Nikita Bedrin led an all-PHM Racing podium in a lights-to-flag win in Formula Regional Middle East’s safety car-filled last race at Dubai Autodrome.
Taylor Barnard finished second, putting him 45 points behind championship leader Andrea Kimi Antonelli ahead of the final round of the season.
Poleman Bedrin held on to the lead at the start, as behind him team-mate Joshua Dufek went by Mumbai Falcons’ Antonelli before the first corner. Barnard, who started fifth, also attempted a move on Antonelli around the outside of turn one but could not make it stick. However, he would get past Antonelli before the end of the opening lap.
The safety car was out on lap two due to an accident at turn six involving R&B Racing’s Cenyu Han.
Green flag action resumed with 18 minutes of the race remaining, and Hyderabad Blackbirds powered by MP’s Brad Benavides overtook his team-mate Mari Boya for sixth as Bedrin took advantage of Dufek and Barnard’s battle for second place to build his lead to over a second gap.
A second safety car period occurred eight minutes later to recover the car of Daniel Mavlyutov, who had crashed at the exit of turn 14 after losing control of his car as he tried to avoid Hyderabad Blackbirds’ Sami Meguetounif – who had stopped in the middle of the track. Meguetounif would eventually get going again only to enter the pitlane and retire.
Bedrin restarted perfectly again, and Barnard continued to fight Dufek. An unsuccessful move by Barnard at turn 10 allowed Antonelli to get past him into third, and Antonelli then tried to overtake Dufek but they touched wheels and Barnard passed them both.
The race then had to be neutralised for a third time due to an accident involving Benavides and R-ace GP’s Martinius Stenshorne. The safety car stayed out to the finish, guaranteeing Bedrin victory ahead of Barnard, Dufek and Antonelli.
Post-race investigations by stewards then led to penalties being handed out for races two and three of the weekend.
Antonelli was found responsible for two incidents in race two, and was penalised five seconds for each. Both were for not leaving enough room while attempting to pass cars, and it dropped him from fourth to 10th in the race result meaning his points lead over Barnard heading to the final round in Abu Dhabi has shrunk from 45 to 34 points.
Stenshorne and Giovanni Maschio recieved grid penalties for Abu Dhabi due to their race three crashes.
Race result (13 laps)
|1||Nikita Bedrin||PHM Racing||32m35.766s|
|2||Taylor Barnard||PHM Racing||+0.126s|
|3||Joshua Dufek||PHM Racing||+1.001s|
|4||Andrea Kimi Antonelli||Mumbai Falcons||+1.894s|
|5||Lorenzo Fluxa||Mumbai Falcons||+2.225s|
|6||Mari Boya||Hyderabad Blackbirds||+2.642s|
|7||Kirill Smal||Mumbai Falcons||+3.049s|
|8||Nikhil Bohra||R-ace GP||+3.622s|
|9||Tim Tramnitz||R-ace GP||+4.040s|
|10||Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak||Pinnacle VAR||+5.338s|
|11||Pepe Marti||Pinnacle VAR||+5.796s|
|12||Sebastian Montoya||Hitech GP||+5.995s|
|13||Rafael Villagomez||Pinnacle VAR||+6.539s|
|16||Rafael Camara||Mumbai Falcons||+8.293s|
|17||Sebastian Ogaard||Hyderabad Blackbirds||+8.852s|
|18||Niels Koolen||Pinnacle VAR||+9.714s|
|19||Giovanni Maschio||R&B Racing||+10.331s|
|20||Levente Revesz||R-ace GP||+10.552s|
|Ret||Martinius Stenshorne||R-ace GP|
|Ret||Brad Benavides||Hyderabad Blackbirds|
|Ret||Sami Meguetounif||Hyderabad Blackbirds|
|Ret||Daniel Mavylutov||Hitech GP|
|Ret||Cenyu Han||R&B Racing|
|Fastest lap: Dufek, 1m56.813s