F3 Regional: P10 for Jamie Chadwick in Imola's third race
To round out the seventh Formula Regional European Championship's round, Jamie Chadwick added one more point to the point-table, as she looks forward to make more progress in the Vallelunga season finale.
Formula Regional European Championship’s seventh round of the 2020 season went underway at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari at Imola, with the two Sunday’s races contested in sunny yet slightly chilly conditions.
After a technical issue in the second race that forced him out of contention from the lead - and lost him the points leadership - Arthur Leclerc started the third race from pole position, lining up alongside KIC Motosport’s Patrik Pasma. The Monegasque could also count on the presence of his brother Charles, visiting the Prema Powerteam garage.
After a battling weekend, Jamie Chadwick was out of Race 1 due to a contact with Emidio Pesce - which would later receive a drive through penalty for causing the collision - and was ninth in Race 2 on Sunday morning. Following a difficult qualifying session, she secured a tenth place on the starting grid for Race 3.
Jamie had great starts in the two opening competitions in Imola and always moved up by one position.
When the lights went out for the final time in Imola, Leclerc and Pasma went wheel to wheel into Turn 1; the Finnish racer got the better hand and got out into the lead.
Chadwick maintained 10th place in the first hundreds metres, but had to defend from the charging Rasmussen, who had to start both Sunday’s races from the back of the pack due to a gearbox issue that halted his #6 Prema car. At Tamburello, Jamie was squeezed between Rasmussen and Lappalainen and went wide into the gravel. She rejoined quickly, but down the order.
There was more intense action on the first lap, when Henrion Gillian also went wide at Tosa while battling with Marinangeli and Race 1 winner Rodriguez spun at Variante Alta. Chadwick caught up with the pack and clinched tenth place, avoiding the accidents in front of her.
After the first action-packed lap, Pasma led Leclerc, Chovet and Petecof, with Lappalainen rounding out the top-five.
When series debutant Nicola Marinangeli had a trip into the gravel at the second Rivazza corner, the 22-year old British lady made it back to ninth place.
When the dust settled, positions remained unchanged with Pasma leading Leclerc - who could nevertheless maintain his gap under the second margin. On the other hand, Van Amersfoort’s Pierre Louis Chovet couldn’t keep up the pace and dropped three seconds behind the leading duo.
On lap 7, Dennis Hauger started to get more aggressive on Konsta Lappalainen, but soon had to watch his mirrors from the return of Oliver Rasmussen. The three fought hard for fifth position and also allowed Emidio Pesce to join in. Right behind the Italian, Jamie Chadwick tried to close in, but was again pressured by Marinangeli.
The driver of the #55 Ronin-sponsored Prema could get closer when Pesce straightlined the Variante Alta chicane, but he held on to eighth.
The only Safety Car of the race came out with approximately 10 minutes to go: following an engine issue, Gillian Henrion’s Tatuus spun out at Acque Minerali and came to a halt in the gravel. The race was thus neutralized to help the marshals recover the stricken car of the Frenchman.
The green flag waved again with 5 and a half minutes left on the clock: Lappalainen went in the grass at Variante Alta and dropped to eighth, just ahead of Jamie Chadwick.
The Safety Car had also gave the opportunity to Ian Rodriguez to catch up with the rest of the field after his opening lap incident: the Guatemalan driver quickly moved ahead of both Marinangeli and Chadwick - the latter coming again under pressure from the Italian KIC Motorsport’s driver. Jamie defended well at Piratella and held tenth.
After 19 laps, Patrik Pasma took his second win of the day - and fourth of the season ahead of Leclerc and Chovet. For the first time this year, a Formula Regional weekend ended with no victories for team Prema.
Gianluca Petecof was fourth and maintains the championship lead, despite his margin coming down to 3 points only.
Pasma’s victory also means that the Finn is still in mathematical contention.
Jamie Chadwick crossed the finish line in tenth position and added one more point to her championship tally. Pace-wise, the whole field remained very close and Chadwick's lap times constantly remained under the second gap from the front-runners.
“Our weekend was mainly defined by a difficult qualifying." - said Jamie.
"It’s not easy to pass here and therefore we struggled to make good progress in the races."
"We have started to show glimpses of better pace so hopefully, we can put this to good use and finish on a high in Vallelunga" - she concluded.
The eighth and final Formula Regional race meeting will go underway in two weeks time at Vallelunga, Italy.