Radical Cup Gulf - Round 4 Race Report

Radical Cup Gulf - Round 4 Race Report

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Again some new faces (and familiar faces) on the grid for this round at Yas Marina Circuit, John Corbett, Jayan Karim and Fran Cush. 

After two days of optional testing it was Mohammed Alkazemi that was setting constant fast laps, and that was cemented when he took his first Pole Position of the season in Sprint Qualifying for Sprint Race 1. He would have also earned Pole for the second Sprint race if it was not for having his second quick time removed for a track limit penalty. That meant that season newcomer Timo Recker would also take his first career pole - two happy drivers indeed!

Alkazemi got a great start and got to T1 first and took the lead running side by side with Recker on the run to T2. Alex Bukhanstov, who had virtually no testing time due to an accident, and then subsequent engine change was chasing hard behind Amir Feyzulin in 4th. As the cars came into turn 6 Bukhantsov made light contact with the rear of Feyzulin spinning him around. Alex would later get a 20 second penalty for causing a collision, this would prove crucial in the end results.

Meanwhile Alkazemi had started to gain a small lead of about three seconds over Mazza in second, but Alex Bukh was catching fast, however with the 20 second penalty it was looking unlikely that he would be able to catch the leader and extend that kind of lead. Alkazemi was pushing hard to try and keep that lead from a now charging Bukhantsov. Alkazemi was unaware of the penalty that Bukh had picked up and while pushing hard got himself two consecutive track limit penalties, totalling 20 seconds. So with Bukh and Alkazemi on penalties the win was gifted to Mazza, who kept it clean for the whole race!

Race two was looking shaky given the rain that ensued, so the organisers made a quick decision not to waste everyone’s time that day, and re-scheduled Sprint Race 2 for the following morning, before the Enduro Qualifying session. The weather was looking bright and clear for the next day.

As the drivers woke up for Race Day 2, it was still cloudy, however this didn’t stop play and it was straight out into Sprint Race 2. This time it was Recker on pole, Feyzulin was meant to be lining up alongside, but the space was left empty due to his last moment withdrawal.

At the start Recker did not make a clean start and was not able to maximise his pole advantage, but Alex Bukh did from P6, and was soon into the lead coming into turn two. Mazza was in to second and hanging onto the back of Bukh, but just didn’t have the pace to get close enough to make a pass. Recker was in third, but was later handed a 10 second penalty that would drop him to 5th, promoting John Corbett to the last step of the podium.

Shortly after that was Enduro qualifying, and Alex Bukhantsov really showed his pace, putting in a pole time of 1.58.998, but only 0.081 ahead of Mazza. Sorokin had pulled off at T1, with an engine issue, but amazingly his GulfSport Racing team changed the powerplant in just 92 minutes, so he was back out for the Enduro race.

At the start Bukh and Mazza were 1st and 2nd. Alkazemi was up to third but with Recker behind him. However the two leaders both had carried over pit stop penalties from the last race, so there was a real chance Alkazemi and Recker could undercut them in the pits. But disaster struck for Alkazemi, stalling away from his 45 second pitstop, and giving crucial time back to Bukh and Mazza. This also allowed Zig Fuhremiester and John Corbett to jump ahead. 

In the end Mazza, held onto the lead, with Bukh second and Recker third.