Gianluca Petecof experienced the run of his life this weekend at Vallelunga, as he lined-up for PREMA Powerteam in the final round of the 2020 Formula Regional European Championship. The 18-year-old Brazilian was crowned champion at the end of an extremely challenging weekend, marred by extremely difficult weather conditions which made his accomplishment even more special.
In race 1, Petecof extended his lead over teammate and fellow Ferrari Driver Academy racer Arthur Leclerc. Then on Sunday, race 2 was cancelled due to rain so it went all down to race 3. Leclerc, who was prevented from running in qualifying due to a mechanical issue, ended up into the gravel while trying to recover from the back. Petecof crossed the finish line in P5, enough to seal the deal and lead an all-PREMA 1-2-3 in the driver championship.
On the other hand, Oliver Rasmussen was definitely the man of the weekend, the Dane putting together another sensational run. Rasmussen started with a spectacular triple pole in qualifying, and then maximized his tyres with a podium in race 1. Race 3 saw him deliver a dominant run in which he led from start to finish to cap an absolutely stellar second part of the year.
Leclerc finished second in points in a close tiebreaker with Rasmussen at the end of a season-long challenge, while Jamie Chadwick completed a positive event especially in qualifying where she claimed her best result of the season with P4 in session 1. The 1-2-3 finish in the championship is a perfect way to sign off for PREMA Powerteam after having already secured an early team title.
#6 - Oliver Rasmussen
“It was great to end the weekend with a win, even though we did not take the championship. I’m happy we showed really good speed in our attempt to catch it, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough due to some issues. I’m a bit disappointed but really happy with how it ended. From the mid part of the season we showed amazing speed. I was able to qualify always quicker than my teammates. I’m really pleased with what I did. It wasn’t enough to win the championship but we did a great job together with the team.“
#10 - Gianluca Petecof
“Yes! To begin with! We came away 2020 champions and it was extremely difficult. I with people knew the difficulties we went through on and off the track, but that’s how racing is sometimes and that’s how it has to be. I’m super happy that we closed it with the title. It was a difficult weekend, even a cancelled race due to rain. There were a lot of tough conditions but we fought through them and through all season and eventually came away victorious. I want to thank the team, my sponsors and FDA for everything they did for me this year. This is just the beginning for us.”
#14 Arthur Leclerc
“Definitely the bad luck came in the beginning of the weekend, with qualifying which forced me to start all races last. It was really difficult, but the only thing I can change is myself, and I think I did not optimize the result, and I did not do a good job this weekend. I have to work hard and find the right balance to come back even stronger."
#55 - Jamie Chadwick
“I’m really happy with the progress we made this weekend, especially qualifying fourth which was our best qualifying of the year. It has been a difficult season, so we tried to finish on a high despite losing one race this weekend. There are a lot of positives to take. Overall, massive thanks to the Prema guys for a season where I learned more than I have learned in any other season. There is a lot to take and I’m excited to see what will come next.”