Welcome to the second event of the 2018 Formula 4 South East Asia Championship – fueled by Petron. Here at the stunningly beautiful Sepang International Circuit, the sunny morning has given way to darker clouds which threatened rain upon the 5.543km long ‘super circuit’.
The green flashing light at the pit exit signalled the start of the official Free Practice, where the intrepid young racers took to the track to reacquaint themselves with their race machines and the circuit. On track were old hands such as Kane Shepherd, Alessandro Ghiretti, Muizz Musyaffa, Luke Thompson, Adam D’Agostino and Liam Lawrence. New to the championship was 15 year old Belgian-native Antoine Potty and AsiaCupSeries champion Aidan Wright of Australia. The more familiar of the trope were taking their time to get suited with the car and its setup for the weekend while the newcomers familiarised themselves with the 15-turn Herman Tilke-designed, FIA- Grade 1 circuit as well as their track weapons.
Malaysias unpredictable weather too began playing its hand on the session. Some sectors of the track were experiencing cooler temperatures due to rapidly shifting clouds while the northern parts of the circuit were sunny. The result?
Drivers were able to clock in faster sector times where the sun was warming up the tarmac. As they approached the cooler parts of the circuit, tyre grip was harder to find.
Predictably, the more experienced of the line-up were able to clock in faster times such as Muizz Musyaffa and Kane Shepherd who clocked 2:15.390 and 2:15.989 respectively, while the rookies of the grid struggled somewhat. Adam D’Agostino meanwhile was making excellent progress with sub 2 minute 20 second times. Adam did however spin-off going into Turn 15 but quickly recovered and re-joined the action.
However it was French-national, Alessandro Ghiretti who managed the fastest time of the session; clocking in a best time of 2:15.069. The following session of the championship was the eagerly awaited Qualifying round. However due to the unpredictable weather, the weekend of racing is sure to be exhilarating.
For all the best wheel-to-wheel action please head down to the Formula 4 South East Asia Championship Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Formula4SEA/ to get up to speed with all the latest updates from the weekend.