F4 SEA promoter apologises for fuel miscalculation after bizarre Race 3 finish
The second season of the FIA Formula 4 South East Asia started under bizarre circumstances after Race 3 of the opening weekend saw a unique result in motor racing history.
Running as a support event to the Malaysian Grand Prix, the first race was postponed on Friday due to the loose drain cover - which halted the Formula 1's FP2 session. The organisers were forced to alter the schedule.
The first race ended without any troubles on Saturday morning, with China's Daniel Cao winning from Singapore's Danial Frost and Sri Lanka's Eshan Pieris. The second race also had a smooth run with Cao taking his second win from Frost, as India's Nayan Chatterjee rounded off the podium.
But the third race which immediately followed Race 2, saw none of the cars able to cross the finish line - due to a fuel miscalculation on the part of the organisers.
Nine cars started the 8-lap race, but bizarrely one by one, the cars started to stop on the road with no fuel on board. The first car to stop was on Lap 4, before four more did on the next lap.
Three more joined in on Lap 7 under the safety car, with Thailand's Kane Sheperd, the only one to start the final lap. However, the Thai driver also fell victim and stopped himself, leaving the safety car to complete the lap, all alone.
The organisers decided to calculate the race result after the end of Lap 5, which meant Frost won the race from Cao and Chatterjee.
Asian Autosport Action chairman Peter Thompson apologised duly for the mistake on their part: “I apologise unreservedly for the results of Race 3.
"With Races 2 and 3 back-to-back and without the possibility to top up, we filled the cars for both races before the start of Race 2.
"However we miscalculated the requirements. As we are a one-team championship all the drivers were unfortunately affected.”
Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz was one of the F1 drivers who was watching the race and shared his view on Twitter:
Meanwhile, one of the competitors in the race, Chatterjee, had a funny take of it himself:
Two more races will take place on Sunday, as Cao leads the drivers' standings from Frost and Chatterjee. The championship follows a different point scoring format, with the lowest score awarded to the race winner, followed by two points to the second placed driver and so on.
The driver with the lowest point scored in the weekend will be declared the 'event champion', who will then be awarded points according to the F1-style format - with the first place getting 25 points and so on.