It hasn’t been the easiest weekend for PREMA Powerteam at Imola, as the Formula Regional European Championship went on-track at the Italian venue for the seventh and penultimate round of 2020. After clinching the team title at Barcelona, the Italian squad brought home three podium finishes with Arthur Leclerc and Gianluca Petecof, while Oliver Rasmussen suffered from bad luck after a brilliant qualifying 1.
The Danish racer took a stunning pole for race 1, but then gearbox issues prevented him from making a real attempt in Q2. Unfortunately, the problem was back right before race 1 and Rasmussen could not take the start. He then delivered two brilliant runs from the back to secure a double P6 in race 2 and 3.
Leclerc was also hit by mechanical gremlins in race 2, but after claiming third place on Saturday, he put up another excellent performance in race 3 to get P2, maximizing the points. Despite a tough run in qualifying, Petecof was able to retain his championship lead. The Brazilian is only two points ahead of Leclerc as he posted a third place in race 2 and then achieved another valuable finish with P4 in race 3.
Jamie Chadwick took two top-10 finishes. The British female racer showed good potential but a difficult qualifying forced her to start in arrears on a tough track for overtaking. In addition, she was spun out of contention in race 1, which further hampered her progress.
The team is now looking forward to a positive and exciting season finale at Vallelunga.
#6 - Oliver Rasmussen
“It has been pretty disappointing. We were here to at least get two wins as we did in the last event and we had the pace with the pole in Q1. Then the issue in Q2 obviously didn’t help us, plus missing race 1 for the 25 points is a big loss in terms of the championship. We were not here for this. We’re just going to work and come back stronger in Vallelunga to be able to do the hat-trick and fight for the championship.”
#10 - Gianluca Petecof
“Not the weekend we deserved or had worked for. It hasn’t been easy since Barcelona but we had prepared to have a good run here. Unfortunately we never quite had the pace, and qualifying was really disappointing starting outside the top-5 in all races. In race 1 it was quite hard for us not managing to move forward from P8 due to a mistake of mine. In race 2 and 3, it was all about maximizing with good starts and gaining positions. Finishing with a podium and then the fourth place is truly the most we could have done here. I’m happy to leave still in the lead of the championship. Now we have to get it together and fight for it in Vallelunga.”
#14 - Arthur Leclerc
“I’m happy with the weekend as our pace was back from Barcelona and in general we bounced back well. The mechanical problem in race 2 was obviously a bit disappointing for me. But in the end, it’s like this, I even do mistakes so I just focus on improving my pace. I’m really looking forward to the next event.”
#55 - Jamie Chadwick
"Our weekend was mainly defined by a difficult qualifying. 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"