At 9.35 in the morning, the first free practice session of the Formula Regional championship was run on a wet track that never really dried out in the cold weather. This created difficulties for many of the drivers as they tried to get their tyres up to temperature. Prevailing over the conditions and his rivals was Dennis Hauger (Van Amersfoort Racing) who set a best time of 1:31.263. Behind him was Arthur Leclerc (Prema Powerteam), second in the championship, just 22 thousandths off the VAR driver. Third was an excellent Jamie Chadwick (Prema Powerteam) who stopped the clock at 1:31.403. In the first session, the championship leader Gianluca Petecof was only fifth, with a time of 1:31.525.
The Brazilian was back on form in the second session, where the times dropped by over 2 seconds and the Prema driver set the best time of the day with a 1:29.056, followed by a hard charging Hauger (1:29.287) and Patrik Pasma (KIC Motorsport), who set a time of 1:29.388. Pasma has proved to be really fast and effective in the last few races and was dominant at Imola with two wins. In the second session Leclerc could only manage fifth with a time of 1:29.607.
But it is tomorrow (when rain is forecast) that things get serious, starting at 9.00 local time with two qualifying sessions.