Keanu Al Azhari won the two races of the Formula 4 United Arab Emirates Trophy at Yas Marina Circuit.
The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix-supporting event began with a practice session on Friday topped by Xcel Motorsport’s Federico Al Rifai. He set a 1m59.031s to lead Yas Heat Academy’s Al Azhari by 0.07 seconds, with fellow Emeratis Hamda Al Qubaisi (MP Motorsport) and Rashid Al Dhaheri (Prema) completing a top four covered by 0.145s.
Xcel’s Laura Villars was slowest of all in 14th place, but she did not set a representative laptime.
Qualifying took place later in the day and 10 drivers had laptimes deleted for track limits abuse. Al Azhari emerged on top to take race one pole with a 1m56.798s lap, and Al Rifai was 0.227s slower in second place.
Prema’s Freddie Slater was a further 0.004s slower in third, and Al Dhaheri was 0.291s off pole in fourth. Villars did not have any laptimes deleted, but her best effort was still 9.782s off the pace.
Al Azhari successfully converted pole into victory on Saturday, winning the 16-lap first race by 0.753s over Rifai who got the fastest lap.
Slater was 4.039s back in third, then there was a big gap to the battle for fourth between Al Dhaheri and Al Qubaisi.
There was a photo finish for 11th between Amna Al Qubaisi and Zack Scoular, with Georgi Zhuravskiy classified just 0.021s ahead of Al Qubaisi after he got a five-second penalty for track limits abuse. Villars’ tricky weekend continue as she retired on lap two.
The second-best laptimes from qualifying were used to set the grid for race two, and Al Azhari picked up pole again with a 1m56.950s. Al Rifai was 0.076s slower in second, Al Dhaheri was 0.173s back in third and Slater was 0.252s off pole in fourth. Villars had to get permission to start due to her lack of pace.
Al Azhari and Al Rifai were the drivers to beat in racing conditions on Sunday, their fastest laps in race two being significantly quicker than anybody else’s. Victory went to Al Azhari by 0.701s, with Al Dhaheri completing the podium 6.235s behind.
Xcel’s Noah Lisle passed two cars to finish fourth, with Slater fifth and Prema’s Alex Powell a distant sixth. This time Villars finished, but 1m54.089s behind the winner after just 15 laps, and Rodin Carlin’s Jessica Edgar was the sole retiree from an opening lap incident.
Race 1 (16 laps)
1 Keanu Al Azhari Yas Heat Academy 31m37.407s
2 Federico Al Rifai Xcel Motorsport +0.753s
3 Freddie Slater Prema +4.039s
4 Rashid Al Dhaheri Prema +12.019s
5 Hamda Al Qubaisi MP Motorsport +12.839s
6 Noah Lisle Xcel Motorsport +14.132s
7 Alex Powell Prema +15.593s
8 Josh Irfan Xcel Motorsport +19.872s
9 Dion Gowda Xcel Motorsport +22.029s
10 Georgi Zhuravskiy Xcel Motorsport +31.070s
Pole: Al Azhari, 1m56.798s
Fastest lap: Al Rifai, 1m57.957s
Race 2 (15 laps)
1 Al Azhari 30m29.977s
2 Al Rifai +0.701s
3 Al Dhaheri +6.235s
4 Lisle +8.699s
5 Slater +9.627s
6 Powell +13.305s
7 Gowda +17.754s
8 Al Qubaisi +18.322s
9 Irfan +20.159s
10 Zhuravskiy +33.059s
P: Al Azhari, 1m56.950s
FL: Al Azhari, 1m57.653s