MAIDEN VICTORY FOR VARTANYAN TO END THE SEASON

September 11, 2016

Race 2

Final day of the SMP F4 NEZ Championship 2016 season started with Race 2.

Jarno Opmeer who started in pole got a great start and the Dutch held his place in front. Nerses Isaakyan who started in P2 got the dirty side of the track and had lots of wheelspin. Richard Verschoor did not and had an easy job to take P2 from the Russian.

Behind the top 3 nothing much happened as the circuit is still a very difficult place to overtake. Verschoor was again the fastest driver on the track but he could not find any passing spots behind Opmeer.

The biggest fight was between Juho Valtanen and Roope Markkanen who fought for P4. Markkanen tried to overtake Valtanen many times at the end of the main straight but did not have enough speed to pull the pass off. Only retirement happened at the end of the race when Nikita Sitnikov drifted wide and had to retire from the Race.

Opmeer took his second win of the weekend and was looking for a hat trick at Race 3. Verschoor finished P2 and Isaakyan P3.

Jarno Opmeer

“It feels very good to renew with victory! Two in a row, that’s great, now I am looking forward to Race 3, even though my starting position will not be the easiest of them all”

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Race 3

The final race of the season saw Verschoor starting on pole, Tuomas Tujula P2 and Aleksander Vartanyan who took Jarno Opmeer’s place in P3 when Opmeer got a grid penalty. Vartanyan had a perfect start, overtaking Verschoor right at the start.

But then the biggest action of the weekend started as Tuomas Tujula went slightly wide on T2 and crashed into Juho Valtanen ending both drivers race in a moutain of debris. Aleksander Maslennikov also got involved in the accident as the Russian crashed into the two cars which were stopped on the track when he got out from T2 at full speed.

That was not all as Vladimir Tziortzis got his car stuck in T1 tires-wall. Not the desired way to end the season for the Cyprus-Russian driver. Safety car was deployed and it took few 15 minutes before the drivers could continue normal racing as all the cars were retrieved from the track.

Roman Lebedev struggled with his broken front wing two laps behind the safety car but was forced to retire to the pits. With only nine cars remaining, the safety car light was turned off and the final kilometers of the season was to be driven with maximum attack. Vartanyan held onto P1 for the few last laps easily as Verschoor did not find any room to pass the Russian. Rasmus Markkanen completed the podium with P3.

A maiden victory for the Russian rocket Alexander Vartanyn who waited until the very last Race of 2016 in the SMP F4 NEZ Championship to grab the long-waited top step of the podium.

Alexander Vartanyan

“Finally! I have been trying to get that win since Day 1 of this season. I am very happy to end the season on a high note, it could not have ended better!”

Rasmus Markkanen

“A podium to end the season, in front of my home crowd…that’s everything I wanted!”

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Richard Verschoor will be officially crowned 2016 SMP F4 NEZ Champion tonight at the Prize Giving Party as Jarno Opmeer will take second and Alexander Vartanyan finished the season third.

The 2016 SMP F4 NEZ season now came to an end, it is an emotional for the organization, the mechanics, the officials, and we would like to thank everyone involved in the Championship to have made this year, an incredible year again.

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