Formula 4 South East Asia driver Muhammad Ibrahim won the first round of United States F4’s Esports series on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course.
Dallara F317 Formula 3 cars were used for the race, but weighed down and ran with a power deduction to simulate the characteristics of an F4 car.
Ibrahim was beaten to pole by F2000 Championship Series race-winner Simon Sikes and Jay Howard Driver Development’s Viktor Andersson, but was in the lead within a lap after server-based chaos caused the entire order to be jumbled in the opening minute of the race.
While Sikes ended up moving down the order, Andersson retained second place behind the new leader and remained there for the duration of the half-hour race. He used the slipstream to get close to Ibrahim once or twice, but once lapped traffic became involved he lost out on the aerodynamic advantage down the long back straight until the very end of the race.
On the final lap he brought the lead gap back down to under a second, and finished 0.858s behind.
Canadian junior karter Justin Arseneau ran in third until lap 19 of 22, when he braked late into Turn 1 and skittered across the grass. This handed the position to karting rival Alessandro de Tullio, who then span later around the lap and handed back the position.
Sikes’s recovery from the lap one melee had brought him onto their gearboxes, and he also passed de Tullio when he span. In the remaining laps he chased Arseneau, and ended up just 0.201s off at the chequered flag.
Group-A Racing mechanic Chris Long was a spinner but finished sixth. Jack Harrison and Kazakhstani F4 SEA racer Lyubov Ozeretskovskaya – who spent much of her time in dicey battles – were the only other drivers on the lead lap, with Aaron Rouf and Greg Pierson completing the top 10.