Home News Al Rifai wins twice as Saudi Arabian F4 races in Jeddah again

Al Rifai wins twice as Saudi Arabian F4 races in Jeddah again

by Ida Wood

Photo: Meritus GP

Saudi Arabian Formula 4 organised a three-race round in Jeddah for the night of April 1, and it set up a three-way title showdown.

Saqer Al-Maosherji pipped Kirill Kutskov to top spot in qualifying by 0.087 seconds, with Federico Al Rifai 0.13s behind in third.

Al-Maosherji failed to get going at the start of race one and everyone avoided his car. Kutskov quickly established a lead, and points leader Andrej Petrovic passed Omar Aldereyaane for fourth at the end of the lap.

The safety car appeared on lap two due to Hamda Al Qubaisi striking trouble. After racing resumed, Petrovic tried passing Oscar Wurz for third on lap five and on lap seven Al Rifai attacked Kutskov and passed him at turn two.

Kutskov got back past a few corners later, ending the lap 0.014s ahead. Wurz then passed Al Rifai around the outside of turn two as Kutskov defended the lead. Later the safety car then appeared as Al-Maosherji spun, with time afterwards only for one more lap of racing.

Al Rifai took second at turn one, and Petrovic also got past Wurz later in the lap but the Austrian reclaimed the position from him as Kutskov won.

Abdudllah Al Qubaisi started on race two’s reversed-grid pole, and Abdulaziz Abuzenadah immediately swept past into the lead. Faisal Al-Kabbani passed Jabor Al-Thani for third then got rearended by him at turn two.

There were wheel-to-wheel battles at the end of the lap, and Abuzenadah led into turn one next time by but turned too tightly and Al Qubaisi moved back ahead. Al-Kabbani resisted Wurz, then went down the inside of Abuzenadah at the turn 13 hairpin and attacked the leader at the final hairpin.

The top three were three-wide starting lap three, and Al-Kabbani cut from the middle to the inside to take the lead. Al Qubaisi soon fell behind Al Rifai, and was saved by the safety car appearing as Abuzenadah dropped out.

Petrovic passed Al Qubaisi on the lap five restart, and his sister Amna went side-by-side with him until they collided. He got a 10s penalty and she was barrier-bound.

Al-Kabbani and Petrovic disputed the lead at the last corner, but it was Al Rifai who ended the lap 0.022s ahead of Petrovic just as the safety car returned. Following the next restart, Al Rifai held on for two laps to take victory and the points lead.

The chequered flag was mistakenly shown when the race clock hit zero, rather than when Al Rifai completed the last lap, so the results were taken back a lap. That handed Al-Kabbani third ahead of Al-Maosherji and Kutskov.

Al Rifai took the lead from Al-Maosherji at the start of race three as Petrovic stalled. Aldereyaane passed Al-Maosherji on lap two by cutting turn two, and forced him off as he rejoined. He was then pressured by Wurz, but he stopped on track and the safety car was needed.

Petrovic got himself back up to fifth on the restart lap, then fought with Al-Maosherji before the latter started chasing Aldereyaane again. That led to Petrovic and Hamda Al Qubaisi overtaking both, and Petrovic cut turn two to pass Aldereyaane.

A three-wide move at turn four resulted in Al-Maosherji and Aldereyaane going off, Aldereyaane spinning back onto track and into Petrovic, who was then driven over the back of by Al Qubaisi. Alderyaane got a five-place grid penalty and the safety car led the field until the last lap, with Al Rifai winning again.

Results round-up
Race 1 (11 laps)
1 Kirill Kutskov 34m04.107s
2 Oscar Wurz +0.380s
3 Federico Al Rifai +0.487s
4 Andrej Petrovic +0.663s
5 Omar Aldereyaane +1.274s
6 Faisal Al-Kabbani +1.627s
7 Amna Al Qubaisi +1.890s
8 Jabor Al-Thani +2.364s
9 Abdullah Al Qubaisi +2.767s
10 Abulaziz Abuzenadah +3.529s
Pole: Saqer Al-Maosherji, 2m07.015s
Fastest lap: Petrovic, 2m07.579s

Race 2 (8 laps)
1 Al Rifai 29m53.491s
2 Petrovic +0.185s
3 Al-Kabbani +1.621s
4 Al-Maosherji +1.736s
5 Kutskov +2.048s
6 Hamda Al Qubaisi +3.155s
7 Aldereyaane +3.369s
8 Al-Thani +5.146s
9 Abdullah Al Qubaisi +17.406s
Ret Suleiman Zanfari
FL: Petrovic, 2m08.798s

Race 3 (10 laps)
1 Al Rifai 31m04.774s
2 Kutskov +0.395s
3 Al-Maosherji +1.141s
4 Amna Al Qubaisi +3.782s
5 Al-Kabbani +4.516s
6 Abdullah Al Qubaisi +6.573s
7 Abuzenadah +7.590s
8 Al-Thani +8.555s
Ret Petrovic
Ret H Al Qubaisi
FL: Al Rifai, 2m08.143s

Championship standings
1 Al Rifai 220.5   2 Petrovic 194.5   3 Kutskov 160.5   4 Al-Maosherji 135.5   5 Zanfari 120.5   6 Wurz 120.5   7 H Al Qubaisi 116.5   8 Aldereyaane 111   9 Al-Kabbani 83.5   10 Amna Al Qubaisi 48