CALDWELL, WEERTS AND PETERSSON BECOME MULTIPLE F4UAE RACE WINNERS IN ABU DHABI
Abu Dhabi, January 21, 2018 - Round 2 of the 2017/18 F4UAE Championship powered by Abarth saw three of its front-running drivers become multiple race winners at Yas Marina Circuit, as other fresh faces impressed on debut during the first of three-back-to-back race weekends in the UAE.
Competing on the 3.15km North Circuit, SILBERPFEIL Energy Dubai's Olli Caldwell (#64) and Lucas Petersson (#22), plus Dragon Motopark F4's Charles Weerts (#88), all shared the top step of the podium across the four 30minute races, while rookie F4 racer David Schumacher (#27) scored a quartet of podium finishes - three runner-up finishes and one third place - on debut.
"The racing times this weekend were the closest that we have ever experienced in F4UAE and it provided very exciting racing," said Mohamed Ben Sulayem, President of ATCUAE, Chairman of the Emirates Motor Sport Federation, and FIA Vice President for Sport. "It is a great pleasure to witness these young racers achieve such strong results at Yas Marina Circuit and we wish them all the best as they focus on a very busy few weeks of racing here in the UAE."
Having all won on debut at the opening round in December, Caldwell displayed a commanding lead over the 10-car field as he claimed victory in Race 1 on Friday and Race 2 on Saturday morning to make it 3 wins total in his F4UAE career. Weerts won during a safety car marred Race 3, while Petersson took his second category win in Race 4 along with top rookie honours in that race.
PRACTICE & QUALIFYING SUMMARY
The F4UAE Championship weekend four new international drivers at Yas Marina Circuit - Belgium's Amaury Cordeel (#888), Finland's Patrik Pasma (#21), Italy's Edoardo Morricone (#42) and Germany's David Schumacher (#27).
However all eyes were on newcomer Schumacher - son of former Formula 1 racer Ralf Schumacher - as he made his circuit racing debut for US Racing/Rasgaira.
While Weerts and Caldwell topped the timesheets early on, it was the 16-year-old German rookie who stole the show with a best qualifying time of 1m10.128s. With all 10 racers qualifying within 1.2seconds of each other, it was the tightest qualifying field in the category's short history.
While Schumacher started from pole position for Race 1, it was Caldwell who got the better start, leading by turn one. Schumacher out-braked himself at the end of the first lap, relegating his second place to Weerts before dropping back behind Round 1 race-winner Tom Beckhäuser (#95).
Dragon Motopark F4's Lucas Alecco Roy (#8) made contact with his 15-year-old teammate Cordeel, resulting in Cordeel needing to be recovered post-race. The battle between Beckhäuser and Schumacher continued all race, with the Czech driver ending up in the run-off area at Turn 8 which gifted Schumacher his first podium finish in third, crossing the line behind Caldwell who won the race and Weerts in second.
Race 2 on Saturday morning featured the inverted top-six starting format, with Petersson on pole. However, the Dubai-based teen admitted post race that it was his lack of experience with starts that lead to him creeping on the line. While Petersson was allowed to continue racing on track, the jump start cost him a 10-second time penalty post-race.
From starting sixth place, Caldwell got the best start of the field, constantly challenging Petersson for the lead on track and was awarded with the eventual win thanks his teammate's penalty. However, the British F4 racer suffered a broken brake disk on the cooldown lap; a problem that continued into the start of race three.
Schumacher and Weerts filled the Race 2 podium, Petr Ptacek (#9) was also penalised 10 seconds for a jump start and Patrik Pasma (#21) was involved with an on-track crash that ended his race prematurely.
The Race 3 grid was determined by each drivers' second-fastest lap time in qualifying, giving Caldwell the pole alongside Schumacher. Soon after, Caldwell's brake issues re-emerged and forced the British racer to pull into the pits for repairs. Meanwhile out on track, his teammate Petersson collided with Cordeel along the back straight, which brought out the safety car. A technical issue with the Safety Car itself further caused the session to be red flagged and drivers reformed on the front straight.
The lengthy delays were a saving grace for SILBERPEFIL Energy Dubai who managed to repair Caldwell's car in time for a restart, starting from pitlane, while the rest of the field lined up behind the new Safety Car. With 17m30s remaining on the clock, Weerts lead the field away ahead of Schumacher and Petersson, however a hard-charging Beckhäuser beat Peterson to a podium finish by just a car length at the chequered flag.
The final 30-minute race saw another inverted top-six start with Roy on pole alongside Petersson. The Dragon Motopark F4 driver held onto the lead before being challenged by Pasma and Petersson, who eventually went on to win. A post-race hearing saw Pasma being given a 10-second penalty for forcing another driver off track, which brought Schumacher up to second and Weerts into third. Petersson's win was SILBERPFEIL Energy Dubai's fifth victory in the current 2017/18 season.
Round 3 of the 2017/18 F4UAE Championship will be held at Dubai Autodrome next weekend from January 26-27, the second of three back-to-back race weekends.
Updated championship standings will be made available on www.f4uae.com in the coming days once signed off by category management.
Charles Weerts (BEL), Dragon Motopark F4 (#88): "It's good that there is more competition this year. Last year was the first year and there was not a lot of experienced drivers but now we are having a lot of good battles and racing really well. Getting P2 and P3 is good but winning is much better, but it's just a matter of having a few goes to get the car right and take advantage of opportunities in the races. I'm looking forward to getting back to the Dubai Autodrome next week and see if we can get some more wins."
Lucas Petersson (SWE), SILBERPFEIL Energy Dubai (#22): "It was a really up and down weekend, we had good pace throughout and in the last race it just all came together. When I jumped the start in Race 2, I guess because I don't have that much experience I just misjudged the throttle placement and started rolling away too early. But still there was some good racing this weekend and glad I got a win."
Olli Caldwell (GBR), SILBERPFEIL Energy Dubai (#64): "I got some really good starts this weekend which helped a lot in giving me the upper hand a few times. As the field is growing each round it's getting even better to race. There were a few more experienced drivers here this weekend like David Schumacher and Patrik Pasma who I raced against in British F4 last year, so that makes it more enjoyable. Myself, every time I go out I am still learning something new though and even learning Yas Marina Circuit more each time. Even though we had those brake problems, overall it was a good weekend to get the two wins."