Home Featured Barnard takes seventh FRME win to be championship runner-up again

Barnard takes seventh FRME win to be championship runner-up again

by Ida Wood

Photo: FRMEC

PHM Racing’s Taylor Barnard won the penultimate race of the Formula Regional Middle East season at Dubai Autodrome to become championship runner-up.

MP Motorsport’s Emmo Fittipaldi started from reversed-grid pole, but only held the lead for a few seconds as PHM’s Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak squeezed inside of him and got ahead before turn one.

There was drama later in the lap as R-ace GP’s Jesse Carrasquedo got a 10-second penalty for jumping the start and a multi-car crash led to the safety car being summoned. MP’s Isaac Barashi and Xcel Motorsport’s Yaroslav Veselaho were eliminated on the spot, while others picked up damage.

Mari Boya and Brando Badoer relegated Barnard from third to fifth before the race was neutralised, while James Wharton fell from fifth to eighth behind Ugo Ugochukwu and Tuukka Taponen, and Rafael Camara dropped from seventh to 13th after some close battling.

Camara passed Jose Garfias for 12th on the lap three restart, and Barnard gained back a place on team-mate Badoer.

Pinnacle Motorsport driver Boya took second from Fittipaldi at the end of the back straight on lap four, and that compromised the latter in a way that enabled Barnard to pass him two corners later. There was then another crash, with Xcel’s Noah Lisle pitting and Pinnacle’s Alexander Abkhazava and PHM’s Ruiqi Liu retiring on the spot.

The safety car returned on lap five, eliminating Inthraphuvasak’s lead. R-ace’s champion Taponen was now ahead of Mumbai Falcons driver Ugochukwu, while team-mate Wharton was down to ninth behind R-ace’s Zachary David.

Racing resumed on lap eight, and Fittipaldi fell behind Barnard and Badoer. He then went off at turn one next time buy, and by the end of the lap was behind Taponen, Wharton, Ugochukwu and David. Sainteloc Racing’s Theophile Nael was up to 10th, having started 29th.

Up front a battle began to take place, with Inthruphuvasak holding off Boya through multiple corners on lap 11. That turned it into six-way lead fight, and Boya took the lead around the outside of turn one on lap 12. But he went off, and when he rejoined he lost the lead to Barnard.

Badoer was passed by Taponen then spun off, with the latter making up no ground though as he was passed by Wharton and Ugochukwu.

Over the remaining two laps Barnard pulled away to win, while Boya copped a five-second penalty that dropped him from second to seventh and meant Inthraphuvasak and Wharton completed the podium.

Badoer’s demise meant David finished sixth, Fittipaldi was eighth and Nael was ninth.

Camara was put under investigation and finished outside of the points, but still leads the four-way fight to come third in the standings.

Race result (14 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Taylor Barnard PHM Racing 31m42.510s
2 Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak PHM Racing +2.186s
3 James Wharton Mumbai Falcons +2.729s
4 Ugo Ugochukwu Mumbai Falcons +3.572s
5 Tuukka Taponen R-ace GP +3.957s
6 Zachary David R-ace GP +4.657s
7 Mari Boya Pinnacle Motorsport +6.198s
8 Emmo Fittipaldi MP Motorsport +6.200s
9 Theophile Nael Sainteloc Racing +6.283s
10 Rafael Camara Mumbai Falcons +7.264s
11 Kanato Le R-ace GP +9.518s
12 Enzo Peugeot Sainteloc Racing +10.541s
13 Nikhil Bohra MP Motorsport +11.702s
14 Bruno del Pino MP Motorsport +13.964s
15 Costa Toparis Evans GP +17.034s
16 John Bennett Evans GP +19.768s
17 Jose Garfias Sainteloc Racing +20.386s
18 Yujia Gao R&B Racing +23.171s
19 Giovanni Machio Pinnacle Motorsport +23.569s
20 Edgar Pierre Evans GP +26.625s
21 Jesse Carrasquedo R-ace GP +29.455s
22 Finley Green Pinnacle Motorsport +30.635s
23 Zhongwei Wang R&B Racing +37.443s
24 Noah Lisle Xcel Motorsport +1 lap
25 Brando Badoer +2 laps
Ret Alexander Abkhazava Pinnacle Motorsport
Ret Ruiqi Liu PHM Racing
Ret Yaroslav Veselaho Xcel Motorsport
Ret Isaac Barashi MP Motorsport
Fastest lap: Inthraphuvasak, 1m57.627s

Championship standings
Taponen 230   2 Barnard 174   3 Camara 124   4 Wharton 111   5 Boya 102   6 Martinius Stenshorne 100   7 David 100   8 Ugochukwu 97   9 Inthraphuvasak 86   10 Nael 60