A points finish apiece for William Alatalo and Alex Quinn proved to be the highlight on a tough weekend in the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine for Arden Motorsport at Circuit Zandvoort.
The Banbury-based team made the trip to the Netherlands off the back of another podium finish in Europe’s premier single-seater category, this time Finnish rising star Alatalo’s first of the season.
The fast, flowing 2.6-mile Zandvoort circuit – home of the revived Dutch Grand Prix – has few clear-cut overtaking opportunities, making qualifying arguably the most important sessions of the weekend.
On this occasion, the Red Arrows struggled, with Quinn best-placed of the trio at the foot of the top-ten, a position he held in the opening race.
A problem off the line put the Brit out of contention early on in the finale, whilst Alatalo – starting from an improved seventh – made a lightning start and began to move through the order.
He put pressure on third-placed Gabriele Mini in the opening laps, but ultimately had to settle for fourth. Nicola Marinangeli showed good pace in both races and will look to carry that progress over to the next round at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on 23-25 July.
Ben Salter, Arden Formula Regional Team Manager said:
“It’s fair to say that Zandvoort was a pretty tough weekend for the team. It’s such an important circuit for qualifying, and we weren’t quite where we needed to be, and from there it’s an uphill task for the team.
“Looking at the positives, we’re obviously pleased to see another decent points haul for William to boost him up the standings, and Alex and Nicola had good pace in race trim, so we’ve definitely got the ingredients to work with and keep progressing.
“We’ll go back to HQ now for a short break to recharge, then get everything prepped and start knuckling down to prepare for the next event in Spa.”
William Alatalo (#8) said:
“We didn’t do a good enough job this weekend. I made some mistakes on my fastest lap in qualifying and that cost us a few places. That improved on Sunday, and we were able to make places up in both races.
“It was nice to score some good points for the championship, but there are definitely areas for us to focus on. We’ll learn from our mistakes and prepare better for the next round.
“We’ve got a four-week break for both me and team to go away, reassess and come back stronger at Spa.”
Nicola Marinangeli (#14) said:
“Our qualifying compromised both races, in which we showed a lot of good pace but were unlucky to not get what we deserved.
“My focus now turns to Spa, where we’ll look to put that right. Thanks to the team for their hard work.”
Alex Quinn (#21) said:
“Another really tough weekend for us. There’s not a huge amount to say, other than we’ll keep working hard and look to bounce back next time out at Spa.
“Thanks to the team for all their hard work and support over the weekend.”