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Prema PowerteamPrema Powerteam has been off to a sensational start in the opening weekend for the F.Renault ALPS Series at Vallelunga. The Italian-based squad, managed by Angelo Rosin, developed the new car’s 2013 upgrade package in perfect fashion after having made their way back to the Fast Lane Promotion championship in the closing part of last season.

Bruno Bonifacio scored the pole, then won Race 1 and was set to repeat but a deplorable maneuver by Nyck De Vries at Tornantino prevented him from doing so. And while the Brazilian gave proof of amazing strength, the whole team was overwhelmed by Antonio Fuoco’s performance. The Cosenza-based Ferrari Driver Academy man clocked the second fastest lap in qualifying before ending up Race 1 in second an scoring an outstanding win in Race 2.

Fuoco, who was behind De Vries and Bonifacio, inherited the lead and kept it all the way to the finish. Luca Ghiotto completed the Prema weekend at Vallelunga in perfect fashion. After scoring the 6th fastest lap of qualifying, he took rounded out the top-5 in Race 1 before finishing second in Race 2. Thanks to this weekend’s results, Fuoco is leading in the ALPS standings with 43 points, followed by Ghiotto (28). Bonifacio is fourth with 25 points.

Angelo Rosin – Team Principal
“It’s been definitely an awesome start with us in the F.Renault ALPS, and it’s the second one after the great first round of the season in the FIA European F.3 Championship. At Vallelunga, all our drivers cruised to the podium, we hit the pole and two wins. I had predicted a positive start based on the great job done by the team and by Bonifacio, Fuoco and Ghiotto in testing, but the real thing surpassed even the brightest expectations. And although Bonifacio and Ghiotto were all but set for some top results, I’m astonished by what Fuoco was able to accomplish as a rookie throughout the weekend. I’m genuinely impressed”.

Bruno BonifacioThe F.Renault 2.0 ALPS Championship will be back underway this weekend at Vallelunga, and Prema Powerteam is aiming high at the Rome-bound racetrack by fielding three cars for Bruno Bonifacio, Antonio Fuoco and Luca Ghiotto. Both Bonifacio and Ghiotto will rely on a good amount of experience as they lined-up with Prema in last season’s F.Abarth series, while Fuoco, coming from the Ferrari Driver Academy, will be at his open-wheel debut. After having sampled the F.Renault environment last season, the Prema stable make their full-time return in a series that brought them sensational results between 2000 and 2008.

Good vibes have come throughout winter testing as the Prema drivers worked hard in the development of their new racecars. The Vallelunga weekend will take-off with the running of three, hour-long practice sessions on Friday, April the 6th at 9.30, 12.15 and 17.05. Qualifying will be held on Saturday at 10.15, followed by Race 1 at 17.00. Race 2 is scheduled for Sunday at 15:00.

Angelo Rosin – Team Principal
“We’re heading towards Vallelunga and we’re happy to be back in the Renault camp and on a roster featuring almost 40 cars. We are always eager to find new challenges and this is clearly one of them. We will line-up against some great teams and their talented drivers, young men who will surely become very successful in motor racing in the future. We will line-up with Bonifacio and Ghiotto, and they both had the chance to try this championship in the latest stages of last season. They are top racers and they have all what it takes to deliver good results. The same goes for Fuoco. Despite the fact that he’ll be making his open-wheel debut, he already showed excellent skills in testing”.

Photo by Roberto Piccinini.

Bruno BonifacioBruno Bonifacio and Prema Powerteam will be back together in 2013. The 18-year-old Brazilian racer is set to join the Vicenza-based squad for this season’s Eurocup F.Renault and F.Renault ALPS series. A native of Sao Paulo, Bonifacio won the 2011 South American F.3 Light championship before ending up in third in last season’s Formula Abarth series. After having enjoyed a positive run with Angelo Rosin and his staff, he decided to continue a relationship that dates back to the second half of 2011. Bonifacio has the right potential to succeed in some high-quality championships like Eurocup and ALPS. His quick transition to Renault racing has emerged clearly in the latter stages of 2012, when he was lined-up in the last races of the Eurocup and in the Norther European NEC competition. The great results scored can be a perfect stepping stone for 2013.

Angelo Rosin – Team Principal
“We are proud and cheered-up for relying on the services of a fast and consistent driver like Bonifacio in two demanding championships like Eurocup and ALPS. This Brazilian driver is hungry for some serious success and battle with some high-quality opponents in a very competitive environment. I’m sure that Bruno has all what it takes to stay at the top consistently, and that consistency will be key throughout the year…”

Bruno Bonifacio
“It’s gonna be an intense 2013 season as we’ll be facing two top-notch championships. This is the reason I decided to stay with Prema, an extremely competitive and professional team that work hard on every single detail. I’ll be at my second season with them after the fantastic 2012 experience in the F.Abarth Series. I look forward to hit the podium as frequently as possible, both in the Eurocup and in the ALPS championships, and enjoy the same positive feeling I experienced in the final few races of the F.Renault championships”

Ghiotto & BonifacioThe debut of Prema Powerteam in the 2012 F.Renault competition continued to provide the Italian squad with sensational results. After having entered the Mugello round of the ALPS series last weekend, Prema entered the final round of the North European Cup at the Belgian Spa-Francorchamps venue, in a challenge that also featured some of the top teams from the Eurocup Series.

Once again, the results were convincing because, despite the powerful 36-car line-up, Bruno Bonifacio scored third place in qualifying, exactly like at Mugello, and ended up in third at the end of Race 1. It was the first podium finish for him. On the other hand, Luca Ghiotto went off early in qualifying and was called to a spectacular recovery: after starting in 36th place, he climbed up to the 14th position.

In the second qualifications, Bonifacio repeated his early result but unfortunately, due to a sudden rainfall, both drivers ended up off-track like many of their opponents.

Prema will now get on the road again towards Barcelona, where both drivers will line-up for the closing round of ALPS. On the same weekend, they will also be racing at Hockenheim, in the closing round of the European F.3 Championship, and at Monza, in the last outing of the Italian F.3 Series.

Bruno BonifacioThe comeback of Prema Powerteam in F.Renault racing has been more than positive, beyond any early expectation, as the Italian squad lined-up in the recent round of the F.Renault ALPS Championship. “Honestly I didn’t think we could be so competitive right at the start – said Team Principal Angelo Rosin – the guys did a phenomena job and even though we still don’t have a deep knowledge of the car, we stayed in the top-10 after having started from the first two rows. Definitely not bad considering that there were 31 cars on the roster, including some teams at top Eurocup levels, and that we haven’t run with this cars since 2010. Our drivers Bonifacio and Ghiotto had the advantage of a good knowledge of Mugello, but their rivals already knew how to push the car to trhe limit and take full advantage from the tires’ performance. That’s what Luca and Bruno are currently starting to do”.

In qualifying, things started great as Bonifacio took 2nd place and Ghiotto ended up in 4th. At the start of Race 1 though, they did not take-off perfectly and couldn’t hold their point. Bonifacio tried to go for third with a move on Chatin, but spun and was forced to retire. Ghiotto put together a solid drive and finished in 6th. In Race 2, they started from 3rd and 4th respectively and this time they started with no hesitations. By the end of lap 2 they were rounding out the top-5. While the Brazilian stayed in 4th until checkered, the Italian repeated the 6th place scored in Race 1 after having been passed by Kujala. Prema will be back on-track next weekend with the same driving combo, lining-up for the F.Renault 2.0 North European Cup at Spa-Francorchamps.

Prema PowerteamIn just a few hours, Prema Powerteam will be making their official return in Formula Renault 2.0 racing. The team, managed by Angelo Rosin, has been involved in the 2012 European Formula 3, Italian Formula 3 and Formula Abarth championships, and is now looking forward to the final part of the season as a prelude of a full-time 2013 commitment.

Prema will take part in the penultimate round of the F.Renault ALPS, lining-up two cars for 2012 Abarth runners Bruno Bonifacio and Luca Ghiotto. The team will then be back on-track at Spa-Francorchamps on the 13th and 14th of October for the F.Renault NEC, before rejoining the ALPS Series in the closing round of the season at Montmelò, Barcelona.

Angelo Rosin – Team Principal
“We can definitely say that we never stop. We just completed the F.Abarth season and we’re ready for a new challenge in the F.Renault ALPS. We’re curious to see how we will merge in this series as we’ll be racing alongside some top-notch operation, at the same level of the Eurocup. It’s going to be a great challenge. We’re ready to put on-track our professionalism and determination.”

Prema PowerteamThe 2012 season is down to the last three races. The Monza racetrack will be hosting the final round of the Formula Abarth Series, valid for the European Series and the Italian Championship, and Prema Powerteam is aiming at both titles with its regular drivers Bruno Bonifacio and Luca Ghiotto. The young Italian racer is holding second place in both series, followed by his Brazilian team-mate.

“We’ll have to attack since qualifying – explained Team Owner Angelo Rosin – and return to the performance levels we showed in the first part of the season. We have the qualities needed to succeed and I’m looking forward to it, but our rivals are really competitive and they’re definitely going to challenge us”. Giorgio Roda will also try to get into the leading pack and confirm the progress showed so far.

The practice session for the round at Monza will be held at 13:05 on Friday, followed by qualifying at 18:20. Race 1 will be starting on Saturday at 11:30 AM while the second, 15-minute one will be taking-off at 18:15 PM. The closing race of the season will start at 11:45, on a 30-minute distance + 1 lap. All the weekend’s races will be televised live on TV network Rai Sport 2 and on www.acisportitalia.it/ABARTH .

Formula Abarth European Series: 1 – Nicolas Costa 244p. 2 – Luca Ghiotto (Prema) 227p. 3 – Bruno Bonifacio (Prema) 215p. 4 – Emanuele Zonzini 185p. 5 – Santiago Urrutia 171p.
Italian Formula Abarth Championship: 1 – Nicolas Costa 170p. 2 – Luca Ghiotto (Prema) 157p. 3 – Bruno Bonifacio (Prema) 154p. 4 – Emanuele Zonzini 145p. 5 – Santiago Urrutia 124p.

Bruno BonifacioBruno Bonifacio is currently leading the Formula Abarth International Series at his second year in the championship with Prema Powerteam. After having fought his way with team-mate Luca Ghiotto, he’s ready to fight for the big prize in the final stint of the season starting from Imola. As he prepares to go back on-track, he stopped by to answer a few questions.

Did you expect to be on top in standing at this point of the season?
“Honestly, yes. I worked really really hard this winter in the Formula Toyota Series in New Zealand and in testing, so we knew we would have had great potential and a real chance to fight for the top spots during the season”.

You will be battling with your team-mate Luca Ghiotto in the final few races. How is your relationship?

“We have a pretty good relationship and we have been used to work with each other since last season. We exchange information in testing and even though we fight on-track, there are absolutely no issues between us”.

Do you have team orders at Prema?
“We’re free to battle each other and definitely there are no team orders. I always try to play as clean as possible though, because making stupid mistakes between us would hand our rivals a great advantage. They are not that far from us in terms of the championship”

Do you see other potential contenders for the 2012 title other than Ghiotto?
“Costa is older than us and also has a lot of experience. I don’t expect him to back down easily. I noticed that Urrutia has been making big steps forward in the last few races. It’ll be a tough battle down the road to the final part of the season”

Did you already set some goals for the rest of your career?
“First of all I want to stay 100% focused on the Formula Abarth championships, and then I’ll think about the future. In the next few years I want to progress without overreaching myself. I learned a lot recently but I’m young, I’m still 17 and I’ve plenty of time to manage my future”.