Home Formula RegionalFRegional Middle East Duerksen joins grid for FRMEC’s Kuwait rounds and tops rain-hit test

Duerksen joins grid for FRMEC’s Kuwait rounds and tops rain-hit test

by Ida Wood

Photo: FRMEC

Joshua Duerksen topped Formula Regional Middle East’s first day of pre-event testing at Kuwait Motor Town, as he became a late addition to the championship.

The Paraguayan was announced yesterday as joining the Hyderabad Blackbirds powered by MP team for the two rounds in Kuwait that take place over the next six days, replacing Sebastian Ogaard who contested the season opener.

No representative laptimes were set in FRME’s first test session on Wednesday, as rain started falling on the desert track. Even when the rain stopped, the track remained damp and only at the very end did a more reasonable laptime get set as Mumbai Falcons’ Andrea Kimi Antonelli set a 1m52.821s. It put him 0.480 seconds and 2.337s respectively ahead of Hitech GP pair Gabriele Mini and Sebastian Montoya, who were second and third fastest.

The track was dry for session two, and Antonelli was again fastest. This time he set the pace by 0.421 seconds over Montoya, with Duerksen a further hundredth of a second slower.

Mini was fourth fastest, Hyderabad Blackbirds’ Sami Meguetounif was fifth, and his team-mate Mari Boya was narrowly quicker than Mumbai Falcons’ Rafael Camara and Hitech’s Luke Browning.

GB3 champion Browning will be racing for Hitech in the two Kuwait rounds, replacing Jak Crawford who has withdrawn from his three-round programme after the season opener. Neither the team or driver has said why.

It did not take long for the session two pace to be matched in session three, with Duerksen leading the way early on.

Antonelli went top before the briefest of red flag stoppages, then Duerksen brought the pace down by over a second-and-a-half into the 1m47s.

Nobody could get near his 1m47.476s effort, although Meguetounif joined him in lapping sub-1m48s and Antonelli and Pinnacle VAR’s Marti both got within a second of him.

The only three drivers not to improve their pace were Montoya, Brad Benavides and title contender Dino Beganovic, who was only 20th out of the 28 drivers.

Test day one results
Pos Driver Team Time Gaps Laps
1 Joshua Duerksen Hyderabad Blackbirds 1m47.476s 38
2 Sami Meguetounif Hyderabad Blackbirds 1m47.983s +0.507s 44
3 Andrea Kimi Antonelli Mumbai Falcons 1m48.078s +0.602s 55
4 Pepe Marti Pinnacle VAR 1m48.454s +0.978s 45
5 Matias Zagazeta R-ace GP 1m48.629s +1.153s 56
6 Luke Browning Hitech GP 1m48.725s +1.249s 53
7 Mari Boya Hyderabad Blackbirds 1m48.810s +1.334s 44
8 Rafael Camara Mumbai Falcons 1m48.846s +1.370s 54
9 Nikhil Bohra R-ace GP 1m49.001s +1.525s 55
10 Joshua Dufek PHM Racing 1m49.044s +1.568s 43
11 Gabriele Mini Hitech GP 1m49.059s +1.583s 47
12 Sebastian Montoya Hitech GP 1m49.193s +1.717s 50
13 Aiden Neate Prema 1m49.321s +1.845s 55
14 Francesco Braschi R-ace GP 1m49.374s +1.898s 55
15 Taylor Barnard PHM Racing 1m49.559s +2.083s 44
16 Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak Pinnacle VAR 1m49.560s +2.084s 50
17 Nikita Bedrin PHM Racing 1m49.632s +2.156s 47
18 Lorenzo Fluxa Mumbai Falcons 1m49.767s +2.291s 54
19 Brad Benavides Hyderabad Blackbirds 1m49.866s +2.390s 43
20 Dino Beganovic Mumbai Falcons 1m50.006s +2.530s 55
21 Rafael Villagomez Pinnacle VAR 1m50.034s +2.558s 33
22 Cenyu Han R&B Racing 1m50.157s +2.681s 50
23 Levente Revesz R-ace GP 1m50.464s +2.988s 57
24 Niels Koolen Pinnacle VAR 1m50.628s +3.152s 43
25 Giovanni Maschio R&B Racing 1m50.794s +3.318s 49
26 Michael Shin Prema 1m50.930s +3.454s 38
27 Daniel Mavlyutov Hitech GP 1m51.772s +4.296s 44
28 Zhongwei Wang R&B Racing 1m52.800s +5.324s 45