Barter and Tsolov bring other three wins home for Campos Racing in Alcañiz

The Japanese-Australian driver won Race 1 and Race 3 and finished second behind Tsolov in Race 2. The latter remains a solid drivers’ championship leader and Barter further strengthens his second place overall at Motorland Aragon

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Campos Racing took things at Motorland Aragon where the Spanish-based racing team left them before the summer break. The ultra-fast circuit in Northern Spain resumed the 2022 F4 Spain Championship season and Campos Racing and their drivers stole the show with series’ leader Nikola Tsolov and 2nd-place classified Hugh Barter achieving three further wins in Alcañiz. Filip Jenić scored a fourth place finish this weekend with Danish Georg Kelstrup and Manuel Espirito Santo finishing in seventh place in their Campos Racing-run Tatuus cars. 

After two promising free practice sessions on Saturday morning, in which the five-car army of Campos Racing already put a strong performance, Q1 took place in the afternoon. It was a face-to-face battle involving Tsolov and Barter in their halo-shod Tatuus cars. Both Campos Racing drivers had a lively fight for Race 1 and Race 2 pole positions during Q1. Both drivers topped the timesheets and, when the Japanese-Australian looked to clinch the pole position with his lap of 2m01.349s, Tsolov managed to further lower the bar with his final attempt of 2m01.229s. As a result, both locked up an all Campos Racing front row. Portuguese Espirito Santo set to start from 6th and Jenić also secured a top-ten start with 8th-fastest lap time. Kelstrup, who couldn´t put all his best sectors together, qualified in 14th place. For Race 2, Tsolov’s best time of 2m01.329s also rewarded him with pole position with Barter second two tenths slower. Jenić and Espirito Santo also made it into the top ten with 5th and 8th place respectively.

In the afternoon, the battle between Tsolov and Barter went on. When the lights went out, Barter took the lead ahead of Tsolov. Danish Kelstrup gained several places on a frantic first lap in which both Jenić and Espirito Santo dropped back. The Serbian was eleventh and the Portuguese driver was unluckier as he was forced to retire after making contact with Miron Pingasov. Both Barter and Tsolov, setting a sequence of fastest laps, pulled away from the pack until a safety car bunched the field together again. With two laps to go, the green flag waved and Kirill Smal put Tsolov under pressure at the restart. The “Bulgarian Lion” fended off his charge and finally secured his second place behind race winner Barter. Kelstrup took the checkered flag in seventh place. Jenić was also running in the top-ten but the Serbian driver lost valuable time in the final stages of the race after contact with another rival and finished in 17th place.

Sunday kicked off with Q2 very early in the morning. Barter and Tsolov got involved in another amazing battle for pole position in in Race 3. Finally, Barter managed to beat Tsolov to pole by a mere 8 thousandths of a second thanks to his lap of 2m00.840s. Jenić qualified in 8th place with Kelstrup setting to start from 11th. Espirito Santo had some issues during the session and qualified back on the starting grid.

Tsolov and Barter remained first and second when the lights went out in Race 2. Further adrift, the rest of the drivers of Campos Racing was also making their way into the points. The safety car was deployed on lap 4 when Smal and Robert de Haan made contact and, as a result, Jenić was promoted to fourth. When the safety car headed into the pit lane, Tsolov remained in control of the race but behind Barter was trying to keep Tymoteusz Kucharczyk at bay. Tsolov cruised to race win after nine laps but Barter finally finished in third place as he was forced to open the door in order to avoid contact with Kucharczyk, who braked too late at the penultimate corner of Motorland. Jenić crossed the finish line in fourth place and Espirito Santo took 7th place. Kelstrup ended up in 11th place.

Race 3, again in format of a 25-minute race plus a lap, saw a commanding race win for Barter. The Japanese-Australian driver kept his lead at the start with Tsolov running in a close second place. As a result of an incident-marred first lap, the safety car was deployed. With the race resuming on lap 5, Tsolov dropped to 6th when Kucharczyk forced him slightly wide at T1. Barter was never under threat from Kucharczyk and after 12 laps the driver of Campos Racing took the checkered flag in first place to score his third win in the series. Finally, Tsolov moved up to fourth place after overtaking Suleiman Zanfari and Valerio Rinicella, the latter on the very last lap. The remaining three drivers of Campos Racing had no luck. Jenić ended up in 14th place and Espirito Santo was classified in 22nd two laps down. Kelstrup failed to finish this time.

With two rounds to go, Tsolov is commanding the standings on 286 points and Barter is second. Despite a problematic weekend, Kelstrup is still fifth and Jenić remains in 8th place. Espirito Santo sits in 11th place. Last but not least, Tsolov is also lying in first place of Rookies’ Trophy and Campos Racing further stretches their lead in the teams’ standings.

The sixth and penultimate round of the season will take place at Circuito de Navarra on 1-2 October.