HAT TRICK for France as Newcomers step up

HAT TRICK for France as Newcomers step up

25.11.2018: Formula 4 South East Asia (F4 SEA) – fuelled by Petron – 25th November 2018: With several new drivers joining, the semi-finals were a race to the finish. Irishman Lucca Allen came 2nd in the second race of the weekend and Malthe Jakobsen put on


Formula 4 South East Asia (F4 SEA) – fuelled by Petron – 25th November 2018: With several new drivers joining, the semi-finals were a race to the finish.




 Irishman Lucca Allen came 2nd in the second race of the weekend and Malthe Jakobsen put on a strong show alongside Alister Yoong. But of course, all eyes were on returning favourites Alessandro Ghiretti, Kane Shepherd and Muizz Musyaffa who didn’t disappoint while Emily Linscott, Shakirah Shaharul and Ryo Komikado fought it out mid-grid.




•    Ghiretti goes three-for-three and has a perfect weekend

•    Musyaffa fastest in race one and three

•    Shepherd challenges Ghiretti for the lead

•    Newcomer Lucca Allen finishes 2nd in the second race

•    Malthe Jakobsen and Alister Yoong battle for position

•    Linscott and Shaharul push each other further each session





The battle that has raged all year between France and Thailand continued this weekend. Kane Shepherd started out on top putting himself on pole for the first race, but Alessandro Ghiretti stole the win first time around and every race to follow, earning 76 points to finish ahead of Thailand’s Shepherd.




Malaysia had a strong showing this event with Alister Yoong and Muizz Musyaffa putting on a good show for the home crowd. Muizz was fastest in race 1 and 2, but a DNF allowed Alister to sneak past by 4 points putting Muizz in fourth.




Europeans Malthe Jakobsen and Lucca Allen joined the championship for the first time this weekend. The Dane had a consistent showing earning fifth in every race and fifth in the weekend ahead of Lucca Allen whose battle for first with Ghiretti in the second race earned him the 6th spot overall.




Japan’s Ryo Komikado saw some action this weekend mid-grid with the likes of Adam Khalid, Shakirah Shaharul and Emily Linscott. The Japanese bullet finished 7th at the end of the event, 7 points ahead of Adam Khalid, who had the home soil advantage. Shakirah Shaharul and Emily Linscott put on a show for us every race, constantly pushing each other further and faster, but somebody must win every battle and this time around it was Shakirah Shaharul who tied for eighth with Adam Khalid, just ahead of Emily by three points. The tie was broken by Shakirah with the faster lap in the last race.






Ghiretti finds his way past Shepherd at turn 9



As the lights went out for the first race of the semi-final Ghiretti had a great start, surging into second! But the man of the day was Lucca Allen who progressed from fourth to seventh as the flying Frenchman attacked Kane Shepherd through turn 1.




Ghiretti had to tuck in behind Shepherd through the first half of the circuit but made his move up the inside of turn 9 under heavy braking and took first away from Thailand. Kane would stay within 7 tenths the rest of the race, but Ghiretti eventually took the gold while all the action was further down the grid.




Muizz Musyaffa had a difficult start. He told us afterwards he was on the damp side of the track, but the Malaysian managed to regain his composure and in the latter half of the race he sprung to life with consistent 2:15s. He eventually set the fastest lap of the race with a 2:15.125 closing the gap from Shepherd and Ghiretti to 5 tenths.



While Muizz was catching up to the race leaders, Emily Linscott and Shakirah Shaharul were battling it out for 7th. Emily had started ahead of her Malaysian rival, but Shakirah got past at the beginning of the race down the main straight. Unfazed, the British driver started the process of wheeling in the yellow number 11 ahead of her.




With six laps to go the duo were still fighting for position when, in a daring move, Emily dived-bombed up the inside of turn 15. Shakirah has plenty of experience at Sepang and at first it looked like she would get a better exit and retake the position down the main straight. However, as they went past the chequered flag it was the orange number 99 of Emily Linscott who was ahead.




On the last lap the gap from Shepherd to Muizz was five tenths and Muizz looked poised to strike. The Malaysian has made moves through turn 2, 4, 9 and 14 but this time around he waited until the last corner of the last lap to strike! Unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be and as the chequered flag waved it was France, Thailand and Malaysia – First, Second and Third.





 
Race 19 Results

 

1)    Alessandro Ghiretti    28    France    27:19.064    2:15.261     
2)    Kane Shepherd    3    Thailand    27:21.910    2:15.453     
3)    Muizz Musyaffa    23    Malaysia    27:22.465    2:15.125     
4)    Alister Yoong    22    Malaysia    27:41.385    2:16.558     
5)    Malthe Jakobsen    8    Denmark    27:47.983    2:16.939     
6)    Ryo Komikado    46    Japan    27:54.657    2:17.412     
7)    Emily Linscott    99    UK    28:36.147    2:19.845     
8)    Shahkirah Shaharul    11    Malaysia    27:24.570    2:21.100     
9)    Lucca Allen    29    Ireland    2:24.643         DNF
10)    Adam Khalid    0    Malaysia              DNF






Newcomer Allen Holds Off Ghiretti as they go 4 wide through turn 1



It was Lucca Allen on pole for the second race of the weekend. The Irish driver joins us from F4 UK this weekend and had a fantastic start, flying away from the pack down the main straight as the flying Frenchman got a better start than Kane on the dry side of the track, the duo going either side of Muizz down into the first corner. But Alister and Ryo moved inside from either side of the track blocking out Muizz and Kane allowing Ghiretti to surge into fifth.




Adam Khalid had started at the back of the grid, but the Malaysian knows Sepang like the back of his hand, saw the action ahead of him and amazingly jumped from tenth to fifth as they went four wide through turn 1 and followed through up the hill into turn 4. Where Emily Lincsott, who had a strong start from second, had to defend against Alister Yoong on the outside and Malthe Jakobsen on the inside. The young British driver joined F4 for the first time this weekend and moved to the inside to defend from Malthe, but that opened her up to attack from Alister who went around the outside.




Ghiretti took advantage of the battle, going three wide with Alister and Emily into turn five, closing the door on the Malaysian through seven and eight. Malthe Jakobsen had a good start to get into second from fifth on the grid but Ghiretti took him up the inside of turn 9, the exact same move he made on Kane Shepherd last session.




Lucca Allen had taken advantage of all the fighting behind him and opened a nice gap to P2, but all the pressure was on the Irish driver now as the championship leader had him in his sights. We watched as Alessandro Ghiretti set the fastest first second and third sectors of the race, earning the fastest lap and reeling in the leader.




Lucca, who doesn’t know the track as well as Alessandro does, drove beautifully, using his experience in F4 UK to keep the flying Frenchman at bay, fending off an attack at turn 15 where Ghiretti took inside line and got his nose past down the main straight. The Irish lad took it back from the Alessandro through turn one and two but it was at turn four where the championship leader stole first position around the outside and up on the rumble strip. Lucca fought back through the next few corners, but Alessandro was just a little too fast and lead from there.




The action wasn’t over yet because the battle for third kept us on the edge of our seats for the rest of the race. Malthe Jakobsen, Muizz Musyaffa, Adam Khalid and Alister Yoong duked it out for most of the session, with the Dane defending well under mounting pressure. They swapped positions back and fourth but eventually Muizz found his way up behind Malthe and made a move from way back into turn 9. Unfortunately, the Malaysian spun out forcing Malthe wide. Adam and Alister took advantage while Muizz retired and Malthe re-joined behind Ryo Komikado.




Jakobsen would go on to take P5 from Ryo Komikado, but the battle now was between Malaysians Alister and Adam. Yoong defended from his comrade at every corner we usually see overtaking here in Formula 4, so Adam Khalid found a new way around his competitor on the outside at turn 14, the first time we in race control had seen such a move! Alister tried to take the position back but as the chequered flag waved it was Ghiretti on top with Allen P2 and Khalid P3, making Yoong rookie second and Komikado rookie 3rd.



 
Race 20 Results
 


1)    Alessandro Ghiretti    28    France    27:22.216    2:14.873     
2)    Lucca Allen    29    Ireland    27:28.241    2:16.337     
3)    Adam Khalid    0    Malaysia    27:37.265    2:16.110     
4)    Alister Yoong    22    Malaysia    27:39.734    2:16.056     
5)    Malthe Jakobsen    8    Denmark    27:48.262    2:16.800     
6)    Ryo Komikado    46    Japan    27:52.911    2:17.662     
7)    Emily Linscott    99    UK    28:03.146    2:18.816     
8)    Shahkirah Shaharul    11    Malaysia    28:35.407    2:20.907     
9)    Muizz Musyaffa    23    Malaysia    11:35.556    2:15.954    DNF
10)    Kane Shepherd    3    Thailand              DNF







Ghiretti Atop the Podium for Perfect Weekend!




Malaysia’s Shakira Shaharul started on pole alongside Emily Lincsott for the final race of the semi-finals. The duo got away well, with Emily defending from Alister and Malthe who tried go around the outside while Shakirah sailed through opening sequence. But a collision mid-corner saw the safety-car deployed.




The marshals recovered the two damaged cars and Malthe Jakobsen restarted the race! The Dane led Yoong, Ghiretti, Musyaffa, Shepherd and Allen around the final corner, hitting the gas on the exit and powering down the main straight. Malthe got away well with Alister just behind, but Ghiretti had a perfect restart pulling alongside the Malaysian wildcard and got past him just before Muizz, Alister and Kane went three wide through the first corner.




Muizz came out of that tussle on top and looked poised to make a move on Ghiretti through the fourth corner. But Thailand’s Shepherd came from nowhere to dive down the inside of the purple number 23. Muizz was pushed wide onto the rumble strip too keep himself alongside the Thai driver and got it back through turn 5 as Lucca Allen tried to make a move on Shepherd coming out of the same corner. However, Yoong got a better exit out of six and was all over the Irish driver coming through seven and eight.




The battle between the top three in the championship had given Jakobsen a chance to open a gap at the front of the pack. But now Ghiretti had him in his sights and made a move at turn 15 as Shepherd leapt past Musyaffa at the entrance of the corner and tried to undertake Ghiretti as well! Thailand’s Shepherd looked to have the better exit but didn’t have anywhere to go with Ghiretti and Malthe blocking him in, instead he was forced to follow Ghiretti past Malthe down the main straight with Muizz following suit around the outside of turn three.




Now it was the top 3 drivers in the championship fighting for the race lead and they didn’t disappoint with Shepherd immediately making a move at turn four. After a quick look around the outside he switched back up the inside, pulling alongside the Frenchman and elbowing him to the outside lane as the duo went two wide through turn five.



Ghiretti came out on top of that battle and although Kane gave him hell for the rest of the race, the safety car period had caused the session to go over time and so the race was cut short, depriving Thailand’s Shepherd of the time he needed to make another move and ending the weekend with Ghiretti atop the podium yet again, followed by Shepherd and Musyaffa.
 



-Aaron Thompson, photos F4SEA Thompson

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/f4sea-hattrick-france-newcomers---183841.html

25.11.2018 / MaP

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