Mumbai Falcons starts the 2022 Formula Regional Asian Championship with a win and two podiums
The 2022 Formula Regional Asian Championship was underway this weekend at the Yas Marina Circuit and it held three races to kick off the season. Mumbai Falcons is taking part in the championship as the Mumbai Falcons India Racing team and they have started with a victory in the first race in the hands of Sebastian Montoya and two P3 finishes by Arthur Leclerc. The third driver was Dino Beganovic, who claimed P5 on the first race. The races were extremely tough with multiple overtakes, daredevil manoeuvres and quite a few broken cars. But thankfully, the drivers were safe. With that said, let us look at how the weekend unfolded for the Mumbai Falcon drivers.
The qualifying round was a testament to the fact that the Mumbai Falcons team hit the ground running. Sebastian Montoya took pole in the session and ensured that he would get the best entry into Turn 1 during the first race. Moreover, his teammates were not far behind as well with Arthur and Dino making it into the top 6.
The trio had a great start when the lights went green. Montoya showed great composure and racecraft as he led the race from the start to the finish. There were multiple safety car periods as other drivers tried to find the limits of these new Gen2 cars and ended with a DNF. This bunched up the remaining grid which meant even more racing.
Arthur was making moves on the drivers ahead of him and with 12 minutes remaining, he was in P2. However, the fight was far from over. Towards the end of the race, Gabriele Minì mounted a lot of pressure on the young Monegasque and in the end, Mini took the position from Arthur. With a P3 finish, Arthur brought home two podium fishes for the Mumbai Falcons team. Teammate Dino had a consistent drive by holding on to the P5 position from the start till the end of the race.
In Race 2, the Mumbai Falcons drivers had to start from between the pack due to the reverse grid rule. This did make the race a lot harder for the drivers as they had to be aggressive and careful at the same time.
Dino Beganovic was in the top 10 right from the first lap. But four laps in, he had contact with Gabriele Minì while trying to make a move round the outside and took both of them out of the race.
Montoya had an incident free start off the line from P10 and he was able to make his way to P7. However, with a few minutes left in the race, Montoya pulled off one of the best overtaking moves of the race by overtaking two cars in the same turn on the outside! He finished the race in P4.
Arthur was one of the fastest drivers during the race and it looked like nothing could stop him. He overtook the cars ahead without much hindrance and with multiple safety car periods, he was able to maintain tyre life.In the end, both Arthur and Montoya were given a place when Isack Hadjar, running in P3, dropped out of the race with an engine problem. This also made it Mumbai Falcon's consecutive podium finishes in two races.
The race had to be red flagged at the start after Amna Al Qubaisi crashed with Salih Yoluç on the start/finish straight. After the restart with the original grid positions, it was Arthur Leclerc who was setting one fastest lap after the other. Both drivers are safe.
The drivers had only two tyres for the three races in the weekend as per regulation, which meant that the tyres had run through a significant loss of tyre life. But Arthur dug deep and closed in on Gabriel Bortoleto. Towards the final few laps, Arthur was able to get past the Brazilian driver and finish the race in P5.
Montoya was having a safe race until Hadrien David pushed his way past the Mumbai Falcon driver ten laps into the race. They banged wheels while trying to block each other on the track. David and Montoya have to report to the stewards after the race.
In the end, Arthur Leclerc finished the highest at P5 for Mumbai Falcons with Sebastian Montoya in P10 and teammate Dino Beganovic finishing right behind in P11.
This concluded the final race at the Yas Marina Circuit. The next three races will be held at the Dubai Autodrome from January 29-30. After three races, Arthur Leclerc stands P2 in the drivers’ championship with 40 points, just three points behind Gabriele Minì. Sebastian Montoya sits in P3 with 38 points and Dino Beganovic in P10 with ten points. For more news and updates from the world of motorsports, stay tuned to evo India!