Round 3 – Japan, (Suzuka)
The third round of the V1 Malta Series Main Championship saw Ryan Carabott come back as a reserve driver after taking a whole season off. Carabott took pole position and dominated both the Sprint Race and the Main Race of the Japanese Gran Prix. His performance in this round proved that he is still a force to be reckoned with on the track.
The Sprint Race got off to an electrifying start as Kevin Lucchese (Aston Martin) made an impressive move to overtake Carabott before the first turn. Lucchese held onto the lead for the duration of the race, but a 3-second penalty for a corner cut infringement saw him drop down to 5th. This ultimately secure the win for Carabott as he kept pressing Lucchese for the whole race.
In the Main Race, Ryan Carabott was determined to hold onto his pole position, and he managed to do just that, leading the pack from start to finish. Despite being given a 3-second time penalty for exceeding track limits, Carabott managed to stay ahead of the pack and cross the finish line in first place. Brandon Bonello (Williams) trailed closely behind, but an internet disconnection caused him to lose valuable time and he was unable to catch up to Carabott. Christian Sammut (Alpha Tauri) secured third place, marking his second career podium finish after starting from 7th.
The race was not without its share of drama. A safety car caused by an incident on the track disrupted the strategy of many of the drivers, causing most of them to pit for medium tyres. This led to a nail-biting finish as the drivers had to contend with around 70% tyre wear and the possibility of punctures. Unfortunately, Karl Magro Gazzano (Alpha Tauri) and Jamie Zahra (Mercedes) both suffered punctures on the last lap, costing them valuable points after an exceptional race. Adrian Manduca (Ferrari) and Matthias Farrugia (Alfa Romeo) managed to turn the tables on their opponents by choosing to stay out and pit a few laps after the safety car period ended. Although they fell behind initially, they made a stunning comeback to finish in 4th and 5th place respectively.
Kevin Lucchese (Aston Martin), who ended up in last place on the first lap, was awarded the Driver of the Day Award for his impressive comeback to sixth place while Mark Grech (Alpine) received the Fastest Lap Award.
Stay in touch with us next Monday at 9pm on the Velocity Esports Racing Facebook or YouTube page for the next round of the V1 Malta Series Main Championship.