Strong results for Aussies in Middle East

Monday 12 February, 2024
James Wharton secured a podium in the Formula Regional Middle East Championship.
Australians have produced a decent haul of results in the United Arab Emirates over the weekend, with a fair share of podiums in their respective categories. 
Topping the bunch was Jordan Love, who enjoyed class victories in both races of the 4 Hours of Abu Dhabi event, which also served as the final two rounds of the Asian Le Mans Series.
Behind the wheel of the Triple Eight Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo alongside Prince Jefri Ibrahim and German, Luca Stolz, Love was instrumental in helping the team to both wins.
In both races, the trio were forced to make up multiple places throughout as they started the first outing in P5 and the second in P6 after Prince Jefri Ibrahim led both qualifying sessions.
In the weekend’s first race, the were too good as smart strategy and bold driving helped them ease their way to the chequered flag to beat the Leipert Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan GT3 by just 10 seconds.
In the second race, the Lamborghini actually crossed the line first, but a late penalty to Gabriel Rindone, Brendon Leitch and Marco Mapelli saw the race winners demoted to second, ultimately giving Love and co the win.

Unfortunately, fellow Australians George Nakas and Fraser Ross didn’t enjoy the same success in their own class, as they steered their GG Classic Cars Ligier JS P320 to P5 in the opener. In race two, they were unclassified as they only completed one lap. 
There were also plenty of podiums for Australians in the Formula Regional Middle East Championship, with both James Wharton and Costa Toparis enjoying their best haul of results for the season.
Wharton had the better weekend of the two, as the Victorian started off with a top five finish and gained a position to fourth in race two. Wharton then wrapped up the event with a second place finish, helping him climb up the standings to sixth overall.
Toparis also moved up the standings significantly after scoring his first points of the weekend. 

The young New South Welshman did it in style too, picking up points in all three races with a P9, P8 and a season-high third place behind Wharton in the final race.
Sadly, the same couldn’t be said for the trio of Aussies in the Formula 4 UAE Championship, with Jack Beeton, Kamal Mrad and Nicholas Stati unable to pick up points.
All three got their best results of the round in the opening race, with Beeton 14th, Mrad 15th and Stati 21st. 
Both competitions return to Dubai for the season finale this weekend. 
In Europe, Griffin Peebles, Peter Bouzinelos and Gianmarco Pradel contested Spain’s Formula Winter Season, which held its first round of the 2024 season at Circuito de Jerez.

Out of the three, it was Peebles who did the best, picking up a runner-up finish in the opening race before taking out the win in the second. It was a solid run from Peebles, who started from pole position and also picked up the fastest lap along the way.
Unfortunately, he finished ninth in the final race, and as a result, ended the weekend in second place behind series leader Andrés Cárdenas by just eight points. 
Pradel was the next best out of the Aussies, but he could only score points in the first race where he finished sixth. Issues on the second saw him retire early but he also produced a good performance in the final, charging from the back and finishing 13th.
Bouzinelos’ debut in the series ended with a pair of P19s and a 20th place finish.
It’s back to back weekends for the series, with Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Cheste hosting round two.
Motorsport Australia App

Download the Motorsport Australia App