The first race of the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine at Zandvoort delivered thrills both on and off the track. Today, history was written by Kas Haverkort, who became the first Dutch driver in the series to win on his home turf. Additionally, in the Netherlands, Martinius Stenshorne mathematically secured the Rookie title.
The race, which took place on a dry but extremely windy day, saw Haverkort start from pole position and maintain his lead from start to finish. In the initial stages of the race, Andrea Kimi Antonelli (Prema Racing) skillfully secured a position behind the local driver, attempting to challenge Haverkort on multiple occasions. The Italian driver settled for second place, earning crucial points in the championship battle. Laurens Van Hoepen (ART Grand Prix), managed to hold onto third place, completing the podium of the first race, where two Dutch drivers were celebrated.
It was a memorable weekend for Stenshorne, who celebrated the rookie title with three races still to go, thanks to his fourth-place finish. He overtook Roman Bilinski (Trident Motorsport) in the early stages of the race. This achievement is significant for the young R-ace GP driver, who has four wins to his name this year and remains in contention for the overall title. Closing out Race 1 in the top 5 was Bilinski himself, who, in turn, finished ahead of Tim Tramnitz (R-ace GP). Behind the German driver, the other two Prema Racing drivers, Rafael Camara and Lorenzo Fluxa, finished in seventh and eighth place. A lively battle for the tenth position was led by Nikita Bedrin and Maceo Capietto (RPM), with Bedrin, making his debut in the series, securing ninth place for Monolite Racing, marking the team’s best result of the season. Bedrin, non-points scoring for the championship, handed a point to Alessandro Giusti (G4 Racing), who, in turn, finished ahead of Sami Meguetounif (MP Motorsport), consistently fighting for positions just outside the top 10.
The only safety car period was initiated about 20 minutes before the end of the race due to Giovanni Maschio‘s (Monolite Racing) incident, leaving his car against the barriers in Turn 3.
“It’s incredible to win here at Zandvoort, which is our home track. The race went really well, and I managed to get a good start. I held my position and kept the right gap until the safety car period. After the restart, I managed to stay ahead and build the necessary advantage to secure this fantastic victory. Despite the quite strong wind, our car was perfect today and allowed me to achieve an important win that holds a special place in front of my family, sponsors, and supporters.”
The European series will be back in action tomorrow morning at 10.05 am for the second qualifying session, while Race 2 will start at 3.45 pm, always over a distance of 30′ plus one lap to complete.
Official Standings: https://formularegionaleubyalpine.com/corsa/zandvoort-2023-9/