Home Formula RegionalFRegional Middle East Sami Meguetounif takes Kuwait win in FRegional Middle East

Sami Meguetounif takes Kuwait win in FRegional Middle East

by Ida Wood

Photo: FRMEC

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)

Pos Driver Team Time
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
10 Aiden Neate Prema +18.640s
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
Ret Michael Shin Prema
Fastest lap: Dufek, 1m47.600s

Championship standings
1 Antonelli 74   Beganovic 62   3 Dufek 56   4 Barnard 48   5 Bohra 46   6 Camara 44   7 Meguetounif 35   8 Neate 35   9 Fluxa 28   10 Boya 25