Home Formula RegionalFRegional Middle East Boya top testing as GRS joins grid with Tsolov for final FRME round

Boya top testing as GRS joins grid with Tsolov for final FRME round

by Ida Wood

Photo: GRS

Hyderabad Blackbirds powered by MP driver Mari Boya set the pace in pre-evnt testing for the final Formula Regional Middle East round at Yas Marina Circuit.

Boya headed the second Friday session, with the first held in the morning and topped by Mumbai Falcons’ Rafael Camara.

He was fastest by 0.213 seconds over team-mate Andrea Kimi Antonelli, with five of the top six cars essentially being run by Prema as Aiden Neate was third fastest for the team and then Mumbai Falcons pair Lorenzo Fluxa and Kirill Smal were fourth and sixth. Prema provides technical support to the Indian team.

In fifth place in session one was PHM Racing’s Taylor Barnard, who along with Prema’s Michael Shin in ninth place were the only two drivers to set their personal best laps in the morning rather than the afternoon session. Pinnacle VAR’s Pepe Marti failed to set a lap in session one.

Neate leaded the way going into the final three minutes of session two, with a 1m50.760s lap putting him ahead of Camara by 0.089s, but a flurry of last-minute improvements shuffled him don the order.

Camara was first to meet the chequered flag and he went fastest by 0.239s, then Boya was in the next group of cars to cross the line and he bettered Camara by 0.124s.

Antonelli then went third fastest, and R-ace GP’s Martinius Stenshorne slotted into fourth place to demote Neate another position.

There were three new additions to the entry list in testing, with the most notable being Alpine junior Nikola Tsolov.

He will make his FRegional debut this weekend with Chinese team R&B Racing, but his car will also be co-run by Spanish squad Global Racing Service as it prepares itself for an expansion into the FRegional-level Eurocup-3 series that is being launched this year. Tsolov will be spending the rest of 2023 racing in FIA Formula 3.

Replacing Zhongwei Wang in one of R&B’s cars is Ruobin Tang, who came third in Porsche Carrera Cup Asia’s Am class last year.

The final change to the grid is at Hyderabad Blackbirds, where FRegional Europe racer Owen Tangavelou is replacing Sebastian Ogaard.

Test results
Pos Driver Team Time Gaps Laps
1 Mari Boya Hyderabad Blackbirds 1m50.397s 41
2 Rafael Camara Mumbai Falcons 1m50.521s +0.124s 43
3 Andrea Kimi Antonelli Mumbai Falcons 1m50.562s +0.165s 43
4 Martinius Stenshorne R-ace GP 1m50.654s +0.257s 45
5 Aiden Neate Prema 1m50.760s +0.363s 44
6 Nikhil Bohra R-ace GP 1m50.937s +0.540s 44
7 Loenzo Fluxa Mumbai Falcons 1m51.094s +0.697s 44
8 Sami Meguetounif Hyderabad Blackbirds 1m51.166s +0.769s 45
9 Kirill Smal Mumbai Falcons 1m51.171s +0.774s 44
10 Owen Tangavelou Hyderabad Blackbirds 1m51.260s +0.863s 39
11 Tim Tramnitz R-ace GP 1m51.286s +0.889s 44
12 Sebastian Montoya Hitech GP 1m51.314s +0.917s 44
13 Taylor Barnard PHM Racing 1m51.378s +0.981s 37
14 Nikita Bedrin PHM Racing 1m51.680s +1.283s 37
15 Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak Pinnacle VAR 1m51.720s +1.357s 44
16 Nikola Tsolov R&B Racing (GRS) 1m51.794s +1.397s 47
17 Levente Revesz R-ace GP 1m51.832s +1.435s 43
18 Michael Shin Prema 1m51.861s +1.464s 43
19 Brad Benavides Hyderabad Blackbirds 1m51.883s +1.486s 41
20 Pepe Marti Pinnacle VAR 1m51.946s +1.549s 20
21 Joshua Dufek PHM Racing 1m52.142s +1.745s 32
22 Giovanni Maschio R&B Racing 1m52.944s +2.547s 43
23 Niels Koolen Pinnacle VAR 1m53.058s +2.661s 42
24 Cenyu Han R&B Racing 1m53.131s +2.734s 39
25 Daniel Mavlyutov Hitech GP 1m54.593s +4.196s 34
26 Roubin Tang R&B Racing 1m55.801s +5.404s 27