New Renault Formula 1 junior driver Christian Lundgaard won twice on his debut car racing weekend in the first round of the SMP Formula 4 NEZ Championship at Sochi.
The 15-year-old Dane’s wins came after second-year driver Xavier Lloveras triumphed in race one, driving for the FA Racing Team run by Fernando Alonso’s karting mentor Genis Marco.
Lloveras made a poor start from pole, but regained the lead when Lundgaard and others went deep in wet conditions at Turn 2.
Dutch karting gradaute Bent Viscaal finished just six tenths of a second behind in second, with Russia’s Alexander Smolyar – last year’s World Karting Championship pole-sitter – holding off Tuomas Haapalainen and Lundgaard for third.
Much of race two was run behind the safety car in even wetter conditions, but Lundgaard was able to pass Lloveras quickly after the restart and take victory by 5.8 seconds, with Smolyar completing the podium again ahead of fellow SMP driver Vladimir Tziortzis.
Conditions improved for the finale but Lundgaard displayed similar form, winning by 21 seconds over MP Motorsport team-mate Viscaal, who had Nikita Volegov, Lloveras and Haapalainen on his tail at the flag.
Twenty drivers took part in the opening round, with entries from MP, FA, Finland’s AKK Academy, Estonian squad ALM Motorsport and a single Lappalainen Team car joining seven under the SMP banner.
Lundgaard leads the standings by one point over Lloveras.