A rough start of the Austrian weekend for Jamie Chadwick
As she faced some technical issues since Friday practice, British star Jamie Chadwick found pace to clinch a P6 in the first qualifying, before her race 1 was quickly over after an accident with Konsta Lappalainen.
Jamie Chadwick, racing in the Formula Regional European Championship for Prema Powerteam, did not have an ideal start of her Austrian weekend, as Gianluca Petecof (Prema Powerteam) showed his dominance in all the sessions so far.
In both free practice sessions the young British driver finished on P11, ahead of Henrion Gillian.
In the qualifying sessions, 2019 Italian F4 runner-up Giancluca Petecof was the fastest driver on track in both occasions and added to his name a pole position for the third race as well. Arthur Leclerc, also driving for Prema Powerteam, was 0.134 seconds behind him and his closest rival on track for session 1, ahead of Oliver Rasmussen, the third Prema Powerteam driver. Best of the rest was Patrik Pasma for KIC Motorsport.
Jamie Chadwick finished the first session in a promising 6th place, after her struggles in free practice with just a 0.749 seconds gap from pole-man Petecof. It was her best qualifying performance of her rookie Formula Regional campaign so far.
The second part of the qualifying - valid for the starting grid of Race 2 - was again in Petecof's hand. This time, he snapped pole position from Rasmussen and Leclerc in third. Best of the rest this time was Pierre-Louis Chovet for Van Amersfoort Racing, making his return to the series after two rounds in the FIA F3 Championship.
Jamie Chadwick struggled after her good first quali session as she couldn't complete flying laps for a technical issue. She finished the session in P11. Just Henrion was behind her, with the Frenchman not setting a timed lap in the session.
"A bit of a difficult Saturday. Q1 went ok, I obviously lost a bit of running with some technical issues yesterday, so I was quite happy with Q1." - said Jamie. "Sadly, at the end of Q1 we had some more technical issues which meant we couldn't do Q2 - which was pretty frustrating."
Again Petecof was the man to beat and claimed race 1 victory in Austria. On the first lap, the race came to an early end for Jamie Chadwick, as she made contact with Konsta Lappalainen and then skated over and on the top of his car. She lost a wheel and her front wing, slipping into the barriers. Her race was over, while Lappalainen managed to come back to the pits and retired subsequently.
"I went into the race quite excited to try to make amends and get a good result, but unfortunately got caught out in some contacts on the opening lap, so it was a bit of a DNF." - she commented. "Fortunately I'm ok, the car is being repaired and the boys are doing a mega job, so hopefully I'll have a better day tomorrow."
At the restart after the Safety Car phase, Petecof pulled away, set the fastest lap time several times and won the race with a big gap of 3.136 seconds ahead of Leclerc and Rasmussen. Leclerc had some work to do to hold Rasmussen behind him until Rasmussen could not follow his speed anymore. Rasmussen was hunted by Chovet and Pasma, but was able to hold the pace and his third place.
Tomorrow Jamie will start from P11 into race 2 and from P7 into race 3.