On July 13-14, the fourth round of the SMP Formula 4 Championship took place at Kazan Ring. SMP Racing junior drivers took podiums in two races of the weekend.In the qualifying session, Pavel Bulantsev went quickest among three SMP Racing junior drivers: he was second fastest with a lap of 1: 21.862, followed by Irina Sidorkova with a 0.182s gap. Irina rejoined the competition after missing one round due to her participation in the Formula 4 Spanish Championship. Alexey Nesov completed the top five with a lap time of 1: 22.159.
Artem Lobanenko took pole position and won two races of the fourth round. He was joined on the podium by Alexey Nesov and Irina Sidorkova in the first race and by Pavel Bulantsev and Alexander Vilayev in the second race.
Artem Lobanenko, the winner of two races of the SMP F4 Championship round in Kazan: “The fourth round was very good, we had a high pace right from the second training session. The Kazan Ring track is very fast with sharp turns. I especially liked the second sector, where there is large elevation difference. In general, the round was very good and successful.”
SMP Racing junior driver Irina Sidorkova added: “The round in Kazan reminded me of swing, when one day everything is fine, and another is not very good. Of course, in the second race we had great goals and a good start, but, unfortunately, I was off the track. In the first race, I was focused on achieving best possible results, as the day before we even managed to be fastest in practice. At the start on Saturday, I took the lead and tried to keep the position as long as possible. Then I realized that there were still twelve laps left to go and there was no point in fighting with Artem Lobanenko, as he was 1.5 seconds faster and my pace had dropped noticeably for some reason. Then Alexey Nesov also overtook me, nevertheless I was able to finish third and I am very pleased with the result: this is my first podium in the SMP Formula 4 Championship.”
SMP Racing junior driver Alexey Nesov also said: “In the first race, I didn’t have a good start due to a clutch issues. The safety car appeared on the track and I managed to warm up the tyres well, driving behind it. I knew that I needed to take a risk if I wanted to win. We had a good speed, so I was waiting for the mistakes of my rivals and for the moment to attack. I gained third position without any problems and had a great fight with Irina Sidorkova, we even made contact. She greatly fended off my attacks, but I was able to finally overtake her on the outside. Then I built a gap and did my best to keep it until the finish line.”
SMP Racing junior driver Pavel Bulantsev said: “We had a good pace in training, we were a bit slower than Lobanenko. In the qualifying session, the car didn’t behave perfectly. In the first race, I was planning to fight for highest places, but, unfortunately, made contact with another driver and was forced off the track. The second race was more successful. We drove on new tires, and I was fighting for the first place, but made a mistake, overheated the tyres and as a result finished only second. In general, the round went well, we scored points and now we will prepare for the next round, which will take place in Myachkovo."
The fifth round will take place on August 3-4 at ADM Raceway, Moscow region.