Cao wins four races in FIA Formula 4 SEA Championship
China’s Daniel Cao created history in the Philippines on Sunday, winning four of the six races in the FIA Formula 4 Southeast Asia (F4 SEA) Championship at the Clark International Speedway in the second event of the season to claim the Event Champion title and become the first driver to win the award twice in a season.
The win was a fitting follow up to Cao’s title conquest in Malaysia from Sept. 29 to Oct. 1 at the Sepang International Circuit, where he won three of the five race stages at Sepang International Circuit
“I came to this event on a high after winning three races in Malaysia,” said Cao. “The Clark track was a little challenging as it is a counter clockwise but I knew if I kept my head down, didn’t worry about the others and just ran my own race, I would get good results. To be honest, I’m a little surprised to have won four races. I was thinking two or three would have been good enough to win the Event Champion title.”
The Chinese driver, however, can count himself lucky as local lad Ben Grimes nearly stole the limelight, but crashed out while in front in the second race of the event fueled by Petron Corp.
If he had not done so, the 19-year-old Filipino could have stolen the title from Cao.
“I made a mistake in the second race where I crashed into the wall while leading. If I had won the race, I may have pipped Cao to the Event Championship title,” said Grimes. “But it was a good lesson. I must learn never to panic when under pressure.”
In the inaugural season last year, there were six different Event Champions – Daniel Frost of Singapore in Sepang; India’s Akash Gowda at Clark International Speedway, the Philippines; Indonesian Presley Martono at Sentul International Circuit in Indonesia; Aussie Jordan Love in Sepang; New Zealand’s Faine Kahia at Buriram United International Circuit in Thailand and Malaysian Isyraf, Danish Mohd Ghazali in Sepang.
Cao earned eight points after claiming four victories and two runner-up finishes.
For the event championship, points are awarded in order of a driver’s finishing position. This means first place gives you one point, second place two points, third is three points and so on. The objective is to get the lowest number of points.
Grimes was second after earning 17 points from two race victories, two runner-up spots, one third place, and one did not finish. In third and fourth positions were Kane Shepherd of Thailand, and Malaysian Adam Khalid. Shepherd collected 19 points while Adam had 28 points. Malaysia’s Timothy Yeo and Shivin Sirinarinthon of Thailand came fifth and sixth with 34 and 37 points respectively. Sam Grimes was seventh, also on 37 points but was ranked lower as his fastest lap on the last race was slower than Sirinarinthon. Luke Thompson was eighth on 40 points.