Hyderabad Blackbirds powered by MP driver Sami Meguetounif won the third Formula Regional Middle East race at Kuwait Motor Town.
Joshua Duerksen made the best start from third, passing PHM Racing’s Taylor Barnard straight away and attacking his pole-sitting team-mate Meguetounif into turn two.
He could not get a move done, and further behind him Hitech GP’s Sebastian Montoya spun. Exiting the corner there was more drama, as Pinnacle VAR’s Rafael Villagomez also spun in an incident involving Prema’s Michael Shin.
Mumbai Falcons’ Rafael Camara, who started sixth due to a one-place grid penalty, passed Barnard for fourth as they went through the esses but they were then still side-by-side as they reached the turn seven right-hander.
Camara had more pace and was ahead on the outside, but Barnard had the tighter inside line. He did not leave enough room, the pair collided, and the safety car was called out. Both lap one incidents were put under investigation.
Racing resumed on lap five, and there was drama at turn two again. Joshua Dufek went airborne after being squeezed between Aiden Neate on his left and Luke Browning on his right, leading to Dufek and Browning going off and a post-race investigation of the clash.
Dufek managed to finish the restart lap in ninth by passing Hitech’s Gabriele Mini, while up front Meguetounif opened up a 1.847-second lead over Duerksen.
That soon became Andrea Kimi Antonelli in second place, as both he and Duerksen struck the kerbs through the esses on the next lap but Antonelli was able to get past.
Marti flew over the kerbs between turns two and three, and fell back from fourth in the following laps.
He was passed first by Lorenzo Fluxa, after several corners of side-by-side action, then Dino Beganovic was next to take him. Dufek got ahead, but then Marti passed him back following a lock-up.
Dufek and Antonelli were the two fastest drivers on track, and it did not take long for Dufek to clear Marti again as he set fastest lap after fastest lap.
Further ahead, Antonelli had brought the gap to Meguetounif down to 0.7s but was not close enough on the track’s long straights to make use of the slipstream and a small error on the last lap meant he finished a second behind the winner.
Duerksen finished 4.256s back in third, Antonelli’s Mumbai Falcons team-mates Fluxa and Beganovic were fourth and fifth, and Dufek was sixth.
Giovanni Maschio had a three-place grid penalty, didn’t start on the formation lap and from the back came through to finish 15th, ahead of the recovering Montoya and Levente Revesz, who pitted early on.
Race result (14 laps)
|1||Sami Meguetounif||Hyderabad Blackbirds||29m51.105s|
|2||Andrea Kimi Antonelli||Mumbai Falcons||+1.093s|
|3||Joshua Duerksen||Hyderabad Blackbirds||+4.256s|
|4||Lorenzo Fluxa||Mumbai Falcons||+7.104s|
|5||Dino Beganovic||Mumbai Falcons||+7.772|
|6||Joshua Dufek||PHM Racing||+9.119s|
|7||Pepe Marti||Pinnacle VAR||+15.907s|
|8||Matias Zagazeta||R-ace GP||+16.502s|
|9||Nikita Bedrin||PHM Racing||+17.555s|
|11||Nikhil Bohra||R-ace GP||+20.998s|
|12||Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak||Pinnacle VAR||+21.434s|
|13||Mari Boya||Hyderabad Blackbirds||+28.051s|
|14||Cenyu Han||R&B Racing||+29.825s|
|15||Giovanni Maschio||R&B Racing||+31.121s|
|16||Sebastian Montoya||Hitech GP||+32.836s|
|17||Levente Revesz||R-ace GP||+33.035s|
|18||Francesco Braschi||R-ace GP||+34.998s|
|19||Gabriele Mini||Hitech GP||+36.431s|
|20||Luke Browning||Hitech GP||+36.825s|
|21||Niels Koolen||Pinnacle VAR||+48.832s|
|22||Daniel Mavlyutov||Hitech GP||+54.489s|
|23||Zhongwei Wang||R&B Racing||+54.816s|
|Ret||Taylor Barnard||PHM Racing|
|Ret||Rafael Camara||Mumbai Falcons|
|Ret||Rafael Villagomez||Pinnacle VAR|
|Fastest lap: Dufek, 1m47.600s