ivan Domingues: “It was a nice race in the end. I managed to keep it steady in the first lap and avoid contacts. I managed to gain a position. I managed to have good safety car restarts and I just kept it nice and clean. There were no mistakes from the guys ahead, and no time for us to fight and trade positions. In the end, good points, is nice to be on the overall podium. I’m happy for how the first weekend went. Now we just have to stay calm, and focus on the next round with the same approach. We’ll see what we can do, but of course I feel confident after this first round. I want to take a moment to thank my team for the hard work during the winter, also my mom and dad, my family, the people who came here to support me, who is watching me at home, and my sponsors of course.”

 

The next round will be at Spa on May 25th and 26th.

 

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