After a record-setting ten events and forty races with a total of 1,000 points up for grabs, the 2019 Formula 4 South East Asia Championship was decided in the last race of the season at the grand finals here in Malaysia by just 1 point.
Lucca Allen, the sizzling Irishman, had a strong start to the season, being the more experienced driver, but Elias Seppanen of Finland quickly caught up. The Irishman finished ahead in the first two events, despite not being able to nab the top spot in either event championship.
Thailand saw Lucca and Elias score their first event wins despite both drivers receiving penalties, along with several others.
Lucca’s strong start had kept him ahead, but by the mid-point it was neck-and-neck between the two drivers and the battle for the championship was in full frenzy with a fierce rivalry developing between the duo. It was Ireland vs Finland and all eyes were on the battle as Lucca struggled on the Madras Motor Race Track, getting penalized for a jump start, while his car suffered in the heat. Elias however thrived on the tight winding circuit and Shihab Al Habsi shone brightly for Oman.
Back to Malaysia and several drivers rejoined the championship, notably Frenchman Hadrian David, who would go on to be the FFSA (French F4) champion after claiming another event title.
But that didn’t faze Elias, who was right back to his winning streak in event 8, narrowly missing out on a perfect weekend. As luck would have it, things were to change again in the next event with Lucca coming back to form to respond with three wins of his own.
Going into the finals the drivers were well-matched, and it could have gone either way, especially with next season’s talent joining to test the waters. Ultimately the championship would be decided in the final race. Elias needed to score 19 points more than Lucca to secure the win. The Finn pulled out all the stops, taking first, pole and fastest lap, but Lucca did just enough to secure his position and beat out the competition by just 1 point.
An incredibly close championship which serves to highlight the fantastic racing out here in Asia and hopefully proves to be the start of some phenomenal careers for all the young drivers involved.
Follow this link to the full standings.