Home Formula RegionalFRegional Middle East Pinnacle VAR’s Inthraphuvasak fastest as FRMEC testing begins

Pinnacle VAR’s Inthraphuvasak fastest as FRMEC testing begins

by Ida Wood

Photo: F4 UAE

Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak set the pace at Dubai Autodrome on day one of Formula Regional Middle East pre-season testing.

The Thai, driving for the alliance between Pinnacle Motorsport and Van Amersfoort Racing, was returning to FRegional machinery after racing part-time in last year’s Ultimate Cup Series.

Monday’s test action began with Prema’s Aiden Neate being first to set a lap, and trading top spot with R&B Racing’s Zhongwei Wang, but no representative laptimes were set until 18 minutes had passed when Sebastian Ogaard, driving for Hyderabad Blackbirds powered by MP, set a 2m00.237s.

His next lap was a 1m57.351s, then two minutes later team-mate Mari Boya set a 1m57.173s. Boya took 10 minutes before improving again, getting into the 1m56s, and was fastest for another 20 minutes before Inthraphuvasak set a 1m56.798s.

Inthraphuvasak finished on top by 0.153 seconds over Boya, with R-ace GP’s Francesco Braschi, Levente Revesz and Matias Zagazeta filling the next positions and all within a quarter of a second of the pace.

PHM Racing’s Taylor Barnard was 0.418s back in sixth, and the top 12 were covered by a second.

Hitech GP missed the morning but participated in the afternoon, while Neate and team-mate Michael Shin were absent thereon and Wang also skipped session two. Replacing the Prema pair were Andrea Kimi Antonelli and Rafael Camara, driving for the Mumbai Falcons team that Prema provides technical support to.

R-ace’s Nikhil Bohra was first to set a representative laptime in session two, then there was a flurry of improvements as the top spot was traded between Bohra, Boya and Zagazeta.

That battle for first paused 13 minutes in to the hour-long session when Hitech’s Gabriele Mini went fastest by 0.579s with a 1m57.045s.

He stayed on top until the final nine minutes, as Zagazeta went quickest by 0.368s. In the final minutes they were both surpassed by Revesz, who led a R-ace 1-2-3 covered by 0.220s and consisting of Zagazeta and Bohra.

Mini was 0.515s back in fourth, with the top eight encompassed by a second. Failing to improve on their morning laptimes were Hyderabad quartet Boya, Ogaard, Sami Meguetounif and Brad Benavides, Pinnacle VAR duo Inthraphuvasak and Rafael Villagomez, Barnard and Braschi.

Antonelli and Camara were back out of their cars for session three and replaced by Lorenzo Fluxa and Kirill Smal.

Pinnacle VAR’s Pepe Marti was the early pacesetter before Revesz bettered him and then Mini went 1.651s faster than anyone just before the 10-minute mark.

Zagazeta then took over at the top for 10 minutes until Barnard set a 1m56.060s, and two further improvements kept him ahead for almost half of the session. He was eventually usurped by Inthraphuvasak, whose 1m55.450s lap put him 0.161s ahead.

Boya rose to third ahead of PHM’s Nikita Bedrin and Joshua Dufek, with Braschi and Ogaard the last two drivers within a second of the pace. Revesz and Zagazeta slotted into eighth and ninth overall based on their session two laptimes, with Bohra, Mini and Sebastian Montoya also failing to set their personal best lap in the final session.

Test results
Pos Driver Team Time Gaps Laps
1 Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak Pinnacle VAR 1m55.450s 58
2 Taylor Barnard PHM Racing 1m55.611s +0.161s 57
3 Mari Boya Hyderabad Blackbirds 1m55.683s +0.233s 52
4 Nikita Bedrin PHM Racing 1m55.784s +0.334s 59
5 Joshua Dufek PHM Racing 1m56.191s +0.741s 57
6 Francesco Braschi R-ace GP 1m56.237s +0.787s 44
7 Sebastian Ogaard Hyderabad Blackbirds 1m56.367s +0.917s 56
8 Levente Revesz R-ace GP 1m56.463s +1.013s 58
9 Matias Zagazeta R-ace GP 1m56.610s +1.160s 54
10 Sami Meguetounif Hyderabad Blackbirds 1m56.623s +1.173s 55
11 Nikhil Bohra R-ace GP 1m56.683s +1.233s 58
12 Brad Benavides Hyderabad Blackbirds 1m56.709s +1.259s 57
13 Rafael Villagomez Pinnacle VAR 1m56.730s +1.280s 46
14 Gabriele Mini Hitech GP 1m56.978s +1.528s 26
15 Andrea Kimi Antonelli Mumbai Falcons 1m57.390s +1.940s 21
16 Cenyu Han R&B Racing 1m57.458s +2.008s 47
17 Pepe Marti Pinnacle VAR 1m57.463s +2.013s 34
18 Lorenzo Fluxa Mumbai Falcons 1m57.491s +2.041s 22
19 Niels Koolen Pinnacle VAR 1m57.539s +2.089s 51
20 Jak Crawford Hitech GP 1m57.577s +2.127s 35
21 Giovanni Maschio R&B Racing 1m57.656s +2.206s 41
22 Sebastian Montoya Hitech GP 1m57.664s +2.214s 34
23 Rafael Camara Mumbai Falcons 1m57.992s +2.542s 20
24 Kirill Smal Mumbai Falcons 1m58.352s +2.902s 22
25 Aiden Neate Prema 1m58.706s +3.256s 22
26 Daniel Mavlyutov Hitech GP 2m00.555s +5.105s 39
27 Michael Shin Prema 2m00.965s +5.515s 17
28 Zhongwei Wang R&B Racing 2m01.062s +5.612s 27