Qualifying started with an overcast sky, the rain was lingering in the air debating whether to make an appearance or not. Luckily it held off as the 30’ session started. There was a great battle between Atoev, Matveev and Korneev for the fastest laps, making the provisional pole constantly swap. The Russians were ruling by the half waypoint with Matveev on top with Atoev and Troitskiy behind. Huovinen jumped to P5 on his 3rd lap and fellow Finn Kari was P7. Isaakyan came in, as he couldn’t improve from P9. Korneev ended up taking pole, Huovinen came P2 and Matveev P3.

The sun was out, grid girls ready and spectators in the stands ahead of Race 1. There was drama at the start as pole sitter Korneev stalled, Atoev jumped to P1 with Finn Niko Kari in P2 with Huovinen in P3. Kari over took Atoev before the start finish straight stealing the lead of the Russian. It was then two Finns who were leading Huovinen in P2 became fastest than Kari in sector one, the battle
was intense.

Korneev began his chase back up the field sitting in P10 after passing Mavlanov. Troitskiy, who had already been in the pits once after the first lap came back in and had to retire. Isaakyan was up to P7 after starting P9, while Huovinen kept setting purple sectors and catching Kari, however he pushed a bit to hard and got a big reminder that the track is between two white margins as he was shown a black and white flag.

Mean while, Sitnikov and Nylund passed Matveev due to a fuel pump problem, so he dropped to P6 with 7 minutes to go. Atoev was P3 but came under a lot of pressure from his teammate Sitnikov who was in his rear view mirror just 0.2 off, the P3 was a breathtaking fight.

The last laps came and Huovinen made a fantastic move on Kari taking P1 from fellow Finn. More drama continued as Matveev and Korneev went off track at turn 15 ending up in the gravel. Nylund snuck into P3 in the battle with Atoev and Sitnikov. Huovinen took the win, his third P1 finish since the season started. Kari came in P2 followed by Nylund, but after the race it was found that Nylund overtook under double yellow flag meaning Vladimir Atoev retrieved his P3 position making it four podiums in a row for Atoev.

Race 1 Classification:

P1 A. Huovinen
P2 N. Kari
P3 V. Atoev
P4 N. Sitnikov
P5 N. Isaakyan
P6 A. Maslennikov
P7 A. Kabakov
P8 D. Mavlanov
P9 N. Nylund
P10 I. Matveev
P11 A. Korneev
P12 N. Troitskiy

Fastest lap: 1:36.141 by Aleksanteri Huovinen

Press Release SMP F4 NEZ