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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Pourchaire clinches title regardless of Vesti fightback, Doohan wins

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Invicta Virtuosi driver Doohan put in an assured efficiency to take the ultimate win of the season as F2 waved farewell to the present specification chassis.

However the Alpine Components 1 reserve’s uneventful run to a 3rd characteristic win of the 12 months was shaded by an exciting battle for championship honours between Pourchaire (ART) and Prema rival Frederik Vesti.

After a charging victory in Saturday’s dash race, Vesti fell painfully wanting making again the 16-point deficit with which he had been confronted, crossing the road in third after beginning ninth.

Pourchaire, who had began 14th, completed fifth with a stout three-lap defence when battling Vesti a interval that may be pinpointed because the second he secured his title.

The opening lap was a comparatively calm affair in F2 phrases, with the one incident of word being Ayumu Iwasa making use of the runoff on the Flip 6-7 chicane and gaining fourth from Zane Maloney. One lap later, he handed the place again on the identical place however instantly retook the place, that means the incident was famous by race management, though no additional motion was taken.

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Prema put Vesti on the alternate technique, working the medium tyres within the opening stint and going lengthy whereas these forward fitted softs. Conversely, Pourchaire began on the red-walled softer possibility.

On the finish of lap six of 33, Pourchaire pitted for mediums, eradicating the chance of a poorly timed security automotive interruption ruining his cost.

Neither championship protagonist had made important progress within the early laps with Vesti discovering himself caught behind Isack Hadjar (Hitech). However as soon as the Frenchman pitted on the finish of lap eight, he might get the hammer down, along with his engineers urging him on and demanding the following 10 laps to be “like one huge quali lap”.

Race chief Doohan pitted for mediums on the finish of lap 9, returning to the monitor in twelfth spot.

Picture by: Components Motorsport Ltd

Jack Doohan, Invicta Virtuosi Racing

Because the drivers on more energizing rubber led by Doohan started to shut on these but to cease, Vesti’s Prema team-mate Oliver Bearman was compelled to retire as his engine went right into a self-preservation mode.

Though he was in a position to get well to the pitlane, his automotive got here to a halt on the pit entrance, inflicting it to be quickly closed. However completely happy that the automotive was far sufficient out of the best way, the restoration motion was halted and the lane reopened.

On the finish of lap 22, Vesti filed into the pits and fitted tender tyres, prepared for his last push for glory and rejoined instantly behind Pourchaire.

Arthur Leclerc was the ultimate driver to pit on lap 24, handing the lead again to Doohan.

On lap 25, Vesti and Pourchaire went wheel-to-wheel, with the previous discovering a well beyond into Flip 6 earlier than dropping behind as soon as once more as Pourchaire made use of his DRS benefit. Kush Maini additionally discovered himself in the course of the battle, ceding to the warring rivals after twice working huge.

Minus Maini, the state of affairs repeated itself on the next lap as Vesti once more made the transfer earlier than being repassed by Pourchaire on the following straight. Shedding valuable time, Vesti was reminded he had “nothing to lose”.

Nonetheless Vesti made the transfer stick on the third try on lap 27, remaining behind Pourchaire alongside the primary straight and utilising the DRS on the run to Flip 9.

With Pourchaire in sixth, Vesti now wanted to make up 13 seconds in six laps, to climb to the second spot held by Victor Martins (additionally on the alternate technique) to take championship glory for himself.

However then got here an additional twist, with Pourchaire famous for leaving the monitor and gaining a bonus within the earlier battle with Maini.

Moments after Vesti took fourth from Maloney, his cost was interrupted because the digital security automotive was deployed to cowl the restoration of Joshua Mason’s PHM automotive, which had stopped on the straight reverse the help pit constructing.

Understanding he had fallen quick, Vesti went all in when battling Maloney on the ultimate lap, with contact on the exit of Flip 9 sending the Crimson Bull liveried automotive spinning as Vesti went on to take the ultimate podium place.

Maloney’s spin boosted Pourchaire one other place to complete fifth and clinch the crown regardless of having just one win to his title all season.

With Martins second behind Doohan, who secured third within the drivers’ standings, ART was additionally confirmed because the groups’ champion.

F2 Abu Dhabi characteristic race outcomes 

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