Sovereign performance by Cian Carey and Sandro Zeller

Drexler Formula Cup - Imola (ITA)

With a record field of 37 cars, the drivers in the Drexler Formula Cup and the Top Jet F2000 Italian Trophy provided plenty of action on the 4.909 kilometre Formula 1 circuit in Imola. After a totally rainy qualifying, Sandro Zeller (Jo Zeller Racing) had secured pole position. Cian Carey (Franz Wöss Racing) held Benjamin Berta (Team Hoffmann Racing) at bay in third place, while co-favourite Paolo Brajnik failed to set a qualifying time. Qualifying was a special challenge for all drivers in these adverse conditions late on Friday afternoon.

The first race on Saturday afternoon started in dry conditions. Sandro Zeller initially took the lead, while Cian Carey increasingly put the defending champion under pressure. When Daniel Tapinos (Franz Wöss Racing) collided with Francesco Solfaroli, a safety car phase became necessary. After the restart, Cian Carey put all his eggs in one basket and passed Zeller. Both drivers didn't give each other a single metre and drove eye-to-eye. Behind this duel, Bernardo Pellegrini (HT Powerteam) had fought a duel with Benjamin Berta for several laps and had established a perfect starting position for the final sprint. Pellegrini overtook Berta and opened up a gap that Berta could not make up. Then the Italian put Sandro Zeller under pressure and passed the Swiss. While Cian Carey was able to maintain the lead, the positions behind the Formula 3 Open drivers were taken with Pellegrini and Zeller. Benjamin Berta missed the podium and remained in fourth place. There were no more fights for positions until the chequered flag fell. Shortly before the end of the race, another yellow phase was called, which ended the race under full course yellow. For the second race in Imola, Sandro Zeller took the lead from pole position after the start, but it didn't last long. Cian Carey literally stuck to the rear of the Swiss and snatched the lead in the early stages of the 15-lap chase. Carey had Pellegrini in tow, who also passed Sandro Zeller. Behind the trio at the front, Franco Cimarelli and Benjamin Berta engaged in a fierce battle. Cimarelli had to pay tribute to the speed and the thread broke to the podium places. While Paolo Brajnik made a fantastic comeback from the back of the field, Carey collided with Pellegrini in the last lap. Both spun and lost ground. Sandro Zeller took advantage of this situation and won ahead of the onrushing Brajnik by 2.303 seconds. Benjamin Berta also benefited from the crash of the two leaders and finished on the podium. "The race was not easy, but it was really fun," said Sandro Zeller at the finish. While Bernardo Pellegrini was listed 11th in the final standings, Cian Carey finished 23rd.

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