The first race of the final event of the Formula 4 SEA Champion was action-packed, to say the least.
The cars lined up again following the additional formation lap, and as the five red lights went out, the grid launched off the line with Kane Shepherd taking the lead going into Turn 1. Daniel Cao followed close behind.
However the weather took a turn for the worst and started to dampen the 5.543km super circuit. With safety the utmost priority, the safety car was deployed immediately to ensure risk-free racing conditions.
The third lap saw the race resume at full swing. Hibiki Taira kept the pressure on Cao as he defended 3rd position. French-national Alessandro Ghiretti in fourth place kept the pace on the Okinawan.
By the fourth lap Shepherd and Cao were locked in a battle for first. The duo edged a growing lead over Taira, Ghiretti, Danish and Musyaffa in the mid field.
As the weather improved, so did their lap times. Muizz successfully overtook Isyraf as the pair tried to bridge the gap created by Taira and Ghiretti.
Meanwhile, the duo up front managed to carve a 4.8 second lead over the mid field by the seventh lap.
The battling foursome were joined by Nazim Azman and by the final lap, Ghiretti had clawed his way up to third, as he ousted Taira from his podium position.
Kane Shepherd defended his position valiantly and was rewarded the chequered flag with Cao and Ghiretti in tow. Shepherd clocked a best time of 2:13.419 with Cao just three-tenths behind.
“Race 1 was pretty good as I had a great start off the line. I did however take it easy for the first few laps as I got to grips with the changing weather conditions, but after that I just pushed hard to defend my position from a fast-encroaching Cao” explained a victorious Shepherd.
|1)||Daniel Cao||2: 13.430|
|2)||Kane Shepherd||2: 13.468|
|3)||Muizz Musyaffa||2: 13.512|
|4)||Hibiki Taira||2: 13.564|
|5)||Presley Martono||2: 13.621|
|6)||Alessandro Ghiretti||2: 13.624|
|7)||Isyraf Danish||2: 13.877|
|8)||Nazim Azman||2: 13.898|
|9)||Timothy Yeo||2: 15.050|
|10)||Luke Thompson||2: 15.341|
|11)||Armand Johany||2: 15.790|