Joshua Dufek secured his first pole position at the Hungaroring. The Van Amersfoort Racing driver will start Race 2, later today, from the front row alongside Martinius Stenshorne, who was the pole-sitter and Race 1 winner yesterday.
Once again, the qualifying session of the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine at the Hungaroring proves to be incredibly exciting. The second day of racing opened with Group B taking to the track first. The fifteen-minute session was filled with an incredible amount of action, with all the Trident team drivers showcasing great speed in their flying laps. Owen Tangavelou set the early benchmark in the initial stages of the session, followed by Michael Belov from G4 Racing, who set a new fastest time. This was followed by a rapid exchange of fast laps between Martinius Stenshorne from R-ace GP, Macèo Capietto from RPM, and Andrea Kimi Antonelli from Prema Racing. It was frantic session where everything was decided in the final moments, with the top 3 being separated by just 9 thousandths of a second. Group B’s session ended with Stenshorne holding the provisional pole position with a time of 1:39.331, followed closely by Capietto in second place, just 5 thousandths of a second behind, and Serbian driver Belov in third place, 9 thousandths behind. Fourth in Group B was Polish driver Roman Bilinski from Trident, 0.131 seconds gap marked, while Andrea Kimi Antonelli, after fighting for pole position, finished fifth, 0.174 seconds behind. Tangavelou finished sixth, with 0.349 seconds gap, followed by Brazilian driver Rafael Camara from Prema in seventh, 0.463 seconds behind. Esteban Masson, representing Saintéloc Racing, in his first round of the 2023 season, finished in eighth place, with 0.476-second gap. Alessandro Giusti from G4 Racing and Nikhil Bohra from Trident completed the top 10 in Group B, with gaps of 0.586 and 0.662 seconds, respectively.
The drivers from Group A took to the track next, igniting their own battle against the clock. Kas Haverkort from Van Amersfoort Racing immediately showed great speed and set the benchmark, followed by Santiago Ramos from RPM. However, the Mexican driver encountered a car issue that forced him to pit in, preventing him from completing the session. Josh Dufek from Van Amersfoort Racing secured the pole position by setting the fastest time in the final stages of the session, and he further improved with an incredible flying lap as time expired. His final reference was indeed 1:39.003. The driver who came closest to the top spot was Lorenzo Fluxà, the Spanish driver from Prema Racing, who also made his move on the final lap, recording a gap of 0.264 seconds. Haverkort was very close behind in third place, by just a 0.269-second gap. Tim Tramnitz from R-ace GP secured fourth place, 0.340 seconds behind, while Laurens Van Hoepen from ART Grand Prix finished the session in fifth place, with his gap from Dufek being 0.554. The sixth position went to the French driver from MP Motorsport, Sami Meguetounif, with a gap of 0.618 seconds. Despite facing difficulties that prevented him from continuing the session, Ramos finished in seventh place with a gap of 0.674. Dilano Van ‘T Hoff from MP Motorsport secured eighth place, 0.838 seconds gap. Matias Zagazeta from R-ace GP finished the session in ninth place, 0.888 seconds behind. Completing the top 10 was the Hungarian driver from Team Arden, Levente Revesz, with a gap of 1.037 seconds.
The next step will be the grand finale of round 3 at the Hungaroring. Today, Sunday, June 18, Race 2 will take place at 16:30, featuring a 30-minute plus one lap duration, bringing the weekend to an end.
Motorsport enthusiasts can catch all the qualifying sessions and both the races of the weekend live on the official Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine YouTube page (@formularegionaleubyalpine), or attend the event in person. Info and ticket are available on Hungaroring official website, here: https://hungaroring.hu/site/en/races/international-gt-open.
Joshua Dufek: “I’m feeling great. Obviously, I’m very pleased, this is really the best outcome we could have gotten. I’m very happy, but at the same time I knew that we had this potential, I’m just glad that we managed to extract it all. Ideally, we would have had this already in the previous rounds, to have it now is really nice as well. This has been so much work from the Team, from us, from everyone. It is nice to have a payoff in terms of results. It is really a track where you are really on the edge. Especially the second sector is so technical. Once you get a good lap, like I did, is really satisfying, it really feels nice. We are on pole, we got the best starting position on the grid. From there on, we just have to get a good start and manage the race.”