Arden Motorsport came within a whisker of adding another podium finish in the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine to the team’s haul at Mugello Circuit last weekend (9-10 October).
The Banbury outfit made the trip to Tuscany aiming to kick off the season-concluding Italian double header on a high note, with Britain’s Alex Quinn, Finland’s William Alatalo and home hero Nicola Marinangeli arriving motivated, and ready to take on the best of Europe’s premier single seater series.
After setting the benchmark times during pre-event practice, a solid qualifying put all three Red Arrows in the frame for points in race trim. Alatalo led the team’s charge in the opener, rising through the order to take the chequered flag fourth, just shy of adding to his silverware haul for the campaign.
The Flying Finn’s opportunism shone through in a chaotic start to the contest, Alatalo manoeuvring his way through the pack to clear the equivalent of two rows on the grid and run just behind the top three.
Although he kept the pressure on to the cars ahead for the duration, another opportunity to pass around the high-speed, flowing 3.2-mile circuit failed to present itself, and the 19-year-old had to settle for fourth.
Both Quinn and Marinangeli showed good pace throughout the event, but ultimately a tricky qualifying performance on Sunday hampered their opportunity to add to their respective totals.
The team, however, did cement it’s fourth placed ranking in the Teams Championship, with the season to conclude in three weeks’ time at the world-famous Autodromo Nazionale di Monza (30-31 October).
Ben Salter, Arden Formula Regional Team Manager said:
“Overall, it’s been a solid weekend. If we put the frustrations in qualifying to one side, our actual race pace was very strong, evidenced by William in the passes he made during the opening race.
“From there, he was able to keep quite comfortably with the cars ahead; on a different circuit, we may have been celebrating some silverware.
“Alex and Nicola just didn’t get the rub of the green this time out, but the whole team is feeling very motivated and looking ahead to Monza to end the season on a high.”
William Alatalo (#8) said:
“I’m happy to get another good haul of points, it keeps me in the hunt for a top-ten position in the championship.
“It’s a difficult circuit to overtake on, but I kept my wits about me, and opportunities presented themselves during the first few corners to make some passes and I was able to take them.
“Unfortunately, with so many cars on the grid, a difficult qualifying can give you too high a mountain to climb, and this was the case for us on Sunday. Regardless, my focus is already on Monza and ending the season with more silverware.”
Nicola Marinangeli (#14) said:
“On a personal note, it’s always a fantastic feeling to be able to race in my home country; we have such a passionate, loyal motorsport fanbase, and I could really feel the support.
“It’s frustrating to not have the results to go with that, but we have to take the positives, and there were plenty of them.
“Onwards to Monza, and we have an opportunity to go out on a high note.”
Alex Quinn (#21) said:
“Obviously, it’s never what you want as a driver, to finish a weekend without having scored, but it’s important to put everything in perspective, and I think we maximised a lot of the things in our control this weekend.
“The level of competition in this series is really high, so there are going to be some weekends where even the quick drivers miss out. Our pace was good, but particularly on this circuit, having had a tricky qualifying, our opportunities were always going to be limited.
“I’m not letting it get me down, and I can’t wait to be back out at Monza in two weeks – hopefully for a repeat of my podium there last season!”