In what has become the conclusion to a bizarre season, the Formula 4 South East Asian Championship has revealed the dates to the previously cancelled third round, even though the 2017-18 season finale took place two weeks ago, ensuring the points battle will continue for another weekend.
The new round will take place at the Sepang International Circuit in support of the Malaysian Championship Series, the local Touring Car event. It replaces the Indonesian round that was due to take place last November.
Due to logistical complications, the round that was due to take place on the 24-26 November 2017 was cancelled just four days before the cars were due to race, with the event rescheduled for Thailand’s Chang International Circuit on 8-10 December. This too was cancelled, leaving the possibility of the event uncertain.
This left the season reduced from five to four events, with the final at Sepang taking place on 3-4 February 2018. Former F4 British Championship racer Daniel Cao leads the way with 438 points. Though one further round allows Thai rival Kane Shepherd, on 319, back into the fight, with 159 points available over the weekend.
The organisers were clearly upset at the loss of the Indonesian round, set to take place at the Sentul International Circuit, especially as it was the home nation of last seasons champion; Presley Martono, who now races in Eurocup Formula Renult.
“Sentul is very important to us, as Indonesia is a strong driver market and we won our first championship there in 1996 with Narain Karthikeyan who went on to race in Formula 1.
“We had a great time there last year with home-grown hero Presley Martono winning the FIA Formula 4 SEA Event Champion Trophy and going on to win the first FIA Formula 4 SEA Driver Championship,” said Formula 4 SEA Promoter, Peter Thompson.
This is not the first controversy the championship has run into, with the Formula 1-supporting season opener seeing all cars fail to finish. Shepherd had been the last driver on track, but the results were counted back to when all cars were running and the win was awarded to Danial Nielsen Frost.