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Hadjar takes FRAC win in Dubai under pressure from Aron

by Jordan Edwards

Photo: Red Bull Content Pool

Isack Hadjar has won the first Formula Regional Asian Championship race of round four in Dubai, defending heavily from Paul Aron after passing him for first position on the opening lap.

Pole-sitter Aron comfortably held his own the start, but Red Bull junior Isack Hadjar was able to pass his Mercedes-backed counterpart in the following corners after staying on his tail.

Meanwhile, points leader Arthur Leclerc made a strong start and was able to put pressure on Pepe Marti for third in the opening corners. The Mumbai Falcons driver managed to get past but Pinnacle Motorsport driver Marti was quick to take back the position by the end of the first lap.

Dino Beganovic retired from the race on lap two after going wheel to wheel with Mumbai Falcons team-mate Ollie Bearman and then making contact with the wall. This led to the first safety car interruption of the race.

On the restart Hadjar backed the pack up and launched the restart with Aron tied to his rear wing and looking to make a move on the inside. The pair stretched a gap of one second to Marti in third.

Aron edged closer to Hadjar the remaining laps and was able to get within an overtaking distance with five minutes of the race remaining.

The Estonian made a move on the inside after Hadjar ran wide. The pair raced wheel to wheel around the final corner, drifting off the track. Hadjar held the position into the first corner of lap 12, but Aron was still on his tail.

This gave chance to Marti, who started to close in on the battling pair but was unable to get close enough to make a move. Aron went wide making a mistake on the final lap, allowing Marti to almost take the second podium position.

Gabriele Mini and Bearman and Jak Crawford battled behind for fifth but as the race continued the top 10 were unable to follow closely enough to make any moves.

Race result (15 laps)
Pos Driver Team Gap
1 Isack Hadjar Hitech GP 31m21.736s
2 Paul Aron Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema +1.387s
3 Pepe Marti Pinnacle Motorsport +1.437s
4 Arthur Leclerc Mumbai Falcons +2.660s
5 Gabriele Mini Hitech GP +6.578s
6 Jak Crawford Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema +6.671s
7 Ollie Bearman Mumbai Falcons +7.012s
8 Dilano van’t Hoff Pinnacle Motorsport +8.612s
9 Pierre-Louis Chovet BlackArts Racing +9.936s
10 Michael Belov Evans GP +11.349s
11 Patrik Pasma Evans GP +11.601s
12 Francesco Braschi 3Y by R-ace GP +12.808s
13 Lorenzo Fluxa 3Y by R-ace GP +13.181s
14 Oliver Goethe 3Y by R-ace GP +17.152s
15 Nicola Marinangeli Evans GP +20.401s
16 Owen Tangavelou Hitech GP +22.842s
17 Hamda Al Qubaisi Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema +23.813s
18 Levente Revesz Evans GP Academy +26.653s
19 David Morales Evans GP Academy +27.036s
20 Amna Al Qubaisi Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema +28.496s
21 Ayato Iwasaki Pinnacle Motorsport +32.157s
22 Salih Yoluc Pinnacle Motorsport +35.738s
23 Khaled Al Qubaisi Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema +37.795s
24 Thomas Luedi BlackArts Racing +48.239s
25 Ido Cohen BlackArts Racing +2 laps
26 Lena Buhler 3Y by R-ace GP +3 laps
Ret Dino Beganovic Mumbai Falcons
Fastest lap: Aron, 1m57.113s

Championship standings
1 Leclerc 143   2 Marti 111   3 Hadjar 96   Sebastian Montoya 92   4 Beganovic 88   6 Mini 65   7 Hadrien David 64   8 Crawford 60   9 Fluxa 56   10 Gabriel Bortoleto 46