Xavier Autard of the Maverick Racing team claimed pole position for the first of the two F4 Trophy races with a best lap of 41.09sec in a session that finished under the yellow flag. Tom Chiappe was 7/100ths of a second behind and Mohammed Al-Mehairbi qualified in fifth place behind Sam Whittle and Max Stilz.
Autard led the eight boats into the 25-lap race that was yellow-flagged immediately when young Sam Whittle flipped out of the reckoning.
Autard held his lead from the re-start from Stilz and Al-Mehairbi as Chiappe survived a spin.
Max Stilz gained the lead on the fourth lap and Al-Mehairbi also passed the Frenchman to snatch second position soon afterwards. Autard then lost third place to young Australian Louise Vella after a spin.
The leaders held station through 16 laps, but Vella flipped out of contention on lap 17 and the yellow flag came into play again. Action resumed on lap 21 with four remaining. Stilz held on to reach the chequered flag 2.05 seconds ahead of Al-Mehairbi and Autard rounded off the podium positions after an action-packed opening race that finished under another yellow flag after Chiappe rolled on the final lap and slipped from fourth to sixth.
Further F4 practice and time trials start at 09.10hrs on Sunday morning and F1 crews will be permitted a one-hour warm-up from 10.15hrs. The green flag will be waved for the second F4 race at 13.30hrs and the Grand Prix of London is scheduled for 15.00hrs (18.00hrs UAE time).
Top Photo: Mike Powell