Japanese driver Hiyu Yamakoshi swept qualifying for the second round of the F4 Italian Championship. The 17-year-old, competing for Van Amersfoort Racing, took three pole positions. Asian Motorsport reviews the action trackside at Imola.

By Marco Albertini

Qualifying for the second round of the Italian F4 Championship at Imola was held on a sunny morning at 10:00 local time.

As usual, it took place over two 15-minute sessions, with Q1 setting the grid for race one and Q2 setting the grid for race two. The grid for race three was determined by taking the drivers’ best second-fastest lap times from both sessions.

Yamakoshi edges Slater and Bohra to top Q1

Q1 saw Matheus Ferreira and Akshay Bohra trade fastest times, with the latter holding provisional pole for over half of qualifying.

Jenzer Motorsport’s Shimo Zhang had a trip through the gravel in turn four, bringing out a full-course yellow with a few minutes remaining.

The green flag returned not long after, giving the drivers two qualifying laps to improve their time. VAR’s Yamakoshi set a last-minute pole lap ahead of Prema’s Freddie Slater and US Racing’s Bohra.

Four Asian drivers finished in the top ten in Q1, with Prema’s Dion Gowda securing P4 and Alpine junior Kean Nakamura-Berta finishing in P9. Prema driver Rashid Al Dhaheri finished just outside the top ten in P11.

Further down the field, Singaporean driver and Alpine Academy member Kabir Anurag finished in P18. Hong Kong driver Shimo Zhang finished in P18, whilst Taiwanese driver Enzo Yeh finished in P30.

Race one’s top ten starters

  • Hiyu Yamakoshi (JPN), Van Amersfoort Racing – P1
  • Freddie Slater (GBR), Prema Racing – P2
  • Akshay Bohra (IND), US Racing – P3
  • Dion Gowda (IND), Prema Racing – P4
  • Tomass Stolcermanis (LVA), Prema Racing – P5
  • Reno Francot (NED), Jenzer Motorsport – P6
  • Jack Beeton (AUS), US Racing – P7
  • Gustav Jonsson (SWE), Van Amersfoort Racing – P8
  • Kean Nakamura-Berta (JPN), Prema Racing – P9
  • Alex Powell (JAM), Prema Racing – P10

Yamakoshi dominates Q2 after early provisional pole

A few minutes later, the second round of qualifying started. Whilst the first half of the session was relatively quiet, this all changed when Yamakoshi took provisional pole mid-way through the session.

The 17-year-old from Tokyo remained untouched until the end to take his second consecutive pole position ahead of US Racing’s Jack Beeton and Bohra.

Like Q1 four Asian drivers would finish in the top ten, with Emirati driver Al Dhaheri ending the session in P13. Yeh finished in 24th, whilst Zhang and Anurag ended the session in P26 and P37 respectively.

Race two’s top ten starters

  • Hiyu Yamakoshi (JPN), Van Amersfoort Racing – P1
  • Jack Beeton (AUS), US Racing – P2
  • Akshay Bohra (IND), US Racing – P3
  • Alex Powell (JAM), Prema Racing – P4
  • Freddie Slater (GBR), Prema Racing – P5
  • Gianmarco Pradel (AUS), US Racing – P6
  • Dion Gowda (IND), Prema Racing – P7
  • Kean Nakamura-Berta (JPN), Prema Racing – P8
  • Tomass Stolcermanis (LVA), Prema Racing – P9
  • Maxim Rehm (GER), US Racing, P10

Yamakoshi does the triple with race three pole

Yamakoshi also took pole for race three, with his second best time in between both sessions being faster than US Racing’s Jack Beeton and Prema’s Freddie Slater.

Bohra and Nakamura-Berta will start in the top ten for race three, with Al Dhaheri and Gowda set to line up from P11 and P12 on the grid respectively. Yeh will start from P25, whilst Zhang will start from P26. Anurag will start race three from P28.

Race three’s top ten starters

  • Hiyu Yamakoshi (JPN), Van Amersfoort Racing – P1
  • Jack Beeton (AUS), US Racing – P2
  • Freddie Slater (GBR), Prema Racing – P3
  • Maxim Rehm (GER), US Racing – P4
  • Kean Nakamura-Berta (JPN), Prema Racing – P5
  • Alex Powell (JAM), Prema Racing – P6
  • Akshay Bohra (IND), US Racing – P7
  • Tomass Stolcermanis (LVA), Prema Racing – P8
  • Reno Francot (NED), Jenzer Motorsport – P9
  • Matheus Ferreira (BRA), US Racing – P10

Race one will be held today at 17:30 local time, while races two and three will be held on Sunday at 09:00 and 15:30.

Header photo credit: ACI Sport

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