Team Motopark claims victory in F4UAE Abu Dhabi while UAE teams push frontrunners

Team Motopark claims victory in F4UAE Abu Dhabi while UAE teams push frontrunners

18.12.2016: Team Motopark’s Jonathan Aberdein has continued his dominance at the second round of the 2016/17 Formula 4 UAE Championship at Yas

Team Motopark’s Jonathan Aberdein has continued his dominance at the second round of the 2016/17 Formula 4 UAE Championship at Yas Marina Circuit, but not without increasing pressure from local UAE teams.
 




The experienced F4 team from Germany may have lead every racing lap so far this season, however, it was Dubai-based Energy Dubai F4 Racing Team’s Sean Babington (#4) who shone in front of the internationals, by leading the final hit-out before settling for his fifth podium finish in 2016.
 


Sharing the racing spotlight with the Gulf 12 Hours event, Round 2 of the F4UAE Championship welcomed two new drivers who stepped up from karting and into circuit racing; Australian Oscar Piastri (#88), and American David Malukas (#79) who impressed with a podium finish on debut.
 


H.E. Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of ATCUAE and Emirates Motor Sports Federation, congratulated all the drivers for their continual improvement as they learn the craft of single-seater racing in the UAE.
 


“Besides the sixth successful edition of the Gulf 12 Hours race, we had four successful races of the F4UAE which saw strong competition among drivers and a remarkable progress in their performance,” said President Ben Sulayem.



“Two new drivers from Australia and the USA joined the championship, which reflects its increasing popularity. We still have a lot to do this season, however going forward to the next round at the end of January we will focus on ways to sustain the success of each round and build on it for the future.”




PRACTICE & QUALIFYING SUMMARY





Three hours of official practice on Thursday gave the newcomers adequate track time to aid their transition from karting to the Abarth-powered Tatuus F4UAE racecars.



 By day’s end, both were faster than last event’s new recruits, Babington and Rasgaira Motorsport’s James Roe Jr (#11) from Ireland.



The experienced Team Motopark duo of Aberdein (#21) and teammate Logan Sargeant (#23) were fastest in qualifying, with Aberdein clocking a best lap time of 2 minutes 13.310 seconds around the 5.5km circuit, 2/10ths faster than the younger karting world champion.
 


Malukas and Piastri qualified third and fourth respectively, both within half a second of the leader and ahead of regular steerers Babington, Roe Jr and the Qatar-based QMMF F4 Team’s Ahmad Al Muhannadi (#22).







RACE SUMMARIES




Aberdein and Sargeant claimed 1-2 finishes in all four 20-minute races – which included two reverse grid races – but not without pressure from both Malukas and Babington.
 


Fifteen year-old Malukas – the 2015 Junior X30 World Champion in karting – impressed early with a third place finish in Race 1, but Babington’s improved pace saw him finish third for the remaining three races while also and being the first local driver to take the lead of an F4 race in the Middle East.



Babington, a four-time British karting champion, benefitted from the team's addition of experienced motorsport engineer Peter Sieber, who most notably engineered newly crowned Formula 1 world champion Nico Rosberg during his formative formula years.



Piastri’s initial stall on the starting grid of Race 1 sent him from 4th place to rear of the field, but the 15-year-old Australian recovered to finish sixth, followed by earning two solid fifth places and one fourth place at his first F4 event.




Malukas cemented two additional fourth-place finishes but failed to complete Race 3 on Saturday after spinning out on the opening lap.



Ireland’s James Roe Jnr – another young UK karter who placed on the podium last event – put an early end to his weekend after his #11 Rasgaira F4UAE car sustained too much damage during a Race 2 warm-up lap incident. The car will now be repaired in time for the next event in late January 2017.
 


In the battle of the GCC competitors, QMMF F4 Team’s Al Muhannadi consistently finished ahead of teammate Abdulrahman Tolefat (#20).



While the UAE’s own Saif Ben Sulayem returned to the field with his newly repaired #3 ATCUAE F4UAE car, after having sat out of Round 1 due to sustaining extensive damage at the Dubai Autodrome season-opener.
 




South African Jonathan Aberdein retains the lead of the driver’s championship ahead of Sargeant – who also leads the rookie standings – with Babington sitting third outright, leading the locally based drivers.



The newest motorsport category in the Middle East, F4UAE powered by Abarth consists of 18 championship races held over five rounds at both the Dubai Autodrome and Yas Marina Circuit, the Home of F4UAE.
 


Round 3 of the F4UAE Championship will be held at the Dubai Autodrome from January 27-28, 2017, where Races 8 to 10 of the season will be contested.







Sura Manhal,  Automobile and Touring Club of UAE photos

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/team-motopark-victory-f4-uae-abu-dhabi-frontrunners---159027.html

18.12.2016 / MaP

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