F4SEA-  Cabrera, Martono and Kahia shine despite typhoon rains at Clark

F4SEA- Cabrera, Martono and Kahia shine despite typhoon rains at Clark

19.10.2016: Formula 4 South East Asia (F4/SEA) Championship Clark International Speedway

Formula 4 South East Asia (F4/SEA) Championship
Clark International Speedway






The second day of proceedings at the second event of the Formula 4 South East Asia (F4/SEA) Championship – certified by FIA at the Clark International Speedway commenced on Sunday with the remaining four races from the six scheduled.



The final day was however dictated by the torrential downpour with the circuit at the mercy of a passing typhoon affecting the area. This resulted in the drivers having to negotiate the difficult wet conditions for the remainder of the six races.



Despite the challenging conditions, it was the local hero Gabriel Cabrera (PHI, Car #51) who prevailed to claim his first race victory on his debut in the F4/SEA championship in the early morning race.



With the rain continuing unabated, the fourth race belonged to Indonesian Presley Martono (INA, Car #32) who made good on his pace to clinch his first race win of the season. Two-time winner from Saturday, Akash Gowda was in second ahead of Kiwi Faine Kahia (NZL, Car #55).



The accolades for the day’s fifth race belonged to Kahia who outwitted the competition with a superb start and successfully fended off the challenge from Martono who settled for second and home favourite Cabrera in third. The sixth and final race was postponed due to the worsening conditions, and will be rescheduled.



With two race wins and a podium finish to his name, the Petron Star Driver Award for Event 2 of the F4/SEA Championship was awarded to India’s Akash Gowda.






Race 3 (10 laps)




 
With grid positions determined from their race positions from the previous race and the top half reversed, Sunday morning’s Race 3 saw New Zealand’s Faine Kahia (NZL, Car #55) start from pole position ahead of Malaysia’s Chia Wing Hoong (MAS, Car #68), Cabrera and Martono in second, third and fourth places, respectively.



The downpour did little to dampen spirits as home favourite Cabrera got off to a storming start in the wet conditions to jump into the lead into the first sequence of corners.



The continued deluge did however catch several drivers out, forcing officials to deploy the safety car for the remainder of the shortened race.



 As a result, the drivers remained in their positions through to the end with Cabrera claiming his first race win ahead of Khalid Al-Wahaibi (OMN, Car #8) - who had also benefited from a good start, and Angie King (PHI, Car #12) of the Philippines.







Race 4 (11 laps)




 
With grid positions for Race 4 determined by the drivers’ second fastest qualifying time, it was Indonesian Presley Martono (INA, Car #32) who locked out the front spot on the starting grid.




Lining alongside him was India’s Mohammed Nalwalla (IND, Car #46). On the second row were Kahia and Akash Gowda (IND, Car #33) with Cabrera and Al-Wahaibi occupying the third row.



With yet another wet race on the cards, the mid-morning race conditions proved difficult for the pole sitter who had a poor start and dropped down the order to P4 in the run to the first corner.



He was able to recover and regain a position not long after to run in podium contention running in second position behind race-leader Al-Wahaibi. Another enthralling battle was also beginning to brew between Cabrera and Race 2 winner Gowda, with the Indian prevailing.



By the end of the first lap, the safety car was deployed when Malaysian Chia Wing Hoong lost control of his car into the main straight and stopped by the side of the track.


With the resumption of the race on the third lap, it did not take long for the leading group of five drivers to pull ahead of the rest of the field with Al-Wahaibi ahead of Martono, Gowda, Kahia and Cabrera up to the mid-way point of the race.



An unfortunate error for Al-Wahaibi saw him go off-track and retire while in the lead, gifting the lead of the 13-lap race to Martono.



Before long, the new race leader Martono and Gowda were able to pull out a gap to Kahia and Cabrera, with the latter embroiled in a fascinating duel for the final spot on the podium for several laps.



In the closing stages of the race it with Gowda who began threatening Martono’s lead though the Indonesian was able to respond, eventually crossing the line for his first race win of the season. Gowda settled for second ahead of Kahia. Cabrera finished fourth ahead of Malaysian Isyraf Danish (MAS, Car #19).





Race 5 (10 laps)

 


With the drivers’ fastest lap from Race 4 determining the starting line-up for another wet Race 5, it was Cabrera in pole position with Kahia, Gowda, Martono, Isyraf and Al-Wahaibi in second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth positions on the grid, respectively.



A superb start from Kahia and Martono saw the pair jump the pole-sitter Cabrera, pushing him into the clutches of a tight three-way battle-royale for third with Al-Wahaibi and Gowda. The torrid conditions did little to dampen the on-track battles, which remained tight throughout the first half of the race.



The fight for third saw Gowda make several attempts to gain a position over Al-Wahaibi before eventually taking P4 from the Omani at the mid-way point. The move allowed the faster Gowda to make up ground on Cabrera in third. The positions remained unchanged right through to the closing stages of the race when conditions began to worsen.



With the rain getting heavier, race officials decided to red-flag the race with three laps remaining, giving Kahia his first race win of the season, ahead of Martono and Cabrera. Despite his best efforts, Gowda had to settle for fourth ahead of Al-Wahaibi and Isyraf.




Race 6 (10 laps)



The grid for the sixth and final race of the weekend was determined by the results from the previous race with the top half the grid reversed.



Though the drivers did go to the grid for the race, the conditions had worsened considerably that the race officials decided to abandon and reschedule the race to the forthcoming third event.








Peter Thompson - photos F4SEA

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19.10.2016 / MaP

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