PHM Racing’s Nikita Bedrin ended the Formula Regional Middle East season by holding off Andrea Kimi Antonelli to win at Yas Marina Circuit.
Bedrin swept across Antonelli at the start to protect his pole position advantage, while Taylor Barnard passed Mari Boya but both were bettered by Sami Meguetounif for fifth place.
At the end of lap there was drama as Boya slid wide exiting the final chicane, and tagged Hyderabad Blackbirds team-mate Owen Tangavelou who was already off-track on his left. Nikhil Bohra had a wheel alongside Tangavelou too and both were sent into the barriers.
Levente Revesz then struck the rear of Tangavelou’s car sticking out from the barriers, leading to him spinning down the pit straight. The safety car was needed to clear up the three crashed cars, and once they had been removed it was realised that the barriers needed repairing too so the race was red flagged.
It restarted some time later with two further laps behind the safety car before the field were finally free to race, and it did not take long for another crash to occur.
This time Joshua Dufek and Sami Meguetounif collided going into the chicane while disputing fourth and Meguetounif headed to the pits to retired with damage, then Brad Benavides sent Tim Tramnitz airborne with contact when they reached the corner and Tramnitz too had to end his race in the pits.
While Bedrin and Antonelli pushed each other up front, gapping third-placed Rafael Camara in the proccess, there continued to be action behind.
Boya was the next driver to pressure Dufek for fourth, and they collided at the opening corner when Boya tried going around the outside. He dropped down the order, and Taylor Barnard profited to later pass PHM team-mate Dufek.
The battle for victory heated up in the final few laps, and Antonelli got alongside Bedrin going into the chicane pior to the penultimate lap. The rear-end of Bedrin’s car got loose and he drifted into the corner, requiring Antonelli on the outside to drive through the run-off and finish the lap with a handy lead.
However he decided to give first place back to Bedrin once they reached turn one, and then did not get another opportunity to pass him.
Towards the end of the race there three more incidents. Pepe Marti spun Lorenzo Fluxa out of a points position at Turn 12, copping himself a 10-second penalty, FRegional debutant Nikola Tsolov crashed into Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak at the chicane and sent him down the order, and also got a 10s penalty for the collision, while Giovanni Maschio suffered the bad luck of retiring with what appeared to be his second engine failure of the weekend.
Race result (13 laps)
|1||Nikita Bedrin||PHM Racing||30m16.417s|
|2||Andrea Kimi Antonelli||Mumbai Falcons||+0.613s|
|3||Rafael Camara||Mumbai Falcons||+2.945s|
|4||Taylor Barnard||PHM Racing||+5.856|
|5||Joshua Dufek||PHM Racing||+8.953s|
|6||Martinus Stenshorne||R-ace GP||+10.004s|
|7||Kirill Smal||Mumbai Falcons||+10.763s|
|10||Brad Benavides||Hyderabad Blackbirds||+18.708s|
|11||Pepe Marti||Pinnacle VAR||+26.821s|
|12||Lorenzo Fluxa||Mumbai Falcons||+26.892s|
|13||Daniel Mavlyutov||Hitech GP||+28.123s|
|14||Niels Koolen||Pinnacle VAR||+31.265s|
|15||Nikola Tsolov||R&B Racing (GRS)||+32.590s|
|16||Roubin Tang||R&B Racing||+47.052s|
|17||Cenyu Han||R&B Racing||+54.501s|
|18||Mari Boya||Hyderabad Blackbirds||+1m48.181s|
|19||Giovanni Maschio||R&B Racing||+1 lap|
|20||Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak||Pinnacle VAR||+2 laps|
|21||Sebastian Montoya||Hitech GP||+3 laps|
|Ret||Tim Tramnitz||R-ace GP|
|Ret||Sami Meguetounif||Hyderabad Blackbirds|
|Ret||Owen Tangavelou||Hyderabad Blackbirds|
|Ret||Nikhil Bohra||R-ace GP|
|Ret||Levente Revesz||R-ace GP|
|Fastest lap: Antonelli, 1m50.899s