Ghiotto storms to victory in Formula 2 sprint race; Connor dominates F4UAE Trophy Round - GulfToday

Ghiotto storms to victory in Formula 2 sprint race

Ghiotto storms to victory in Formula 2 sprint race; Connor dominates F4UAE Trophy Round

Luca Ghiotto (second right) celebrates with the trophy after winning the Formula 2 sprint race at the Yas Marina Circuit on Sunday. Courtesy: FIA F2 website

Luca Ghiotto eased to victory in the final Formula 2 sprint race of 2019 at Yas Marina Circuit on Sunday.

The Italian made the move on early leader Guiliano Alesi into Turn 11 and had the pace to keep the field at bay, crossing the finish line over seven seconds clear.

Nicholas Latifi attempted to close down the UNI-Virtuosi driver in the closing laps, but two quick-fire Virtual Safety Cars ended the Canadian’s hopes as he settled for second in his final race before moving to F1 in 2020 with Williams.

The winner of Saturday’s feature race, Sergio Sette Camara, produced a brilliant drive to move up from eighth on the grid to third to secure a double podium for DAMS.

He would pass Ferrari Academy driver Callum Ilott for that place on the penultimate lap, with the Briton in fourth.

After struggling with high tyre wear for much of the race, Alesi would ultimately drop from pole down to fifth place ahead of Louis Deletraz.

Nobuhara Matsushita followed in seventh, with Jack Aitken coming through to claim the final point in eighth, passing Mick Schumacher on the final lap.

After his great podium on Saturday, Guanya Zhou couldn’t repeat that performance on Sunday as the Renault junior rounded out the top 10.

Jordan King was 11th with Christian Lundgaard 12th in his first weekend in F2, ahead of his full-time seat in 2020.

2019 champion Nyck De Vries said a disappointing farewell to the series with another 13th place, ahead of Tatiana Calderon and Mahaveer Raghunathan.

Marino Sato was the final finisher in 16th as the two Russian’s, Nikita Mazepin and Matevos Izaakyan, collided at Turn 9, taking both out of the race.

Sean Gelael and Artem Markelov was the final two retirements as a result of mechanical problems.

For Ghiotto, victory was a perfect way to end 2019 and his F2 career as he prepares to move to GT racing in 2020.

Now, after the thrills and spills of Abu Dhabi, the long winter awaits before F2 returns again in the Middle East in Bahrain next April.

Meanwhile, Alex Connor emerged victorious in a dramatic Race 2 in the F4UAE Trophy Round at Yas Marina Circuit.

The British driver inherited the lead after a first lap collision between Race 1 winner Amna Al Qubaisi and Italian Nicola Marinangeli at Turn 12, which promoted a lengthy Safety Car period.

And, despite coming under pressure from Jordan’s Manaf Hijjawi, would hold on to take the chequered flag by 1.6s over the Dragon Racing driver.

Dutchman Tijmen van der Helm produced a late charge to pass Hamda Al Qubaisi and Nico Goehler to claim the final podium place in third

Goehler held on to finish fourth ahead of Rodrigo Almeida in fifth and Saudi Arabia’s Reema Juffali in sixth.

Xcel Motorsport drivers Ivan Peklin and Mehrbod Shameli followed in seventh and eighth with Logan Hannah and Constantin Reisch completing the top 10.

On a disappointing day for the Qubaisi sisters, Hamda suffered a broken front wing mid-race, requiring a change which dropped her down to 11th.

Marinangeli continued in 12th, albeit four laps down after the first lap collision with Amna, as the Emirati driver was the only retirement from the race.

The first F4UAE Trophy Round alongside the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has been a great success for the series.

Now the drivers can look forward to the 2020 season beginning in January at the Dubai Autodrome.

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