The second race of the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine at Paul Ricard delivers thrilling action to the checkered flag. Andrea Kimi Antonelli (Prema Racing) secures his third victory of the year in France, commanding the race from pole to finish.
The young driver from Bologna achieved a significant result with this success, as he now surpasses his direct rival Martinius Stenshorne (R-ace GP), gaining 187 points and holding a six-point advantage over the Norwegian. Stenshorne, starting from the sixth position on the grid, managed to gain two places, finishing the race in fourth and securing the top spot among the rookies.
A notable mention goes to the local driver Esteban Masson, who secured the first podium of the year for the Sainteloc Racing team. He accomplished this feat with a strong performance this morning, setting the fastest time in Group A. Masson skillfully maintained his second position despite late attacks from Tim Tramnitz (R-ace GP), who completed the podium in Race 2.
Also noteworthy was the battle for the fifth position between yesterday’s race winner Alessandro Giusti (G4 Racing) and the Mexican driver Santiago Ramos (RPM), who was narrowly beaten in the final moments by the local driver, capping off a weekend where he was one of the absolute protagonists.
Once again, impressing on the track was KIC Motorsport‘s Maya Weug, securing the seventh position and gaining more valuable points in a season where she continues to shine with outstanding performances. Owen Tangavelou (Trident Motorsport) finished the race eighth ahead of Joshua Durksen (Arden Motorsport), the latter involved in an incident with Laurens Van Hoepen, while both were vying for a top 5 position. This contact resulted in a five-second penalty for Durksen, pushing him from seventh to ninth place, while the ART Grand Prix driver was forced to retire. Rounding out the top 10 was the other RPM driver Maceo Capietto.
Andrea Kimi Antonelli: “First of all, thanks to all the team. From where we were yesterday, we did a mega job. I’m really happy, car was good since this morning. I think we showed a really good pace during the race, really consistent. The start was good, and since then I just tried to drive as best as I could, and try to be as consistent as possible. I think we did great to bring home another win, and now the lead of the Championship. It is really a great feeling. Of course, is going to be hard to keep lead, because the opponents are really tough and strong. I think we are doing a great job, we just need to keep going like this and we’ll see what we can do at the end of the year.”
Esteban Masson: “Mega quali this morning, pole of my group. I just had a mega car, we worked quite hard since few meetings now with the Team. I’m just super happy. The start was good, I could maintain the second place, then I pushed a lot during the first part of the race. Compared to yesterday, where I was struggling a bit on the first two laps, I had a different strategy. I was pushing quite a lot Kimi in the first part of the race, then I put a bit of a gap, just to manage my tires and push more at the end. It was a bit hard, Tim was coming back. I had push to pass left, I managed the race, defending the two last laps and got the second place. An amazing home-race. I’m so grateful to have this opportunity to race in FRECA, first podium for the Team, first podium for me, we are so happy.”
Tim Tramnitz: “It was pretty close in the end, of course I’m a bit disappointed to not be in P2. Podium is again good points, we have been quite consistent, especially this weekend. P4 and P3, two good results, good points for the championship. I think we just need to find us extra bit in quali next time, because in the end it is really important. Good tire management in the race, and good pace, especially towards the end. I’m happy with the weekend.”
The international series will resume action after the summer break on the weekend of September 9-10 at the Red Bull Ring, where the seventh of the ten scheduled rounds for the 2023 calendar will take place.
Championship Standings (Top 5): 1. Antonelli 187; 2. Stenshorne 181; 3. Tramnitz 146; 4. Haverkort 98; 5. Camara 97.