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    Camara shows his strength in Formula Regional at Spa

    Maranello 28 maggio 2024

    Scuderia Ferrari Driver Academy’s Rafael Camara secured pole and two wins at the Belgian circuit, extending his championship lead.  Tuukka Taponen scored points.

    Rafael Camara dominated the second round of the European Formula Regional series, having also gone well in the opening round at Hockenheim and this weekend proving to be the driver to beat at Spa-Francorchamps. He won Race 1, fighting his way up from sixth on the grid and, starting from pole for the second race, he had to fight in the early stages before managing his lead to the chequered flag. “It was a perfect weekend,” commented an enthusiastic Rafael. “I could not have asked for more. I really want to thank the Prema team, because a result like this one can only happen with teamwork. It’s a pleasure working with my engineer and mechanics, we are pushing a lot, not just on track but also in how we prepare for the weekend. I want to be ready to deal with any situation and that’s what we did. Let’s keep pushing.”

    Championship. The two wins in Belgium and three out of four races to date, mean Rafael now has 93 points and has extended his championship lead. Tuukka Taponen is currently third in the standings. The Finnish Scuderia Ferrari Driver Academy student came away from Belgium with a fifth place finish in Race 2, after leading a few laps. His overall weekend performance was affected by bad luck in qualifying for Race 1, but a strong showing in the second race proved that the potential is there and he should be a frontrunner in the coming rounds.

    Race-1. Camara was third fastest in his qualifying group of 16, the field split into two groups and he lined up sixth on the grid. He kept that place off the line and then went up to fourth at the exit of Les Combes. Then came a long fourway battle involving Camara, Zachary David, Noah Stromsted e Roman Bilinski. At half-distance, the Brazilian got the better of Bilinski, braking for the Bus Stop chicane and three laps later he got ahead of Stromsted, to take the lead. These two then duelled to the chequered flag, with Camara taking the win by just one tenth of a second. Taponen had to fight his way from 14th on the grid, but was 20th at the end of the opening lap because of a chaotic incident at Les Combes at the end of the opening lap. But he made his way back up the order to finish 13th.

    Race -2. Camara started from pole position, with Taponen second in his group which put him third on the grid. The order was unchanged going into the first corner but on the long Kemmel Straight after Eau Rouge, Tuukka got in James Wharton’s slipstream and that was enough to even get ahead of Camara to go into the lead. On lap 4, Rafael passed Taponen, going into Les Combes to retake the lead, just before the Safety Car came out for three laps. At the restart, Camara kept the lead, but Taponen was unable to pull clear of those behind him and he finished fifth.