THREE NEW DRIVERS JOIN F4UAE GRID FOR CHAMPIONSHIP GRAND FINALE IN ABU DHABI
Abu Dhabi, UAE, March 8, 2017 – Three new drivers of three different nationalities will join the Formula 4 UAE Championship grid as the category’s inaugural season comes to a close at Yas Marina Circuit this weekend.
Sun Yue Yang from China will join Dragon F4, Leonard Hoogenboom from the Netherlands joins championship-leading Team Motopark, and Dubai-born Swedish racer Lucas Petersson will make his circuit racing debut with the Energy Dubai F4 Racing Team.
After six months and 14 championship races to date, Round 5 of the Championship will mark the largest and most diverse field of the season and Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of ATCUAE and Emirates Motor Sports Foundation, wishes all teams the best in the final four races of the 2016/17 season.
“The first F4UAE Championship has been a great success so far because of the support and effort from all of our teams who have come to the UAE to race,” said Ben Sulayem. “We wish everyone a successful event at Yas Marina Circuit and we look forward to crowning our first F4UAE Champion on Saturday.
One of China’s rising karting stars, Sun “Sunny” Yue Yang from Shanghai will use this weekend in Abu Dhabi as preparation for his upcoming season of Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup. Yang will drive the #88 Dragon F4 Tatuus racecar, replacing UK-bound Oscar Piastri who will begin his British F4 season next month.
Hoogenboom, who replaces Sebastian Wahbeh at Team Motopark, competed as a rookie in both the Italian F4 Championship and Germany’s ADAC Formel 4 Championship last year. The Dutch racer has scored two third-place finishes in F4 to date, including at Oschersleben and Imola.
Meanwile Petersson comes to F4UAE with a successful career in karting, having competed in the Junior Rotax Max and the 2014-16 World Championships with almost 30 race wins and more than 50 podium finishes to his credit. Petersson will drive the #24 Energy Dubai F4 – alongside teammate Sean Babington (#4), who last month scored his first F4UAE Championship race win.
Energy Dubai team manager Kevin Day – well known in the Middle East for fostering young karting talent – said that Petersson is well focussed on the challenge ahead after a positive test at the Dubai Autodrome last week.
“Lucas was quite focussed on getting the best he could out of the car last week, and we set some benchmark times with Sean that he kept getting closer and closer to through the day,” said Day. “Getting the car off the line with the clutch is always something that new guys have to adapt to when they first drive open wheelers but we’re aiming to finish at least mid-pack and hopefully it will give him the confidence to consider next season in F4UAE.”
South African Jonathan Aberdein (#21) has consistently lead the driver’s championship points ahead of his Team Motopark teammate Logan Sargeant (#23) who also currently leads the rookie standings. Team Motopark has already amassed enough points to take out the F4UAE Teams Championship for 2016/17.
With 100 points on offer this weekend – plus taking into consideration that drivers will be required to drop their three worst race results from their championship tally upon season’s end – there is just 80 points difference between the two leading drivers, giving both a mathematical chance at the title.
Babington sits third in the standings and is the highest-placed locally based driver in the field, while QMMF F4 Team’s Ahmad Al Muhannadi from Qatar leads the GCC-based drivers.
The grand finale of the 2016/17 F4UAE Championship, round five, will be held at the Home of F4UAE, Yas Marina Circuit from March 10-11. The Abu Dhabi circuit will host Races 15 to 18 of the season.