In an uneventful opening race of the weekend, Arthur Leclerc took a dominant win from pole position to wrap up the Formula Regional Asian Championship title with two races remaining.
The Mumbai Falcons driver was untroubled throughout, taking the chequered flag three seconds ahead of team-mate Dino Beganovic.
Pepe Marti, the only driver with a chance of overhauling Leclerc in the standings coming into the race, made a disastrous start and had dropped back to 23rd by the end of lap one. Despite executing most of the race’s overtaking moves in a charge back through the field, Pinnacle Motorsport’s rookie could only recover to 12th.
Red Bull juniors Jak Crawford and Isack Hadjar finished third and fourth, albeit over 8.5s behind Leclerc.
The two ran in close company throughout, but apart from one move by Hadjar around the outside of turn nine at the halfway point of the 17-lap race, the Hitech GP driver was unable to challenge and Crawford was able to hold on to take the final podium position.
The top 10 rapidly spread out with very little racing action. Paul Aron took a distant fifth for Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema, 6.4s behind Hadjar, ahead of Ollie Bearman and Patrik Pasma.
Gabriele Mini was running in fifth when he was hit with a penalty for exceeding track limits. At the end of the final lap let three cars by so he would finish eighth, and actually recieved no further penalisation meaning he scored four points.
Dilano van’t Hoff took ninth, with his second lap pass on Pierre-Louis Chovet being the only on-track change of position in the top 10 after the first lap.
Race result (17 laps)
|1||Arthur Leclerc||Mumbai Falcons|
|2||Dino Beganovic||Mumbai Falcons||+2.999s|
|3||Jak Crawford||Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema||+8.553s|
|4||Isack Hadjar||Hitech GP||+9.454s|
|5||Paul Aron||Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema||+15.844s|
|6||Ollie Bearman||Mumbai Falcons||+18.912s|
|7||Patrik Pasma||Evans GP||+19.272s|
|8||Gabriele Mini||Hitech GP||+21.099s|
|9||Dilano van’t Hoff||Pinnacle Motorsport||+23.497s|
|10||Pierre-Louis Chovet||BlackArts Racing||+23.719s|
|11||Francesco Braschi||3Y by R-ace GP||+25.992s|
|12||Pepe Marti||Pinnacle Motorsport||+29.925s|
|13||Sami Meguetounif||Evans GP||+34.459s|
|14||Michael Belov||Evans GP||+34.822s|
|15||Lena Buhler||3Y by R-ace GP||+36.060s|
|16||Lorenzo Fluxa||3Y by R-ace GP||+38.438s|
|17||Oliver Goethe||3Y by R-ace GP||+39.617s|
|18||Hamda Al Qubaisi||Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema||+47.016s|
|19||Ayato Iwasaki||Pinnacle Motorsport||+49.578s|
|20||Levente Revesz||Evans GP Academy||+50.805s|
|21||Vlad Lomko||Hitech GP||+56.751s|
|22||David Morales||Evans GP Academy||+58.392s|
|23||Owen Tangavelou||Hitech GP||+59.208s|
|24||Khaled Al Qubaisi||Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema||+1m10.126s|
|25||Salih Yoluc||Pinnacle Motorsport||+1m10.425s|
|26||Thomas Luedi||BlackArts Racing||+1m17.905s|
|27||Ido Cohen||BlackArts Racing||+1m28.314s|
|28||Nicola Marinangeli||Evans GP|
|Ret||Amna Al Qubaisi||Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema|
|Fastest lap: Leclerc, 1m50.896s