Home Formula 4F4 South East Asia F4 round-up: Sulaiman extends NACAM lead, SEA star Smith wins at Buriram

F4 round-up: Sulaiman extends NACAM lead, SEA star Smith wins at Buriram

by Steve Whitfield

Manuel Sulaiman extended his NACAM Formula 4 lead with a dominant weekend at?Aut?dromo Internacional de Aguascalientes and podiums at?Autodromo Miguel E. Abed.

The Ram Racing driver took comfortable wins in the first and third races of the first round, and was second in race two.

Closest title rival Jak Crawford finished 3.743 seconds behind in race one but lost ground in the title race after retiring from the third race.

RPL Racing’s Emiliano Richards took his first win in race two, fending off Sulaiman by 2.236s after a closely fought battle.

Crawford bounced back with a dominant weekend at Miguel E. Abed, taking two dominant wins and a third place for Scuderia Martiga.

Sulaiman was not able to match Crawford across the weekend, finishing a distant second behind him in races one and three, and could only manage eighth in the second race.

Richards’ team-mate Perez de Lara was the winner of race two, finishing 3.243s ahead of Mariano del Castillo, and scored solid points with two fourth places in the other two races to remain third in the standings.

Nicholas Christodoulou, last of the title contenders, adding on to the podium he gained at?Aguascalientes. He’s now pulled away from Alex Garcia, who also made the podium twice at?Aguascalientes but struggled at Miguel E. Abad.

Australian Josh Smith cut Lucca Allen’s F4 South East Asia lead to 28 points on the second visit to Thailand’s Buriram circuit.

Allen won the first race after a close battle with poleman Shihab Al Habsi. The championship leader was ahead for most of the race, and although Al Habsi snatched the lead back at one point he ended up finishing behind Smith.

In the reversed-grid race two, Smith fought from ninth to take the win, moving up to second by the fourth lap before passing Muizz Musyaffa for the lead two laps later. Musyaffa, a star of the 2018 season, took his second podium of the year 0.344s behind.

Al Habsi went from sixth to first in the next reversed grid race, with Smith coming from ninth again to finish second. Elias Seppanen took his second podium of the weekend in third, ahead of Musyaffa and early leader Yash Aradhya. Alister Yoong and Allen were both penalised for exceeding track limits.

Allen, who did not finish the second race, ended the weekend with victory from pole. Smith beat Seppanen to second, moving into second in the standings as a result, with Al Habsi finishing sixth.


Results round-up [pole in bold, fastest lap in italics]

Aguascalientes R1 (28 laps) Aguascalientes R2 (28 laps) Aguascalientes R3 (28 laps)
1 Manuel Sulaiman 27m03.920s
2 Jak Crawford +3.743s
3 Pablo Perez de Lara +30.880s
4 Emiliano Richards +34.592s
5 Nicholas Christodolou +36.584s
1 Richards 28m16.522s
2 Sulaiman +2.236s
3 Alex Garcia +5.671s
4 Crawford +7.302s
5 Christodolou +7.438s
1 Sulaiman 27m35.280s
2 Garcia +16.298s
3 Christodolou +17.562s
4 Perez de Lara +22.039s
5 Mariano del Castillo +26.257s
Miguel E. Abed R1 (17 laps) Miguel E. Abed R2 (17 laps) Miguel E. Abed R3 (17 laps)
1 Crawford 26m43.551s
2 Sulaiman +6.509s
3 Christodolou +10.542s
4 Perez de Lara +15.529s
5 Richards +17.021s
1 Perez de Lara 26m54.359s
2 del Castillo +3.243s
3 Crawford +3.403s
4 Christodolou +3.882s
5 Chara Mansur +5.079s
1 Crawford 26m33.618s
2 Sulaiman +9.142s
3 Christodolou +15.006s
4 Perez de Lara +21.031s
5 Garcia +22.493s
Standings?1 Sulaiman 313? ?2 Crawford 259? ?3 Perez de Lara 235? ?4 Christodolou 193? ?5 Garcia 139
South East Asia
Race 1 (12 laps) Race 2 (12 laps)
1 Lucca Allen 21m09.381s
2 Josh Smith +0.497s
3 Shihab Al Habsi +1.143s
4 Elias Seppanen +1.757s
5 Ali Akabi +4.485s
1 Smith 21m05.886s
2 Muizz Musyaffa +0.344s
3 Seppanen +7.836s
4?Ananthorn Tangniannatchai +16.523s
5 Al Habsi +18.047s
Race 3 (12 laps) Race 4 (11 laps)
1 Al Habsi 21m05.783s
2 Smith +0.832s
3 Seppanen +4.543s
4 Musyaffa +5.869s
5 Yash Aradhya +7.484s
1 Allen 20m59.814s
2 Smith +3.590s
3 Seppanen +4.057s
4 Alister Yoong +18.918s
5 Aradhya +19.105s
Standings?1 Allen 275? ?2 Smith 247? ?3 Seppanen 243? ?4 Al Habsi 163? ?5 Musyaffa 140