The finale of the 2017-18 Formula 4 South East Asia Championship (F4 SEA) – fueled by Petron – was always going to be a show stopper as the drivers of the one-make FIA-certified championship gave it their all in the fifth event of the season, held at the Sepang International Circuit over the weekend (April 13-15).

The starting grid for Race 4 of the F4 SEA was determined by the second fastest time clocked in qualifying. Malaysia’s Muizz Musyaffa was on pole followed by Daniel Cao and Hibiki Taira. It was good start for Muizz, leaving Cao and Taira to battle through the first few corners. Cao lost pace and fell to fifth.

Later, Presley Martono made his way past Taira and Cao to occupy third. Frenchman Alessandro Ghiretti was as fast, and even made his way past Martono in a series of overtaking moves. Meanwhile, Armand Johany spun out and was not able to restart his car, giving the safety car some action.

Muizz continued to lead the field with Ghiretti and Indonesian Martono in tow. Ghiretti managed to pass Muizz to lead the race at one point, but the Malaysian kept forced Ghiretti to lock up going into Turn 1. The final lap was saw Muizz fight to regain the lead but the chequered flag waved Ghiretti, Muizz and Presley in first, second and third respectively.

In Race 5, the penultimate race of the finale, Hibiki Taira led the field into Turn 1. The Okinawan held his ground until Presley Martono snatched the lead away in Turn 15. Taira fell to seventh by the second lap, which saw plenty of position swapping. Nazim Azman inched his way to second, while Martono was pulling away from the five-way battle behind him involving Nazim, Ghiretti, Cao, Isyraf Danish and Muizz.

In the final stages, Ghiretti stole second from Nazim and Isyraf took fourth from Cao. The final order saw 2016 F4 SEA Champion Presley Martono taking the flag, with Ghiretti, Nazim, Isyraf, Muizz and Cao trailing.

In the final Race 6, Cao, Muizz and Isyraf started the race in front, with overcast skies and a possibility of rain. After an incident-free formation lap, Cao led the party until Turn 4, where Muizz went past him. The pole sitter was relegated to fourth, while Ghiretti and Isyraf were busy climbing up the ranks.

Muizz’s lead was around 3.5 seconds. with Martono and Isyraf in second and third. Ghiretti was down in eighth place. On lap three, Ghiretti and Cao made contact and both sustained front wing damage. Towards the end, Isyraf clawed his way past Martono to claim second. By the last lap, Martono was drafting the Malaysian down the main straight but Isyraf defended valiantly to hold his second. The final order was Muizz, Isyraf and Martono.

“I’m so very excited to be the winner here in Sepang. It’s been a great experience for me to be on podium amidst such formidable opponents,” exclaimed a joyful Muizz Musyaffa.

That was it for an action-packed 2017 season with no shortage of wheel-to-wheel battles among young racers. Next up for F4 SEA is the Meritus Awards Gala slated for June 2018. The event will honour the overall event champion and see the announcement of the 2018 F4 SEA Championship. How are these Renault-powered open-wheelers like to drive? Read our man’s experience here.

GALLERY: F4 SEA racer sampled at Sepang