Jack Beeton and AGI Sport crowned 2023 F4 South East Asia Champions

Dec 03,2023
  • Australian youngster claims title with two races to spare in Sepang
  • PREMA Racing Frenchwoman Doriane Pin wins Rookie Cup title
  • Malaysia finale concludes sensational 2023 championship season

Sepang, Malaysia (December 3, 2023) – The 2023 Formula 4 South East Asia Championship (F4 SEA) season came to a thrilling conclusion at Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit with the glory shared evenly across the three races of the final round, and in the title battle. Jack Beeton was crowned a deserving champion, while honours in the three final races went to Rashid Al Dhaheri, Nicolas Stati and Doriane Pin.

AGI Sport star Beeton’s fighting second place in the opening race on Saturday was enough for the 16-year-old Australian to seal the crown, while the chequered flag was taken by Rashid Al Dhaheri, PREMA Racing’s 15-year-old from Abu Dhabi scoring his maiden race victory in car racing to cap an impressive debut season out of karting. The AGI Sport joy continued into Sunday, when another of the team’s Australian youngsters, Nicolas Stati, claimed his first F4 success at the end of a dramatic second race that was full of incidents. In the third race, 19-year-old Frenchwoman Doriane Pin made history with her own breakthrough F4 win in a dominant triumph at the wheel of her PREMA Racing car.

Other drivers to finish on the podium across the event were Indian Kai Daryanani (PINNACLE Motorsport) and Australian Peter Bouzinelos (AGI Sport), second and third respectively in the final race. But it was Beeton who eventually triumphed in the championship by a commanding 48 points over Pin, who claimed the Rookie title, while Frenchman Hadrien David (R-ace GP), absent from this weekend, was third overall in the standings thanks to his triple win in the preceding round.

2023 F4 South East Asia Champion Jack Beeton, AGI Sport
“I’m sure happy to be champion of South East Asia F4 Championship! It’s been a long few rounds. We started in China, Zhuzhou, two wins from three races. Macau was amazing – P4 and P5. Then the first round at Sepang last weekend; one podium then another two this weekend. So yes, super happy to be champion. Congratulations to everyone, to everyone who raced in this championship. Huge thanks to the team – Team champions as well. I’m super proud to be part of this amazing squad.”

Race 1
An entertaining qualifying session ended with Kean Nakamura-Berta snatching pole position at the last moment by a convincing margin of 0.655 seconds. But just as he did last weekend at Sepang in race two, he failed to get away at the start of the race and got swamped by the field. Instead it was Rashid Al Dhaheri, on the front row for the first time in his car-racing career, who managed the wheelspin to lead the field into Turn 1.
Doriane Pin took second place at the start, while Jack Beeton won a squabble with Kai Daryanani over the opening turns to move into third. Soon Al Dhaheri began to look comfortable at the front, and Beeton closed in on Pin. The championship leader began to pressure her, finally grabbing second place into Turn 4 on the third lap.
On the sixth lap, the safety car was called to retrieve the car of Liu Kaishun, who had spun out of sixth place at Turn 11. The race went green again with time for four more laps of racing, and Al Dhaheri managed the restart perfectly. The Abu Dhabi youngster went on to take victory by a convincing 3.697 seconds, but part of the reason for this margin was because Beeton had to put up a stern defence of second place. With his tyres fading from his early exertions, Beeton had Pin swarming all over him, and had to defend strongly over the final lap. To his delight, his second place meant he had clinched the F4 SEA title.
Nakamura-Berta rocketed through the field after his poor start, but after the safety car he faced a resolute defence of fourth place from Daryanani. Finally Nakamura-Berta made it through on the penultimate lap around the outside of Turn 4, and on the final tour he set a scorching fastest lap of the race to finish right on the tails of Beeton and Pin.
Behind Daryanani, it was Asia Racing Team’s Chinese Taipei talent Enzo Yeh who finished sixth to complete the Rookie podium behind class winner Pin and Nakamura-Berta. Next up were Nicolas Stati and Chinese pair Kevin Xiao Kunpeng (Asia Racing Team) and Fu Yuhao (PINNACLE), while rounding out the top 10 was Australian Peter Bouzinelos (AGI) who, like Nakamura-Berta, found himself stranded on the grid and had to mount a fine recovery. Lincoln Taylor had been running just ahead of Stati in seventh place when he unfortunately ran wide at Turn 6 on the penultimate lap and dropped down the field.

Race 2
With the top 10 finishers from race one reversed to form the grid, Peter Bouzinelos was on pole position with Fu Yuhao alongside. But it was Kevin Xiao Kunpeng who got a demon start from third in the line-up to take the lead at Turn 1 from Bouzinelos. Xiao stayed in front until the second lap, when Bouzinelos pulled off a fine move around the outside of Turn 4 to wrest the advantage back, while Enzo Yeh, Kai Daryanani and Kean Nakamura-Berta made up a five-car swarm at the front.
An incident into Turn 8 involving Nakamura-Berta, Al Dhaheri, Daryanini, and Yeh resulted in the retirement of the first two, a visit to the pits for the second, and a safety car intervention.
At the restart, Xiao saw his opportunity to claim back the lead and swept around the outside of Bouzinelos at Turn 1. This gave him the inside for Turn 2, but contact was made. Bouzinelos was sent to the pits with a puncture, while Xiao’s damaged car came to a halt on the straight into Turn 4, meaning another emergence for the safety car. Xiao was given a three-place grid penalty for the following race for causing the incident.
All this drama meant Nicolas Stati was now leading from Doriane Pin and Jack Beeton, and at the second restart they went three-abreast into Turn 1. It was breathtaking action and Stati just held on for two more laps before the safety car was called out yet again, this time taking the field to the chequered flag. The trigger on this occasion was the crashed car of Zhang Yu at Turn 4.
Stati therefore took victory ahead of Pin and Beeton. Australian Lincoln Taylor continued his impressive debut weekend of F4 SEA by passing his BlackArts team-mate, Filipino Iñigo Anton, at Turn 2 on the final lap of racing to take fourth. That meant Taylor completed the Rookie podium behind Stati and Pin.
Fu was sixth ahead of the recovering Yeh, R&B Racing’s Chinese racer Wang Zhongwei, Bouzinelos and Liu Kaishun (PINNACLE). But a 10-second penalty issued to Yeh for a collision with Daryanani dropped him to 13th, and elevated battling Japanese ‘DRAGON’ (B-MAX Racing Team) into the final points-scoring position. Furthermore, Bouzinelos was penalised down to ninth, behind Liu, for passing the Hong Kong driver behind the safety car.

Race 3
Kean Nakamura-Berta had assured himself of a second pole position of the weekend in qualifying on Saturday morning for the weekend’s final race, with Rashid Al Dhaheri joining him on the front row. But shortly before the start there was a shower of the rain and, although the circuit was almost dry, the race began under the safety car.
There was drama straight away. Nakamura-Berta ran wide at Turn 8, allowing PREMA team-mates Al Dhaheri and Doriane Pin ahead of him. Then Pin swept around the outside of Al Dhaheri for the lead at Turn 14, just as the safety car signals were illuminated because Fu Yuhao had rolled at Turn 10.
While the field drove around behind the safety car, Pin let Al Dhaheri through into the lead to correct her move into the lead. But it became apparent that both Al Dhaheri and Nakamura-Berta were desperately seeking out wetter patches of track, and when the race restarted this pair plummeted down the order and eventually headed to the pits. They had started the race on wet-weather, grooved Giti tires, and as the track dried this proved to have been the wrong decision.
Pin had got a good run on Al Dhaheri out of the long Turn 3 to take the lead, with Kai Daryanani immediately following her through into second place. But the Indian had no answer to the flying Frenchwoman, who gradually eased away to take the chequered flag 5.300 seconds in front in a dominant performance.
Australians filled the next four positions. A close duel for third ended with Peter Bouzinelos prevailing over Lincoln Taylor, and this pair completed the Rookie podium behind Pin. Jack Beeton had started 13th owing to most of his quick laps in qualifying being deleted for track-limits infringements, but the F4 SEA champion recovered strongly to fifth, ahead of Nicolas Stati.
Liu Kaishun, Iñigo Anton, Enzo Yeh (another to pit early on, in his case behind the safety car) and ‘DRAGON’ completed the top 10, while Al Dhaheri set fastest lap following his pit stop for slick tyres on his way to 13th position.