Formula Regional | Qualifying Report: Saucy & Vidales All Good Despite Rain Threat
There were two intense qualifying sessions today in Imola and for very different reasons, too.
Grégoire Saucy (CHE) - ART GP during Q1 | © 2021 - Formula Regional European by Alpine
Qualifying Practice 1 began at 9:55 in the morning with a grey and cloudy track, but no rain fell down throughout the 20 minutes of the session.
It was G4 Racing's Axel Gnos (CHE) who started the action by spinning spectacularly without getting any damage. His fellow countryman Jasin Ferati - from Monolite Racing - had a much tougher life, ending in the gravel at the exit of Piratella and causing a red flag which was the pivotal factor of the session.
In the two minutes left, only the cars who exited the pit lane first (most of them were Premas, ARTs & R-aces) could manage to get to the finish line before the checkered flag on time in order to have one last lap chance to get pole. All the pile of cars that was coming out then had to slow down at the entry of Rivazza, so that everyone could start his flying lap, and most of them were caught out when the checkered flag was already out. The track was not improving that much actually, but it was enough for R-ace's Hadrien David (FRA) to snatch the front row right at the end. The top 5 is in the graphics below.
Top 5 from Q1 | © sebmotors.info 2021
The poleman Grégoire Saucy (CHE) from ART put a good 2 tenths gap between himself and the duo made by David and Prema's Paul Aron (EST). Race 2's poleman David Vidales (ESP) from Prema was P4, and we have then two English-speaking men with a strong performance from the Barbadian Zane Maloney from R-ace in P5 and then Arden's Alex Quinn (GBR) in P6.
We then have three young guns just behind in Prema's Dino Beganovic (SWE), R-ace's Isack Hadjar (FRA) and ART's Gabriele Minì (ITA) in P7, P8 and P9 respectively. There is certainly going to be some fight there. US and Australia are in P20 and P22 with DR Formula's Brad Benavides and JD Motorsport's Tommy Smith.
David Vidales (ESP) - Prema during Free Practice | © David Vidales' Instagram Profile https://www.instagram.com/vidalesracing/
Some spreads of rain reported from some parts of the track then welcomed Qualifying Practice 2, but they did not have such a great influence on the lap times which kept improving instead. The sun then came out right at the end of the session with no more showers reported.
The top 4 drivers were under one tenth of a second: these were Vidales and Aron (locking out the front row for Prema), Quinn and David. Race 1's poleman Saucy was following up in P5.
Very impressively, Beganovic, Hadjar & Minì were together again in P6, 7 & 8! Maloney closed the top 10, Smith & Benavides are always close in P24 & P25 respectively. Below are then also the graphics from Qualifying Practice 2.
Top 5 from Q2 | © sebmotors.info 2021
Up next it's race 1 on Saturday at 5:20 pm, with the Swiss Grégoire Saucy on Pole, and you can watch everything live on these links:
-FRECA's YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrCEln9HtJvw5TDIDli1Rwg ;
-FRECA's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FormulaRegionalEUbyAlpine/ ;
-FRECA's website: https://formularegionaleubyalpine.com/ .
Do not forget to follow all sebmotors.info's updates this weekend on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, on the WhatsApp broadcast and of course also here on the blog!