F4 Spa-Francorchamps

A very successful first round in Formula 4

We arrived in Spa-Francorchamps with 9 drivers on the grid, supporting the 6H Spa race. Because of the 6H of Spa, our race weekend started on Thursday and finished on Saturday, this included 2 free practices, 2 qualification sessions and 3 races. It was a very good weekend with us, because we won all 3 races.

Dilano van ‘t Hoff qualified for pole for race 2 and 3. In both qualifying sessions we had 4 MP Motorsport cars in the top 10. Below both qualifying results:

Qualifying 1

P3 Dilano van ‘t Hoff
P7 Rik Koen
P8 Georg Kelstrup
P10 Manuel Espirito Santo
P15 Santi Trisini
P21 Noah Degnbol
P26 Emely de Heus
P28 Gil Molina – didn’t set a time

Qualifying 2

P1 Dilano van ‘t Hoff
P3 Rik Koen
P6 Noah Degnbol
P8 Georg Kelstrup
P15 Manuel Espirito Santo
P16 Suleiman Zanfari
P20 Santi Trisini
P23 Emely de Heus
P26 Gil Molina

Race 1

After a tough start of the race, Dilano fell back to P4 and fought his way to his original starting place, P3. Rik has issues during the start and fell all the way back. After a few laps Gil got involved in a crash which made the safety car come out for. The safety car was on track for about 10 minutes of the 25 minute race. During the restart of the race, Dilano was able to fight his way to P1 during an overtake which started on Kemmel and ended on Rivage. With drivers behind him fighting for P2 and 3, he was able to create a gap. Macia, who was driving on P2, came close in the end but Dilano was able to win the race with a gap of 0.490 seconds.

Race 1 classification:

P1 Dilano van ‘t Hoff
P7 Georg Kelstrup
P12 Suleiman Zanfari
P13 Manuel Espirito Santo
P14 Noah Degnbol
P16 Rik Koen
P24 Eemely de Heus
DNF Gil Molina

Race 2

In Race 2 Dilano started on pole, but after driving for almost 2 minutes we already saw the first safety car come out. Suleiman had issues with the car and wasn’t able to make a turn, where he ended in the wall. Luckily he was doing fine and got out the car by himself. The safety car lasted around 10 minutes before it went in and we could race again, with Dilano still on P1 with Noah right behind him on P4, and Rik on P5. In the final minutes Rik was able to get passed Noah and was driving in P4 now, and in the final lap Noah was fighting with Jenzer’s Braschi for P5 where they touched, and Braschi went spun and went off. Dilano won the race without losing his place and 4 MP Motorsport drivers in the top 10. Rik just missed out on reaching the podium and finished on P4, but did score the fastest lap.

Race 2 qualification:

P1 Dilano van ‘t Hoff
P4 Rik Koen
P5 Noah Degnbol
P6 Georg Kelstrup
P11 Manuel Espirito Santo
P13 Santi Trisini
P19 Gil Molina
P21 Emely de Heus
DNF Suleiman Zanfari

Race 3

Race 3 was a very hectic but surprising sprint race, which lasted 18 minutes. There was a lot of driving behind the safety car in the final race of the weekend. It started after driving for about 10 minutes when two cars went off, and a lot of gravel ended on the track. Dilano was still driving on the first place, the same as where he started from. With only 5 more minutes to go, the safety car went back in and the racing could start again. Georg fought his way to the first place, coming from the 9th place of the grid. He overtook Dilano and Marti at the end of Kemmel, with 3 cars wide on the long straight before they went in Les Combes, where he came out as P1. With only 2 minutes to go, another safety car came out, which brought all cars back together. Before the final lap the safety car went back in. Georg had one more lap to defend his first place, which he did! He finished his weekend with the first place, and Dilano right behind him on P2. Dilano finished his weekend with two wins and one second place!

Race 3 qualification:

P1 Georg Kelstrup
P2 Dilano van ’t Hoff
P7 Manuel Espirito Santo
P9 Noah Degnbol
P12 Rik Koen
P13 Suleiman Zanfari
P14 Santi Trisini
P20 Gil Molina
P23 Emely de Heus

Quotes

“I managed to win 2 out of 3 races this weekend.”

Great start of the season in the Spanish Formula 4 championship, pace looked amazing in every race. I managed to win 2 out of 3 races this weekend and I am looking forward to the next one. Thanks to MP Motorsport for making it possible.

— Dilano van ‘t Hoff

“Couldn’t have dreamt of a better start of the season and my debut.”

Fantastic weekend! Couldn’t have dreamt of a better start of the season and my debut. I was somewhat disappointed to lose my points in the second race on Friday, but made a big comeback in Saturday’s race with my first ever win in single-seater! Also super cool that MP won all of the three races and had so many drivers in the top 10.

— Georg Kelstrup

“I learned from the first quali and put a good lap together.”

Great start of the season in the Spanish F4 championship. We had good speed all weekend, although it started with a bad first qualifying session that made me start in the back of the field for 2/3 races. Right after the second qualifying session, I learned from the first quali and put a good lap together. I’m happy with my debut and being competitive every time on track. Huge thanks to my team MP Motorsport, my fantastic engineer and faultless mechanic!

— Noah Degnbol

“Definitely not bad, but not what I hoped for in my debut of single-seaters.”

We’ve had three days with highs and lows. The pace was definitely there, but at the start of the first race where I started on P7, I stalled. I fell all the way back and fought my way back to P16. Definitely not bad, but not what I hoped for in my debut of single-seaters. My second race was better and with the fastest lap, I finished fourth. The start of the third race was also good, but because number 2 of the grid stalled I had to watch out and fell from P6 to P16. Due to the safety cars, there was barely a normal lap to drive but I fought my way back to P11. I definitely learned a lot during this hectic first round.

— Rik Koen

“I just need to put the weekend together, as in the races we made up some places.”

It feels like a weekend to forget, for me. I made a mistake in qualifying which put me on the back foot for the rest of the weekend. I caused contact in Race 3 which gave me a 5 place grid penalty for the first race in the next round, in Navarra. It was a very unlucky weekend, but I’ll learn from it to do better next time and minimize mistakes. The pace is there, I just need to put the weekend together, as in the races we made up some places. Not a good start to the season but the championship is long and we’ll keep pushing! Congrats to MP Motorsport and my teammates for their great results!

— Gil Molina