Pepe Martí put in a great performance in the first round of the Formula Regional Asian Championship and came close to the podium in the last race of the weekend.
The driver from Barcelona also achieved the fastest lap of the race and the highest number of overtakes of the weekend in his category, rubbing shoulders with more experienced drivers.
"I am very happy because we had pace in all the races and we finished at the front, which is the important thing. I hope we will be able to continue in the same line in Dubai, although the goal now is to learn and gain experience.
The Yas Marina circuit hosted the first round of the Formula Regional Asian Championship, a category where Pepe Martí made a champion's debut. He showed competitiveness, concentration and determination in his start of the season.
The 16 year old driver put the finishing touch to the first round of the season in the Arab Emirates with a fourth position, being on the doorstep of the podium in his first contact with the Regional car with the Pinnacle Motorsports team.
The last race of the weekend started at 11.40am on Sunday with an accident at the start of the race, which forced the red flag and stopped the race for more than half an hour. At the restart, the starting grid was used, where Martí started from seventh place, after finishing ninth in Q2 on Saturday and benefiting from penalties for two rivals.
The session started again with the safety car, but when it ended its intervention, Pepe kept his position while studying his rivals and the state of the tyres in order to attack at the right moment. A few laps later, he started to overtake drivers, some of them very experienced, to position himself at the front. He crossed the finish line in fourth position, a few tenths of a second off the podium and took the fastest lap of the race with a time of 1:52.615, the youngest driver on the grid.
The Barcelona-born driver had already shown great skill in the first two races of the weekend despite the setbacks, and was the driver with the most overtakes in the category. However, in the first race he suffered an incident when he was pushed off the track by another driver who wanted to overtake him. In the second race, he started 25th and, despite this, he made a great start and moved up a few positions in the first lap. Gradually, he made his way up to tenth place, when he found himself in parallel with two drivers and overtook them at the same time after a masterful move on the inside. One of them went off the track and came back so aggressively that he took the Pinnacle Motorsports driver in front of him, ending his chances. The Spanish driver had a total of 20 overtakes between the three races, making him the highest placed driver of the weekend.
"I'm very happy because we had pace in all the races and we finished the weekend at the front, which is the important thing. I hope we will be able to continue in the same line in Dubai, although we are clear that the objective now is to learn and accumulate running time. The key was the qualifying, which is very important in this discipline. If we had achieved a better position, we would have had enough pace to be in the leading positions. In the last race, when I was fourth, I knew that the best thing to do was to use my head, not to take any risks and to keep the position so that we could score these 12 points, which are very important for us. Looking ahead to next weekend we will try to get a better grid position knowing that we are competitive and go for more. We are going little by little to adapt and work in the best way".