PREMA Racing seals off tricky Imola weekend with win

PREMA Racing wrapped up a challenging weekend with a win at Imola in the second round of the Italian Formula 4 Championship. British racer Freddie Slater cruised to victory in Race 3 to retain the 2024 Driver Championship lead. In addition, Indian racer Dion Gowda delivered his first two podium finishes this weekend as he continued to show remarkable progress.

Race 1 was up and down for Slater, who crossed the finish line in P1 but was disqualified for a technical non compliance on the front wing, and the team is evaluating a possible appeal. Slater, who was forced to retire by contact in Race 2, bounced back in brilliant stile to sign the round off in Race 3. On the other hand, Gowda rounded out the weekend in P11, but also made considerable gains in terms of points and confidence.

Both Alex Powell and Kean Nakamura-Berta had tricky starts but made a rebound in the remainder of the weekend. The Jamaican-American suffered a DNF in Race 1 and finished at the back in Race 2, but wrapped up a fourth place in the third and final one. The Japanese-Slovakian was put out of contention by a crash on Saturday, but secured two points finishes with a top-5 result in Race 2 and P6 in Race 3.

Latvian Tomass Stolcermanis brought home a triple points finish overall and two rookie wins, putting up a solid pace and staying smooth and consistent throughout the weekend. He eventually achieved his best result in the series, a fourth place, in Race 2. Rashid Al Dhaheri had a tricky qualifying but also fought back to two points finishes. Unfortunately, he was punted out in Race 3, which prevented him from finishing in the top-10 again.


“Overall I think we were able to make quite a good progression during the weekend. We didn’t have an amazing qualifying but we made a few overtakes on a track that is pretty tricky for that. We adapted quite well from qualifying to the races with the different weather and track conditions. That allowed us to gain a few positions. This event showed our improvement throughout the weekend and on my side, I was able to understand a few points that we can bring for the next race in Vallelunga. Let’s see how it goes.”

Qualifying 1: P11
Qualifying 2: P3
Starting position Race 1: P11
Starting position Race 2: P13
Starting position Race 3: P10
Fastest lap: 1:45.574
Fastest lap: 1:45.392
Race 1: P8
Race 2: P6
Race 3: DNF


“It was quite an eventful weekend. Qualifying was a bit chaotic and then in Race 1 we won over the line, and then unfortunately we had a penalty that fell out of our control, which is unfortunate. In Race 2, I made a few too many mistakes, which I need to learn from in the future. Finally, in Race 3, I put pressure on the driver in front, playing the long game after the start. I was under one second for the whole race and then the safety car helped a little bit. I knew my tyres were better than his, and I was ready to pounce. I kept him under pressure, and a couple of laps later he took his wing off and that was it. In those situations, you just have to keep the pressure and hope it will come your way!”

Qualifying 1: P2
Qualifying 2: P5
Starting position Race 1: P2
Starting position Race 2: P5
Starting position Race 3: P3
Fastest lap: 1:45.291
Fastest lap: 1:45.212
Race 1: DSQ
Race 2: P30
Race 3: P1


“We started quite decent in Practice, but Qualifying didn’t go as planned. Q1 was good with P5, but we didn’t maximize the tyres in Q2. Race 1 went quite well, I didn’t maybe have the best pace, so I couldn’t really overtake the other driver in front. I kept my position until the second safety car but, at the re-start, I lost one spot to cross the finish line P6. Race 2 went almost perfectly. I passed a few drivers as I stayed out of trouble with the incidents around, but I couldn’t pass for P3, which would have been perfect. Race 3 was good as well. I was sitting behind the group but I couldn’t overtake due to dirty air. I made some moves but contact cost me four positions. Still, I got back and I finished in the same position that I started from. Overall, not a bad weekend at all, no DNF, and happy to take these points.”

Qualifying 1: P5
Qualifying 2: P9
Starting position Race 1: P5
Starting position Race 2: P9
Starting position Race 3: P8
Fastest lap: 1:45.444
Fastest lap: 1:45.320
Race 1: P5
Race 2: P4
Race 3: P8


“The practice sessions went really well. I thought we had a solid car and I felt confident going into qualifying. Q1 was solid too in P4 and P7, even though I think it could have gone even better. Not much overtaking going on in Race 1, but we showed a really good pace, especially towards the end, nearly purple, and that was really positive. I managed to be fourth on track and then an update after the race got me to P3. Race 2, starting from P7, was a bit more difficult, a lot was happening in front of me. It was more about filling the gaps and avoiding the crashes, bringing pressure on the car in front to make a mistake, which we did pretty well. We managed to get to P3 and defend it. The car felt really good and the team did a mega job. Race 3 was a bit tougher as we started farther back than what we did for the first two. The tyres we had on were the oldest set and we always knew it was going to be more difficult. We did the best we could. Overall it was a solid weekend and a big step from Misano.”

Qualifying 1: P4
Qualifying 2: P7
Starting position Race 1: P4
Starting position Race 2: P7
Starting position Race 3: P11
Fastest lap: 1:45.349
Fastest lap: 1:45.274
Race 1: P3
Race 2: P3
Race 3: P11


“The week for me was hectic. I had a massive crash in Race 1, but then we managed to score a few points in Race 2 and Race 3. Overall, we lacked a little bit of pace, but fingers crossed, we can move forward for Vallelunga. Thanks to PREMA and everyone is supporting me.”

Qualifying 1: P9
Qualifying 2: P8
Starting position Race 1: P9
Starting position Race 2: P8
Starting position Race 3: P5
Fastest lap: 1:45.488
Fastest lap: 1:45.305
Race 1: DNF
Race 2: P4
Race 3: P6


“Overall, a really tough weekend. The pace was quite decent, but we never managed to string it together in the races. Eventually in race 3, even though it was a hectic race, I was able to finish, contrary to the first two. It’s important to learn from the negatives, in order to come back stronger for round 3 next time in Vallelunga.”

Qualifying 1: P10
Qualifying 2: P4
Starting position Race 1: P10
Starting position Race 2: P4
Starting position Race 3: P6
Fastest lap: 1:45.490
Fastest lap: 1:45.195
Race 1: DNF
Race 2: P29
Race 3: P4

Source | Photo: PREMA Racing

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