Intriguing international line-up announced for 2023 F4 UAE Trophy Race
- Double-header showcase over November 25-26 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend
- Home-grown talent to go up against international rivals
- Six teams to contest traditional F4 UAE season-opener
United Arab Emirates, November 18, 2023: An intriguing line-up of exciting home-grown talent and international drivers is being assembled for the F4 UAE Trophy Race that will be held in support of the Formula 1 season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit.
The field will battle it out over two, 28-minute plus one-lap races during the non-championship event, which takes place over the 24-26 November weekend and is becoming renowned as a curtain raiser to the F4 UAE Championship, which comprises five rounds through January and February.
Prema Racing, the Italian single-seater powerhouse that operated the cars of the top three drivers in this year’s F4 UAE Championship, brings three drivers to Yas Marina. Abu Dhabi’s own Rashid Al Dhaheri arrives off the back of finishing 10th in this year’s Italian F4 Championship with the team, as well as claiming third place in the F4 race at the Macau Grand Prix earlier this month. The 15-year-old is again joined by Freddie Slater, the young English driver who has starred in F4 since becoming old enough to race in the category when he celebrated his own 15th birthday in August. Slater was robbed of second place in Macau by a technical problem, so will be determined to make amends. Another hotly tipped driver in the Prema ranks is Alex Powell. The Jamaican took his first steps in car racing in late September in Italian F4, but is a karting champion and a protégé of the Mercedes F1 team.
More local interest will be firmly pinned upon the Al Qubaisi sisters Amna and Hamda, who team up together at MP Motorsport. They have raced together this season with the Dutch squad in the F1 Academy series, the all-female competition run in F4 cars. Hamda finished third in the championship with four wins, while big sister Amna claimed two victories on her way to sixth. Hamda also has a record of success in F4 UAE, claiming six wins in total against the boys across the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
Xcel Motorsport fields a bumper entry out of its Dubai base. Indian Dion Gowda, Australian Noah Lisle and Briton Josh Irfan have spent the 2023 season as team-mates in British F4 with Rodin Carlin and each managed to take race victories during the campaign, with Gowda claiming fourth in the points. For Lisle, who has also competed in the Spanish series this year,
It is a return to Xcel, where he began the year competing in the UAE championship and took a best finish of third. Another Xcel returnee is Emirati Federico Al Rifai, who claimed two fourths in the UAE series before moving to Europe to compete in the Spanish championship alongside Lisle at Rodin Carlin. Krygyzstani racer Georgy Zhuravskiy is also welcomed back to Xcel, where he raced in the UAE series before moving on to Spain. The team is completed by French-Swiss Laura Villars, who has taken her first steps in car racing this year in the Ultimate Cup series in F4 machinery.
The Yas Heat Academy squad fields two local boys. Keanu Al Azhari, who turns 16 in the run-up to the event, was one of the discoveries of this year’s UAE championship, in which he finished seventh with two podium finishes. Like so many others, Al Azhari used this as a launchpad for a campaign in Spain, where he has taken a best result of third. He lines up alongside karting graduate Zack Scoular.
The Rodin Carlin team from the UK will also be welcomed to the paddock at Yas Marina. It has entered British girl Jessica Edgar, who raced against the Al Qubaisi siblings in F1 Academy this season, finishing eighth in the points with one race victory.
It’s all building up nicely for some electrifying action, with experienced hands and exciting newcomers bound to provide entertainment for the Grand Prix audience.
The F4 UAE Trophy 2023 starts with a 45-minute free practice session at 09:45 on Friday, November 24, followed by a 30-minute qualifying session at 18:30. Race 1 gets underway at 12:15 on Saturday, with Race 2 blasting off the grid at 11:40 on Sunday (all times UTC+04:00).
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