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, bringing us through the first few corners as the championship leaders tried to make up position.
Musyaffa started P7 ahead of Ghiretti, Shepherd and Khalid. 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. 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 of the race and reeling in the leader over the next three laps.
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 flying Frenchman 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.
|1)||Private: Lucca Allen|
|3)||Private: Emily Linscott|
|5)||Private: Malthe Jakobsen|
|2)||Private: Lucca Allen||27:28.241||2:16.337|
|5)||Private: Malthe Jakobsen||27:48.262||2:16.800|
|6)||Ryo Komikado||27:52.911||2:17.662 4|
|7)||Private: Emily Linscott||28:03.146||2:18.816|