The engines roared to life this morning for the Formula Regional European Championship qualifications at Spielberg’s Red Bull Ring in Styria. The pole position was secured in Group A, the first group on the track today, by Brazilian driver from PREMA Racing, Rafael Camara. Camara clocked the fastest lap at 1’26.128, giving him the advantage in Race 1, which starts today at 17:05 (local time). The talented Brazilian driver has had an excellent performance so far this weekend, determined to reclaim the top spots after the Paul Ricard round, where he only managed to secure 4 points in two races. Tim Tramnitz followed closely behind in second place, with a gap of 0.132. The R-ace GP German driver has thus earned a spot on the second row. The current Championship leader, Italian driver from PREMA Racing, Andrea Kimi Antonelli, secured the third position with a gap of 0.169. Michael Belov, racing for G4 Racing, took the fourth spot, trailing by 0.276, followed by French driver Sami Meguetounif from MP Motorsport, with a gap of 0.368 from Camara.
Group B took to the track with Camara’s reference time to beat, but none of the drivers on the track managed to lower the time further. The session for the second group started much slower, with none of the drivers willing to provide slipstream for the competitors. Alessandro Giusti, one of the early leaders in the group, lost his position due to several rapid changes at the top but regained the advantage on the final lap. It was indeed the French driver from G4 Racing who secured the start from the front row, completing a lap time of 1’26.359. Behind him, in second place, was Spanish driver Lorenzo Fluxà from PREMA Racing, with a gap of 0.178. Kas Haverkort, the Dutch driver from Van Amersfoort Racing, claimed the third position, also fighting for the top spot until the final seconds. He had a gap of two tenths of a second from the fastest lap. Santiago Ramos, the Mexican driver from RPM, took the fourth position with a gap of 0.210, followed by Polish driver Roman Bilinski from Trident, with a gap of 0.254.
There were issues in the qualifying session for Ukrainian driver Ivan Klymenko from KIC Motorsport, who sustained damage to a suspension by hitting a kerb and was forced to stop. During the break before Race 1, the Finnish team worked tirelessly to repair the car, which also had the gearbox interested in the damage, in order to get it back on the track for tonight’s race.
Rafael Camara: “quite a good job, also from the Team, they did a really good job. Sure, the lap was good, but the car was amazing. I think we are fast from the start of the weekend. We just keep improving, and we delivered now in quali. Everything was perfect. It’s good to start on pole position, but there is still the race to go, where we can do good points, and this is important for the Championship. Let’s keep focus to try to do a good job on the race.”
Alessandro Giusti: “I feel good. It’s the second meeting in which we are quite fast, after Le Castellet. We are quite happy, now we have work to do, because Prema and Camara are very fast. We will challenge them for the win, for sure. We worked really hard with my engineer during the season, and finally we have some results. It was not the easiest qualifying of my life, this is not an easy track, but we managed to do well.”
Saturday and Sunday schedule:
Saturday, September 9, marks the first race day, with Race 1, starting at 17:05 for 30 minutes + 1 lap. On Sunday, September 10, the second qualifying session will begin at 9:10 and run until 9:45, and then the lights will go out for the last race of the weekend at 15:15, again running for 30 minutes + 1 lap.
Both the qualifying and race sessions will be live-streamed on the official YouTube page @formularegionaleubyalpine.