Campos Racing extends unstoppable streak with triple 1-2 finish at Spa

Bulgarian Tsolov conquered another triple win in the Belgian Ardennes and strengthens his leads in the F4 Spain further more. Barter finishes second in all three races and moves up to second overall in the standings

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Campos Racing delivered another unbeatable performance at Spa-Francorchamps, which hosted the fourth round of the 2022 F4 Spain Championship season this weekend. The Spanish-based racing team and their drivers were a step ahead of his rivals once again in the Belgian rollercoaster and Nikola Tsolov and Hugh Barter painted the rostrum in Campos Racing colors. Georg Kelstrup y Manuel Espírito Santo brought more points home and Filip Jenić put in strong recovery driver after problematic qualifying sessions. 

Tsolov and Barter took command of both free practice sessions held on Friday morning and later managed to translate their pace into qualifying. “The Bulgarian lion” clocked a lap time of 2m24.260s to beat Kirill Smal to pole position in race 1. Japanese-Australian Barter set the third-fastest lap time and Espírito Santo took 5th alongside teammate Kelstrup. Race 2 starting grid wasn’t different with Tsolov securing another pole position for Campos Racing with a lap time of 2m24.457s and Barter locked the front row for the Spanish team with second place. Kelstrup was 4th fastest and Espírito Santo posted the 6th-time. Finally, in race 3, the starting grid saw another 1-2 for Campos Racing with Tsolov (2m24.296s) starting alongside Barter. Espírito Santo and Kelstrup qualified on row 6 with Serbian Jenić struggling in qualifying but with plenty of potential for the races. 

On Friday afternoon, Barter moved into the lead when the lights went out and the safety car was deployed immediately as a result of several clashes in the 31-car field. Back in green flag conditions, Tsolov retook the lead on lap 5 and, following another 2-lap safety car period, cruised to the win in dominant fashion scoring another extra point thanks to the fastest lap of the race. Barter dropped to third but the Japanese-Australian regained second place after moving past Valerio Rinicella on Kemmel straight in the last lap. Kelstrup finished in fifth place and Portuguese Espírito Santo took the checkered flag in seventh. Jenić ended up in 13th place. 

Saturday was a repeat in terms of results. Race 2, consisting of 18 minutes plus a lap, had Tsolov leading the field at the start ahead of Barter. Behind, Danish racer Kelstrup was in a close-fought battle for fifth place. Lap by lap, Tsolov and Barter pulled away from Smal and Rinicella and the Japanese-Australian ace moved past Tsolov in the penultimate lap. But Tsolov retook the lead passing his teammate on the outside at Les Combes in exciting, clean racing. Tsolov crossed the finish line in first place ahead of Barter, who secured the fastest lap of the race this time. Kelstrup came in fifth place and Espírito Santo made it to the finish in seventh. Jenić took the checkered flag in 11th place. 

The second 25-minute plus 1 lap race was marred by safety car periods. Tsolov and Barter fended off their rivals on the opening lap but soon the safety car came out. It took even longer as two cars collided each other under caution. Tsolov and Barter built a gap on the rest of the field with Kelstrup and Espírito Santo gaining places through the field. Two other cars crashed at Bus Stop and it brought and early end to the race with Tsolov, again posting the fastest lap of the race, and Barter dominating the classification. Kelstrup’s recovery driver rewarded him with fourth place and Espírito Santo finished in ninth place. Jenić, who gained nine places in the first stages of the race, finish in 11th.  

Campos Racing heads into the summer break with Tsolov and Barter sitting first and second in the drivers’ standings. Tsolov, with nine wins to his name, is first on 236 points and also is first among the rookies. Apart from Tsolov and Barter, Kelstrup is currently fourth in the standings and Jenić and Espírito Santo are lying 8th and 10th. Similarly, Campos Racing has strengthened its lead in the teams’ standings with 280 points. 

The fifth round will take place after summer break at Motorland Aragón on 3-4 September.