The second and final day of SMP F4 NEZ season first round started the way the first ended. After Day 1 which saw Xavier Lloveras taking pole position and race win, the whole field was waiting for Qualifying 2 to fight again. The rain was even harder than yesterday as cars went into the fifteen-minute session
The rain did not make qualifying any less interesting and it was actually a very thrilling session. SMP Racing Alexander Smolyar drove his car to pole position, his first in a Formula car, with a time of 2:38.864. And it was a very close fight as MP Motorsport Christian Lundgaard and FA Racing Xavier Lloveras missed pole position by less than a tenth.
Bent Viscaal from MP Motorsport set the fourth fastest time. After fighting from P17 to P7 in yesterday’s race, AKK Academy Elias Niskanen managed to put together a lap time that took his car onto P5. And completing top ten were MP Motorsport John Peters, ALM Motorsport Jan-Erik Meikup, SMP Racing Vladimir Tziortzis, AKK Academy Tuomas Haapalainen and MP Motorsport Tristan Charpentier.
Because of the heavy rain and very poor visibility on track, Race 2 started behind safety car. On the moment the Safety Car came in, three laps were to go in the last race of the day. The race was no short of drama as few cars crashed already behind the safety car.
Lundgaard made the most of the short race and immediately overtook Lloveras into turn 2 after the restart. The gap in the end was almost six seconds. Lloveras’ teammate Guillem Pujeu did not have as good race as his fellow countryman due to a technical problem dropping him into the back of the grid.
Smolyar took a final step on the podium after starting from P6. After crashing out of yesterday’s race, Tziortzis drove into a brilliant fourth place just behind his compatriot. Haapalainen drove his AKK Academy’s car #32 into P5 after fighting for the last place in the podium with the two Russians. Peters took P6 with ALM Motorsports Sten Piirimagi and Viscaal grabbing P7 and P8 respectively.
Even though the track was still wet during the last race of the weekend, the conditions were much better than earlier during the day. The race was full of drama and the fight for P2 held the spectators breath. Lundgaard got an amazing start and cruised into a dominating victory coming to the finish line over 20 seconds before his teammate Viscaal. The Dutch had to fight for his place though with SMP Racing Nikita Volegov, Lloveras and Haapalainen finishing right on his tail. Niskanen finished his race weekend in P6 and Estonian Meikup took his first points of the season by taking P7. Mike Belov and Charpentier had a contact forcing the Frenchmen to retire from the race. Belov eventually finished P8. Lappalainen Racing Juuso Puhakka finished P9 and the last point finisher was Austrian Lukas Dunner.
It was a race to forget for Smolyar who crashed out only few laps before the end while fighting for P2, after a contact with Spanish Xavier Lloveras.
With those two wins today Lundgaard is now leading the championship with 50 points but Lloveras is only one point shy behind the Dane. Viscaal holds P3 with 37 points, with Haapalainen and Smolyar rounding out the top five.
That’s all from the eventful first round of 2017 SMP F4 NEZ season. The SMP F4 NEZ Championship will be in Smolensk, Russia next weekend already, for a three-days event not to be missed!
F4 NEZ Press Release