F4SEA in Sepang : Successful Conclusion as Danial Wins the Star Driver Event Award

F4SEA in Sepang : Successful Conclusion as Danial Wins the Star Driver Event Award

07.08.2016: Formula 4 South East Asia Championship (F4SEA) Sepang International Circuit Sunday, August 7th 2016

Formula 4 South East Asia Championship (F4SEA)
Sepang International Circuit
Sunday, August 7th  2016

The opening event of the inaugural Formula 4 South East Asia Championship (F4SEA) – certified by FIA drew to a successful conclusion on Sunday with the young drivers competing in the final three races of the six scheduled

After a disappointing retirement from Race 3 on Saturday, Sunday morning’s Race 3 witnessed an emphatic comeback for Australian Jordan Love (AUS, Car #79) with a lights-to-flag win.

New Zealand’s Faine Kahia (NZL, Car #55) and Danial Frost (SIN, Car #66) claimed second and third places, respectively with the Rookie win going to India’s Muhammad Nalwalla (IND, Car #46).

The second race of the day – the fifth out of the six scheduled, saw Danial Frost return to his winning ways, finishing ahead of Kahia. In third place was Malaysian Nazim Azman, with the Rookie win going to Presley Martono (INA, Car #32) of Indonesia.

With the grids reversed for the final race of the opening event, India’s Akash Gowda (IND, Car #33) had the honours of starting from pole-position.

The closely-fought and exciting affair produced some spectacular racing, with Danial emerging victorious in a sprint to the finish just ahead of championship rival Love with Martono in third place, which was also the Indonesian’s first podium finish in the race and third Rookie win of the weekend.

With this result, Danial leads the championship race with 127 points with Jordan Love in the silver medal position with his total points haul of 108. Rounding off the Top 3 is Faine Kahia with a total of 96 points.

Danial’s performance also saw the young Singaporean walk away from the weekend with the Fuji Xerox Star Driver Award for the first event of the championship.

Race 4 (08:30hrs)

After suffering a mechanical failure in the previous race that prevented Love from claiming a third race victory, Jordan Love was back to his usual form with a great start for Race 4 early on Sunday morning.

Pulling out an early lead through to the end of the 10-lap race, Love had left the rest of the field in his wake.

The bulk of the action was thus mostly concentrated on the fight for the final two positions on the podium between Nazim Azman (MAS, Car #17), who had started on the front row and Faine Kahia.

Meanwhile, a mistake by Race 3 winner, Danial Frost had seen the youngster drop down the order, though the youngster made the most of a safety car period to make his way back up the order, enough to start challenging by the second lap.

Before long it had become a 3-way fight for the final podium spots between Nazim, Kahia, Akash Gowda (IND, Car #33) and Danial.

Lapping consistently faster than Nazim, it did not take Kahia long to edge past the Malaysian, leaving Nazim and Danial to battle for the final spot on the podium.

Unfortunately, a drive-through penalty for an on-track racing incident involving Nazim effectively removed him from the fight, leaving Danial to inherit the position through to the chequered flag.

 A commendable fifth place finish for Muhammad Nalwalla also saw the young Indian on the podium to collect his second Rookie winner’s trophy of the weekend.


Race 5 (12:30hrs)

With Love, Danial and Kahia again locking out the top three positions on the grid for the midday Race 5, proceedings did not go as scripted particularly for Love.

Despite getting ahead and successfully defending his position from Danial, the Aussie ace was given a drive-through penalty for jumping the start.

This allowed Danial to take the lead of the race, ahead of Kahia and Nazim, with the trio evenly spread out through most of the race.

Towards the tail end of the race, Nazim did come under some pressure from rookie Presley Martono (INA, Car #32). With fresher tyres, the Indonesian had managed to close to within a second of Nazim, but was unable to pass.

With a comfortable win for Danial - his second of the weekend, Kahia finished second ahead of Nazim, who managed to defend his third place finish for his first visit to the podium.

Martono’s impressive form saw the youngster finish fourth and claiming another Rookie win.


Race 6 (17:30hrs)

With the grid positions for the final race of the weekend reversed for the top five finishers from the previous race, sitting in pole position was India’s Akash Gowda with Martono lined up alongside him from P2.

Following a clean start by the drivers, the Indian kept his cool as he fought to defend the lead in what turned into a five-way fight on the opening lap of the 8-lap race.

The young Indian did however find himself in the clutches of a charging Danial who eventually wrestled the lead off Gowda midway through the second lap.

Meanwhile, a determined drive from Love saw the Aussie recover significant ground from his seventh grid position start to eventually find himself in contention by the third lap, pressuring first Kahia, then Martono.

A supreme defensive effort by the Indonesian driver forced Love to work hard to gain the position, which he successfully did with three laps to go.

After putting down a series of fastest laps, the Aussie was able to catch race leader Danial, as he began piling on the pressure for the lead of the final race of the weekend.

The thrilling affair ended up being a sprint to the finish with the young Singaporean holding his nerve as he emerged victorious over Love, who had to settle for second place with Martono in third for his maiden podium finish in addition to collecting another Rookie win.

The closely fought race was the closest finish of all six races with the top three separated by just five-tenths of a second, which proved to be a fitting conclusion to the first event.

Formula 4 South East Asia Championship- also photos


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07.08.2016 / MaP

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