Frenchman Xavier Autard led Mohammed Al-Mehairbi and race one winner Max Stilz into the second of the weekend’s 25-lap F4 Trophy races.
Autard made a good start and continued to hold the lead, as Al-Mehairbi flipped out of contention and Sam Whittle narrowly avoided contact with the Emirati as the yellow flag brought racing to a halt. Tom Chiappe was a non-starter.
Action resumed on lap four and Autard continued to lead from Stilz, Whittle and Ahmed Al-Fahim of the Victory Team. But the Maverick Team driver spun out of the lead at the Connaught Bridge end of the course on lap eight and gifted the lead to Stilz, with Whittle moving into second place and Al-Fahim climbing to third.
The German began to edge clear of his rivals and led by 4.35 seconds at the halfway point, although young Whittle stayed in contention and closed slightly over the next few laps. With five laps to run the difference was down to 2.37 seconds but Stilz hld on to claim a second win of the weekend and surge into the championship lead from Al-Mehairbi and Chiappe. Whittle and Al-Fahim rounded off the podium positions with the Briton reaching the chequered flag just 2.45 seconds behind the German.
Al-Mehairbi beat Stilz and Autard in the morning’s last free practice, but the qualifying session was the crucial factor and the Emirati began well to move into second place behind Autard with a lap of 42.05sec. Neither Tom Chiappe nor Louise Vella started the stint after their crashes on Saturday afternoon although Sam Whittle’s boat was repaired after his indiscretion. Vella was waiting for a new engine for her race boat.
Autard held on to claim pole position with a time of 40.98sec and Al-Mehairbi and Stilz were classified in second and third of the six boats on the water.
Photo: Mike Powell
2018 F4 Trophy – positions after race 4:
1. Max Stilz (DEU) Blaze Performance 54pts
2. Mohammed Al-Mehairbi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 39pts
3. Tom Chiappe (FRA) Emirates Racing Team 37pts
4. Pedro Fortuna (PRT) Team Sweden 35pts
5. Wu Bingchen (CHN) CTIC F1 China Team 30pts
6. Ahmed Al-Fahim (UAE) Victory Team 26pts
7. Xavier Autard (FRA) Maverick Racing 21pts
8. Sam Whittle (GBR) F1 Atlantic Team 19pts
9. Quentin Dailly (FRA) Maverick Racing 17pts
10. Louise Vella (AUS) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 9pts
11. Ian Gonsalves (GUY) Maverick Racing 3pts
12. Rudolf Mihaldinecz (HUN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 2pts
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