The Formula 4 SEA – Fueled by Petron championship went to the Madras Motor Race Track in India for the first time, where Alessandro Ghiretti of France overcame his relative misfortune in the preceding rounds at Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit to finally claim a race win in the Event 3 race meeting in India.

Pulling everything together for a fine getaway off the start line, Ghiretti held his advantage to the end of the race for a total of 71 points by the end of the Event 3 race meeting. Hot in pursuit of Ghiretti was Kane Shepherd of Thailand, and his hitherto string of three second-place finishes thanks to his consistency saw him net 54 points and second place in the points standings, just behind Ghiretti’s tally.

Third in the points standings after the weekend’s racing was Malaysia’s own Muizz Musyaffa, with a tally of 50 points behind Shepherd and Ghiretti.

The first race of the Madras meeting last weekend kicked off with Ghiretti taking pole position, followed by Shepherd in second and Muizz in P3 on the grid. The battle at the sharp end was between Ghiretti and Shepherd, while Luke Thompson or Ireland got the better start from P4 on the grid to pass Muizz into Turn 1.

Muizz heaped the pressure on Thompson for several laps, though the chase got the better of Muizz himself which resulted in the Malaysian getting pitched into a spin. Muizz made a recovery to rejoin in sixth, where the leading pack comprised of Ghiretti, Shepherd and Thompson in that order.

The incident brought out the safety car which bunched the pack right up again, though Ghiretti still managed to pull away cleanly from Shepherd at the restart. Aidan Wright of Australia sneaked past Thompson into Turn 1 coming off the restart, with an opportunistic move by Antoine Potty of Belgium getting past Thompson as well, the Irishman dropping back to sixth eventually following a protracted battle with Muizz.

Race 2 of the weekend saw Ryo Komikado of Japan and Alister Yoong of Malaysia line up in P1 and P2 respectively on the reverse grid, followed by Irishman Thompson in third. Yoong made short work of spearing ahead into the lead, Thompson was hot on the Malaysian’s heels and the Irishman in turn was chased by Muizz.

It was quite the crowd at the start of the race, with Australian Aidan Wright making a move around the outside, forcing Muizz unto the grass as Race 1 winner Ghiretti overtook Shepherd. Yoong fielded Thompson’s challenge as Ghiretti and Shepherd fought their way through the pack, and with Yoong keeping his cool, the leading duo of Race 1 soon caught up, and were now turning the heat on Thompson.

Ghiretti took the opportunity for a pass on the inside of Thompson at Turn 6, from which the duo battled briefly before Thompson came off second best in that melee and went on a grassy excursion. The Irishman’s #42 car went airborne, though it was gathered up and he wound up behind Shepherd. No podium for Thompson, as the top three for Race 2 would eventually be Ghiretti, Shepherd and Muizz.

Race 3 would turn out to start well for Malaysian #23 entrant Muizz, emerging second from a P4 start on the grid. his right-hand-side starting position set him up nicely for the inside line, as the front pack went three-wide into Turn 1. The two-pronged attack of Ghiretti and Shepherd got the better of Komikado despite the Japanese driver’s best efforts, while Muizz was trying get past compatriot Alister Yoong.

Yoong eventually ran wide in Turn 12 and handed the lead to Muizz, who had Ghiretti in tow along the main straight. The Frenchman aimed for the lead into the inside of Turn 1, but it was not to be as he ran out of space and into the grass, handing second place back to Yoong. Ghiretti gathered himself with minimal drama, though that was enough for Shepherd to dance into third and subsequently aim for Yoong’s third place.

The tail end of the pack also saw intense battle, which concluded with a beached car and yellow flags. The safety car was deployed in front of third-placed Ghiretti, though the Frenchman gave chase right after the final restart, right until the end where he rounded up the podium, behind eventual race winner Muizz and second-place finisher Shepherd.