F3 Regional: Chadwick P9 in Imola race 2
In a sunny yet very cold Imola's second Formula Regional race, Jamie Chadwick was ninth at the chequered flag, after another good start off the line for the British driver.
Formula Regional European Championship returned to one of Italy’s most famous racing venues this weekend, with British upcoming racing driver Jamie Chadwick tackling her seventh round of the 2020 season.
After winning the inaugural title in the groundbreaking W Series championship in 2019 and following a very competitive F3 Asian series during the winter, Chadwick entered the Formula Regional championship with high hopes, but the lady from Bath, UK, has faced a challenging campaign so far.
Racing for the first time on most of the tracks, Jamie was straight on the podium in the Misano opening round and had a competitive weekend at Red Bull Ring pace-wise, but struggled to return to the top-5 in the remaining races.
At the former home of the San Marino GP, Chadwick had a positive Friday under mixed-weather conditions. The driver of the #55 Rodin-sponsored Tatuus T318 showed good progress and lapped steadily in the top-6, ultimately finishing P7 and P9 in the two practice sessions.
With the sun making its way back onto the Imola circuit on Saturday, though, Friday’s preparation was suddenly made irrelevant: Oliver Rasmussen took pole position in Q1, before having to sit out Q2 for a gearbox issue. Leclerc topped the second session, ahead of Patrick Pasma and Pierre Louis Chovet.
In a turn of events, Race 1 poleman Rasmussen could not take the start of Saturday’s race due to the ongoing technical troubles, while weekend debutant Ian Rodriguez (DR Formula) claimed a surprising victory.
On a sunny yet very cold Sunday morning, the drivers lined up on the grid for Race 2, with Leclerc aiming to extend his freshly-gained championship lead.
But it his hopes were short-lived, as the Monegasque slowed down dramatically during the first lap and returned to the pitlane, retiring the #14 Prema car.
Leclerc thus handed the lead to Pasma (KIC Motorsport), who was followed by Rodriguez and Petecof.
Jamie Chadwick, starting from the fifth row of the grid in 10th place, had a good start and advanced to ninth. With Leclerc’s retirement, the Brit could move up into eighth place and started to put pressure on Lappalainen. On the second lap, though, she was passed by the fast charging Rasmussen, who had started from the back of the pack.
Van Amersfoort drivers Chovet and Hauger had a short battle on the first lap and Chovet could initially maintain fourth from his Norwegian teammate.
Gillian Henrion could also find a way around Chadwick, while Rasmussen continued his charge by moving ahead of both Henrion and Lappalainen, in what was a heated Scandinavian battle for sixth place.
Dennis Hauger attacked and passed Chovet, as the top five remained bunched up together and within the 2-second margin. Rodriguez locked up at Rivazza, but held on to second, with Petecof not able to get closer enough to attempt a pass. The Brazilian came under increasing pressure from the Van Amersfoort duo instead, with Hauger pushing hard to step on the podium after his first remarkable round in Monza.
After an incident with Jamie Chadwick in Race 1, Emidio Pesce spun and dropped at the tail end of the field in the second race.
With no real chance to overtake, positions remained unchanged in the final stages and Patrik Pasma crossed the finish line to comfortably win his third race of the season, followed by Guatemalan driver Rodriguez in his first ever Formula Regional weekend. Third place went to Petecof, who re-claimed the lead in the championship standings.
Jamie Chadwick took the chequered flag in P9, moving up one place from her starting position. In the final laps, she came under pressure from Nicola Marinangeli (KIC Motorsport), but she defended well.
The third race of the Imola weekend will go green at 14:40 CEST.