Dino Beganovic came from ninth to win Formula Regional Middle East’s first ever race at Kuwait Motor Town, but his achievement was overshadowed by several crashes.
The race took place in windy conditions, with Joshua Duerksen (Hyderabad Blackbirds powered by MP) and Andrea Kimi Antonelli (Mumbai Falcons) sharing the grid’s front row.
Antonelli angled his car towards Duerksen, which ultiumately cost him the forward momentum to be alongside the poleman into turn one.
But the long run to turn two strengthened the slipstream effect and the field filtered out five-wide going down the straight.
Duerksen was powerless against losing places, and PHM Racing team-mates Taylor Barnard and Joshua Dufek got into the lead but banged wheels and lost momentum.
In a split-second Antonelli was now leading, with Beganovic going off the track to get on the inside of the PHM pair. Chaos erupted as they then reached turn two.
Beganovic on the inside darted into second, while one of the PHM drivers caused another incident as he moved right towards the racing line. His rear-right wheel got in the way of Duerksen, who has now trapped between a PHM driver and team-mate Sami Meguetounif on his right.
He ended up flying into the air between them once the space closed and wheel-to-wheel contact was made, and the Hyderabad pair ran off-track.
On their inside, at the corner’s apex, their other team-mate Brad Benavides had contact with Hitech GP’s Gabriele Mini which sent him airborne and flipping and riding over several cars.
He finally landed on was Mari Boya, also a team-mate, whose car he rode on for several seconds before flicking over.
While he flew across the corner, Benavides collected two Mumbai Falcons drivers. He sent Rafael Camara spinning to the back and tagged Lorenzo Fluxa, who retired as several other cars behind then had to stop in avoidance of his and Mini’s cars or swerve into the gravel.
R-ace GP’s Francesco Braschi ended up in a stage of damage next to Mini, with PHM’s Nikita Bedrin also retiring.
Due to the chaos and the dust on track, very few drivers actually got through turn two without going off, and that included the top two. Antonelli went incredibly wide, just missing the gravel, and he and Beganovic returned to track side-by-side. Beganovic had the inside, and took the lead before the race was stopped.
It later restarted behind the safety car, with Beganovic, Antonelli and Barnard followed by Sebastian Montoya, who had qualified 18th.
Antonelli attacked his team-mate into turn two once racing resumed but could not get past, and just behind Montoya barged past Barnard into the downhill esses that followed.
Barnard got back by on the next lap, and that was the top three settled as a later safety car period would pause any fighting.
Montoya contributed to the next safety car, as after being passed by Dufek at turn two he went off, made contact as he rejoined and then stopped his car in the run-off. Camara, who had stopped on track after charging into the top 10, also had to have his car be retrieved.
Prema’s Aiden Neate and Michael Shin finished fifth and sixth, with Cenyu Han working hard to hold on to his position behind them but getting a five-second penalty after he went off through the esses and stayed ahead. By the chequered flag he had already dropped to 10th, behind the frequently battling Luke Browning (who was debuting) and Nikhil Bohra.
|1||Dino Beganovic||Mumbai Falcons|
|2||Andrea Kimi Antonelli||Mumbai Falcons||+1.107s|
|3||Taylor Barnard||PHM Racing||+1.231s|
|4||Joshua Dufek||PHM Racing||+1.514s|
|7||Rafael Villagomez||Pinnacle VAR||+3.459s|
|8||Luke Browning||Hitech GP||+3.880s|
|9||Nikhil Bohra||R-ace GP||+4.203s|
|10||Matias Zagazeta||R-ace GP||+7.820s|
|11||Levente Revesz||R-ace GP||+8.511s|
|12||Giovanni Maschio||R&B Racing||+8.912s|
|13||Niels Koolen||Pinnacle VAR||+9.576s|
|14||Zhongwei Wang||R&B Racing||+11.218s|
|15||Cenyu Han||R&B Racing||+12.260s|
|16||Daniel Mavlyutov||Hitech GP||+12.400s|
|17||Sami Meguetounif||Hyderabad Blackbirds||+31.111s|
|Ret||Rafael Camara||Mumbai Falcons|
|Ret||Sebastian Montoya||Hitech GP|
|Ret||Pepe Marti||Pinnacle VAR|
|Ret||Joshua Duerksen||Hyderabad Blackbirds|
|Ret||Lorenzo Fluxa||Mumbai Falcons|
|Ret||Mari Boya||Hyderabad Blackbirds|
|Ret||Gabriele Mini||Hitech GP|
|Ret||Nikita Bedrin||PHM Racing|
|Ret||Franscesco Braschi||R-ace GP|
|Ret||Brad Benavides||Hyderabad Blackbirds|
|Fastest lap: Antonelli, 1m47.844s