With the sun shining brightly over the Sepang International Circuit, the Formula 4 South East Asia Championship’s second race of the weekend launched off the previously-drenched starting grid. The first race of the weekend had seen Alessandro Ghiretti take the chequered flag.
The opening round’s second race featured Canada’s Adam D’Agostino in pole position on the starting grid. Compatriots Ryo Komikado and Kubo Masataka filed up behind the pole-sitter, as the top 50% of the grid is reversed to give every driver an equal opportunity, as per the F4 SEA regulations.
As soon as the red lights went out it was D’Agostino who led the field down the straight into the first corner. The competition behind was relentless but Adam put up a good fight to keep his position, with the Japanese duo keeping up the pace behind the Canadian. Throughout, the mid-fielders danced and swapped positions in fine style.
As the cars passed the start/finish line for the first time, Presley Martono took the lead in the second race of the premier event, followed by Luke Thompson and Kane Shepherd in second and third. Adam d’Agostino sadly dropped down to fifth.
By the second lap, Presley was over a second faster than his second place rival, Luke. In the mid-field however, Ryo Komikado took Turn 6 too vigorously and spun off, but kept his cool and immediately re-joined the action.
The gap continued to widen as the top four racers pulled away from each other. Presley was 3.599 seconds ahead of Thompson while Ghiretti was over a second behind. But in racing, anything can happen. With drier track conditions and improving confidence levels, the young dare devils were beginning to shrink the gap.
As the sixth lap rolled by, Presley Martono was over six seconds ahead of the field. Kane Shepherd and Luke Thompson were wheel-to-wheel, until Ghiretti caught up and managed to snatch second place from Thompson.
Muizz Musyaffa meanwhile was totally preoccupied with his battle for fifth against compatriot Timothy Yeo, with a difference of just a third of a second. By the ninth lap, with the front runners bunched up together as they headed towards Turn 1, Ghiretti mounted an attack and successfully took the lead away from Presley.
Incredibly, by the last lap, Ghiretti, Martono, Shepherd and Thompson were practically inches away from each other. As they passed the chequered flag, It was Ghiretti who once again took the win here in Sepang followed by Shepherd and Thompson. Martono settled for fourth in this intense scrimmage for the flag.
However a steward’s inquiry found Ghiretti to have jumped the start and he was subsequently given a 10 second penalty, making Kane Shepherd the winner with Luke Thompson and Presley Martono in second and third. Alessandro’s penalty dropped him down to sixth place.
More spectacular racing action will be served up shortly as the gladiators of the Formula 4 South East Asia Championship return for the third and final race of the event. Please visit http://fiaf4.asia/2018_event-1_race-3_fb_live to catch all the racing action of the third and final race of the weekend. For Live timing please visit https://livetiming.getraceresults.com/sepang?nomobile=true#screen-results