Abu Dhabi Grand Prix F4 UAE Trophy Race line-up announced
· Irish talent Alex Dunne leads four-car entry from Hitech Grand Prix
· Xcel Motorsport, Yas Heat Academy and Carlin complete four-team grid
· Two non-championship races support home UAE flagship race weekend
United Arab Emirates, November 14, 2022: The Formula 4 United Arab Emirates Championship certified by FIA has announced the provisional entry list for its non-championship Trophy Race in support of the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit from November 18-20.
Last year, the event made history as the first-ever competitive outing for the brand-new second-generation F4 Tatuus-Abarth car. That was the precursor to a tremendously well-subscribed and competitive F4 UAE Championship through the first two months of 2022, with grids topping 30 cars.
Two races will take place over the Grand Prix weekend. A qualifying session on Friday, November 18 decides the grid for Saturday’s encounter, and the fastest lap recorded by each driver in this race determines where they line up for Sunday’s curtain raiser to the Grand Prix itself.
The man to beat among the entry list could well be Irish talent Alex Dunne with Hitech Grand Prix. Dunne finished sixth in this year’s UAE championship and then remained with the team for the British F4 Championship. Dunne, who recently turned 17, won the UK title convincingly despite missing the final round – and that was because of his clashing commitments in the Italian championship. Driving for the US Racing team partly owned by ex-Formula 1 star Ralf Schumacher, Dunne finished runner-up in the Italian rankings to complete an incredible season.
Hitech runs two more talents from the British scene: English youngster William Macintyre and Japanese Kanato Le. Each has competed this season in the Ginetta Junior series in the UK, which caters for drivers as young as 14. Macintyre stepped into GB4 (for the older-generation F4 car) last month and claimed two podiums, while Le, a protégé of ex-F1 racer Mark Blundell, is making his single-seater competition debut. Hitech’s line-up is completed by another intriguing contender: Jimmy Piszcyk is this year’s Australian Formula Ford champion and now steps into F4 for the first time.
Another British team, Carlin, fields two youngsters from Down Under who are both protégés of Rodin Cars. Louis Sharp started racing single-seaters in his native New Zealand when he was just 13, then moved to the UK for 2022. He had to miss the opening round of British F4 because it was before his 15th birthday, but went on to finish a superb fourth in the championship. Australian Costa Toparis is a karting star who has raced F4 machinery in his homeland this year, then finished 13th last month in his first overseas race: representing his nation in the F4 event at the FIA Motorsport Games at Paul Ricard.
Local team Xcel Motorsport fields three drivers, with Viktoria Blokhina returning after competing in UAE F4 earlier this year. She is joined by Emirates karters Sebastian Murray and Federico Rifai. Two more karters join the grid with Yas Heat Academy, a brand-new team established by the Yas Marina Circuit to help develop F4 in the region. Keanu Al Azhari and Matteo Quintarelli will be hoping to make a good impression as the team takes part in its first-ever race.
A 45-minute free practice session on Friday, November 18 is followed by 30-minutes of qualifying at 18:30. The 23-minute plus one lap race one begins at 12:20 on Saturday, while race two starts at 11:40 on Sunday, November 20 (all times UTC+4).
One of the oldest national organizations in the United Arab Emirates, the Emirates Motorsports Organization (previously the Automobile & Touring Club of the UAE), has played a leading role in the development of motorsport at both national and international levels since its inception in 1965.
Today, it governs approximately 140 competitive events forming the UAE motorsport calendar, and covering disciplines such as circuit racing, rallying, drag racing and motocross.
The EMSO is the country’s sole representative of the FIA, automobile sport's world governing body, and its motorcycling and karting equivalents, the FIM and CIK respectively. Its primary responsibilities are to promote the safe and sustainable growth of motorsport in the UAE, and to ensure all events are run fairly and to regulation.
The organization is also a member of FIVA, the international body for classic vehicles, and the IRU, the International Road Transport Union. The EMSO is accredited by the UAE National Olympic Committee.
About Top Speed
Established in 2008, Top Speed has played an intrinsic role in the rapid development of motorsport across Asia over the last fourteen years. Providing a wide spectrum of services – from race organization, technical and logistical support to event and sponsorship management – Top Speed has played an integral role in series such as the Formula Regional Asian Championship Certified by FIA, Ferrari Challenge Asia Pacific, Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia, Porsche Sports Cup China, Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup, Formula Masters China Series and Scirocco Cup. In addition, Top Speed enjoys a long-term, close cooperation with the GT World Challenge Asia.
Headquartered in Shanghai, Top Speed also has offices in Hong Kong, Dubai and Malaysia.