Sebastian Montoya triumphed in an incident-filled Formula Regional Asian Championship season opener at Yas Marina Circuit that finished behind the safety car.
The Mumbai Falcons driver led away from pole, while Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema’s Jak Crawford stalled from second on the grid and was avoided by the rest of the field.
Crawford’s fellow Red Bull junior Isack Hadjar moved into second ahead of Hitech GP team-mate Gabriel Mini.
The safety car was deployed early into the 30-minute encounter when 3Y Technology by R-ace GP’s Oliver Goethe spun into the barriers after losing his rear-right wheel, which bounced across the track without being struck by anyone.
When racing resumed with under 15 minutes remaining, Mini made a bid for second. But both Hitech cars ran wide, allowing Mumbai Falcons’ Arthur Lecerc to sweep past the pair, while Montoya pulled over a second clear.
Mini soon retook Leclerc to move into second, but the race was soon interrupted by the safety car again after a collision between Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 junior Paul Aron and Pinnacle Motorsport’s Pepe Marti.
With racing not resuming, Montoya took his first single-seater victory behind the safety car and ahead of Mini, Leclerc and Hadjar.
Ferrari junior Dino Beganovic was fifth for Mumbai Falcons, ahead of 3Y by R-ace’s Lorenzo Fluxa and Evans GP’s Frederick Lubin, who climbed six places to seventh.
Crawford recovered to 11th for Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema, while Cem Bolukbasi (Evans GP) and Hadrien David (R-ace GP) were in the points places before getting into trouble and failing to finish.
Race results (14 laps)
|1||Sebastian Montoya||Mumbai Falcons||31m35.495s|
|2||Gabriele Mini||Hitech GP||+0.282s|
|3||Arthur Leclerc||Mumbai Falcons||+0.627s|
|4||Isack Hadjar||Hitech GP||+0.771s|
|5||Dino Beganovic||Mumbai Falcons||+1.244s|
|6||Lorenzo Fluxa||3Y by R-ace GP||+1.719s|
|7||Frederick Lubin||Evans GP||+2.205s|
|8||Leonardo Fornaroli||Hitech GP||+2.983s|
|9||Joshua Dufek||Hitech GP||+3.302s|
|10||Gabriel Bortoleto||3Y by R-ace GP||+3.511s|
|11||Jak Crawford||Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema||+3.650s|
|12||Hamda Al Qubaisi||Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema||+4.413s|
|13||Levente Revesz||Evans GP Academy||+4.937s|
|14||Amna Al Qubaisi||Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema||+5.557s|
|15||Ayato Iwasaka||Pinnacle Motorsport||+6.683s|
|16||Khaled Al Qubaisi||Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema||+7.992s|
|17||Salih Yoluc||Pinnacle Motorsport||+9.664s|
|18||Brice Morabito||BlackArts Racing||+10.177s|
|19||Thomas Luedi||BlackArts Racing||+10.733s|
|Ret||David Morales||Evans GP Academy|
|Ret||Pepe Marti||Pinnacle Motorsport|
|Ret||Paul Aron||Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema|
|Ret||Cem Bolukbasi||Evans GP|
|Ret||Hadrien David||R-ace GP|
|Ret||Nicola Marinangeli||Evans GP|
|Ret||Oliver Goethe||3Y by R-ace GP|
|DNS||Dilano van’t Hoff||Pinnacle Motorsport|
|Fastest lap: David, 1m52.481s|