The third event in the Formula 4 South East Asia Championship got underway on Friday with Singapore’s Danial Frost (SIN, Car #66) firing the opening salvo, claiming victory in the first race on Friday. After missing out on pole position earlier in the afternoon, the youngster demonstrated his determination overtaking pole-sitter Faine Kahia (NZL, Car 55) on the opening lap.
After taking the lead, Frost never looked back en route to his first win. In second place was Indonesian and home-favourite Presley Martono (INA, Car #32) who finished ahead of Malaysia’s Isyraf Danish (MAS, Car #19).
Free Practice and Qualifying
The day kicked off with free-practice in the morning, with Singapore’s Danial Frost (SIN, Car #66) quickest off the block posting an impressive time of 1:33.103s. The youngster was the sole driver to post a time in the 1:33 minute mark, nearly a second faster than the rest of the field. His closest challenger was New Zealand’s Faine Kahia (NZL, Car #55) who posted a time of 1:34.081s ahead of Indonesia’s Keanon Santoso (INA, Car #88) with his time of 1:34.185s.
Having set the pace in practice, the Singaporean was again quick in the opening part of the wet qualifying session. However, the accolades belonged to Kiwi Faine Kahia (NZL, Car #55) who snatched pole from the Singaporean teenager on the final seconds of the session with a scorching laptime of 1:40.624s. Frost will start on the front row from P2 after posting a time of 1:40.722s, while home favourite Presley Martono (INA, Car #32) will start the first race in P3 (1:41.118s). Malaysia’s Isyraf Danish (MAS, Car #19) also had a strong session with the fourth fastest time with a 1:41.763.
Free practice results
08:00hours, Friday, 11 November 2016
13:20hours, Friday, 11 November 2016
Race 1 (14 Laps)
With the conditions unchanged since the mid-day downpour, the afternoon race proved an exciting affair with pole-sitter Kahia having to defend from a charging Frost at the start. The fight for the lead would however favour Frost who managed to overtake Kahia, who suffered a spin and was forced to end his race prematurely. With a clear track ahead, it did not take long for Frost to forge a massive lead over the rest of the field.
Behind Frost, Kahia’s incident had benefited the Indonesian driver, Martono who inherited second place, a position he held on to for much of the race. Meanwhile, the bulk of the action was concentrated on the battle for the final podium spot between Oman’s Khalid Al-Wahaibi (OMN, Car #8) and Malaysia’s Isyraf Danish (MAS, Car 19). The epic duel would last several laps until the mid-way point of the race when the two collided, which saw Al-Wahaibi spin out of the race, gifting the Malaysian third position in the race. Al-Wahaibi’s incident did lead to a safety car period that lasted for several laps that brought the entire field together. At the restart with two laps left in the 14-lap race, the top three positions remained unchanged with Frost comfortable in the lead, ahead of Martono and Isyraf, leaving one final twist in the race between the two Indian drivers Akash Gowda (IND, Car #33) and Mohamed Nalwalla (IND, Car #46). That battle would favour the latter driver, who managed to overtake his compatriot on the penultimate lap to claim a hard-fought fourth place. Saturday will see three more races contested with the final two races scheduled for Sunday.
Race 1 results
16:00hours, Friday, 11 November 2016
Selected Driver Comments
Danial Frost (SIN, Car #66) – Winner Race 1 “I really learned a lot racing in the rain today and it feels really amazing to be able to come away from the first day of the weekend with a race win! I had a really good start and even though I could not overtake Faine (Kahia), I stayed close to him into the first corner. I managed to catch him and really pushed hard on the straight and managed to overtake him coming into Turn 4 and 5. After that I continued to push and managed to pull out a gap to Presley (Martono). Then the safety car was deployed and I did at one point worry about the Presley behind me, but I kept my cool and had a great restart and managed to pull away for the win!”
Presley Martono (INA, Car #32) – P2 Race 1 “Compared to my races at Clark (International Speedway) last month, this was really great, especially here at my home track! At the start of the race, I could see that Faine and Danial were battling it out ahead of me. At one point they were side by side and Faine spun, which forced me to go wide and on to the grass, which did compromise my race as it allowed Danial to get away and the car behind me managed to close in on me. Regardless, second place is a great result as it was the maximum that I could do. For sure, tomorrow will be better because I believe it can only get better!“
Isyraf Danish (MAS, Car #19) – P3 Race 1 “To be honest, I had a bad start as there was a lot of wheel spin and I lost the position to Khalid (Al-Wahaibi, OMN Car #8). Unfortunately, mid-way through the race Khalid and I collided and he spun off and I inherited third place. After the safety car period, I tried to keep my cool and focus on my driving and keep the position with two laps to go. Towards the end though, I did manage to catch Presley and was already closing in on him. Overall, I am really happy with my pace and will focus on building on that for tomorrow’s races.”
Peter Thompson, Chairman, Triple A: “It is fantastic to be back in Sentul again, even though the drivers had a very bumpy ride. To us, Indonesia is a very important market for the F4/SEA and by bringing the event here to the Sentul International Circuit, the young, aspiring and upcoming Indonesian drivers can see, feel, touch and experience the F4/SEA. We believe that this investment here in Sentul will come to fruition for 2017.”
Firhat Mokhzani, Managing Director, Triple A: “This was a really nice and tense race to watch as all the drivers have more confidence racing in these tricky conditions especially after their experience at Clark International Speedway last month. Congratulations to Danial Frost for what was a flawless race and for holding his nerve at the restart.”