2020 Formula Regional European Championship – Gianluca Petecof Crowned Champion

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On a wet track, the fight for the title was resolved a few minutes after the start of the race with Arthur Leclerc going off the track and into the gravel in an attempt to gain ground from last on the grid, after an unfortunate qualifying. The exit of Leclerc handed the title to Gianluca Petecof (Prema Powerteam) on a silver platter after the Brazilian finished fourth.

The start was finally given after 3 laps behind the Safety Car, which was deployed because of the awful conditions. Starting from pole position Oliver Rasmussen held the lead of the race, while behind him shortly Pasma lost second place to Hauger, and then was passed by Chovet as well.

Fighting with Jamie Chadwick, Gillian Henrion and Imidio Pesce, Leclerc managed to overtake all three in one go, before pushing too hard on the slippery track and spinning out of contention, his championship chance evaoprating in the rain. Leclerc was unfortunate, with an engine problem sidelining him in qualifying and meaning he would start both races last on the grid.

Meanwhile, things settled down and Rasmussen continued to lead the group followed by Dennis Hauger, Pierre Louis Chovet and Gianluca Petecof. Rasmussen and Hauger evenually broke away, Chovet, in third, dropping to 3.2 seconds behind the leaders.

In fifth position was Konsta Lappalainen, while behind him battle raged between Chadwick and Pasma, the latter trying every thing he could think of to overtake the English driver, but without success. Lappalainen was also on Petecof’s case during the closing laps, but the Brazilian, despite having the title in his pocket, defended himself well and maintained his hold on fourth place.

The race order didn’t change, and Oliver Rasmussen passed the chequered flag first, ahead of Hauger, Chovet and the Formula Regional 2020 champion, Petecof. The win meant Rasmussen equalled Leclerc’s points score but remained third in the points as he has the same number of wins but fewer second places.

Petecof was delighted with his title: “I’m super happy. I missed some tests in the middle of the season due to budget problems, while my opponents were testing. It made everything more difficult, but I thank God who helped me and I’m excited and thank everyone, my team, journalists and all the people working for this championship. Thank you!”

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