Gianluca Petecof was the dominant force in this weekend’s third Formula Regional round at the Spielberg circuit, in Austria. The Brazilian Ferrari Driver Academy (FDA) student stamped his authority on it from qualifying onwards with two wins from three races to lead Arthur Leclerc, his Prema Powerteam team-mate and fellow Academy alumnus by 22 points in the championship.
Race-1. In the first race, the Brazilian managed to pull away from Leclerc, followed by the other Prema Powerteam driver Oliver Rasmussen and Patrik Pasma (KIC Motorsport). The Safety Car was soon in action following an accident between Jamie Chadwick (Prema Powerteam) and Konsta Lappalainen (KIC Motorsport). At the restart, Petecof got away better than the rest, pulling away from Leclerc over a few laps, clearly the quickest driver on track. Gianluca crossed the line around 4 seconds ahead of Leclerc, who was followed home by Rasmussen and Pasma.
Race-2. Rasmussen was sharpest off the line in the first race on Sunday morning, overtaking Petecof to keep the lead all the way to the chequered flag. The Brazilian tried a couple of tentative passing moves but took no real risks, wisely thinking of the title. Arthur Leclerc was third.
Race-3. In the final race of the day, Gianluca managed to keep the lead from pole position, fighting off Leclerc and Rasmussen at the first corner. Despite two appearances from the Safety Car, the Brazilian produced a mature drive to keep the lead at all times, taking his second win of the weekend. Petecof’s win total for the year is now up to four, against three for Leclerc and two for Rasmussen. The next round takes place at Mugello over the weekend of 4 October.