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.
|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|
|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|
|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|