Scoring two race wins, four podiums, and over a dozen top 10 finishes, the collaboration between Pinnacle Motorsport and Van Amersfoort Racing proved to be quite a success when the two teams joined forces in the Middle East this 2023.
The team ran under the name Pinnacle VAR with four entries in the Formula Regional Middle East Championship (FRMEC) Certified by FIA and three in the Formula 4 UAE Championship.
Formula Regional Middle East Championship
Pepe Marti returned to the Motorsport Ireland-licensed team for another season in Formula Regional. While he missed one full race weekend, the Spaniard demonstrated why he was last year’s Formula Regional Asia vice champion by scoring two race wins for Pinnacle VAR. His first win came at the Dubai Autodrome for the penultimate event of 2023 and again at Yas Marina Circuit for the season finale, scoring enough points to finish 7th overall in the championship.
Mexican driver Rafael Villagomez also shone in FRMEC with a number of points finishes and 2nd place at Kuwait Motor Town. Tasanapol Inthraphuvasak secured another podium for the team. A newcomer to Formula Regional, the Thai driver kicked-off the season on a high by taking 3rd during the season opener. Niels Koolen from the Netherlands likewise made his Formula Regional debut where he delivered strong, consistent results in all the five events that stretched from the 13th of January to the 19th of February.
Making a one-off appearance was Ayato Iwasaki. The Japanese driver raced with Pinnacle Motorsport for a full season in 2022 and entered a single race weekend this year in Kuwait with decent results.
Between its five drivers, Pinnacle VAR summed up a productive season in FRMEC 4th overall in the Team’s Championship.
Formula 4 UAE Championship
With a grid size averaging 40 cars per race, competition in the 2023 F4 UAE Championship was tight across the field. Brando Badoer, son of former Ferrari and Minardi F1 driver Luca Badoer, lead Pinnacle VAR’s assault and went on to score one podium finish for the team finishing 3rd at Dubai Autodrome. Though he was not present for rounds two and three, he collected enough points to end the season 6th overall in the Driver’s Championship.
Hiyu Yamakoshi filled in for Badoer for the two events and impressed on his competitive single seater debut. A stunning performance from the young Japanese at Kuwait Motor Town successfully earned him two top 10 finishes.
It was a learning year for Jack Beeton and Kai Daryanani who were both in their first full season in single seaters. Beeton, a Ferrari Driver Academy finalist from Australia secured a best finish of 7th (3rd Rookie). Daryanani from India, on the other hand, showed constant improvements ending up with season’s best result of 17th place (10th Rookie).
The combined efforts of Badoer, Yamakoshi, Beeton, and Daryanani placed Pinnacle VAR in 6th in the Teams’ Championship.
John O’Hara, Pinnacle Motorsport Team Director: “Great effort from the entire team not just our drivers, but also our engineers, mechanics and crew. It was quite a challenge running seven cars in two championships with five events each over a short span of just six weeks, but we were very competitive in both Formula Regional Middle East and F4 UAE. We couldn’t have done it without Van Amersfoort Racing who shared their knowledge, expertise, and resources with us.”
Accompanying Pinnacle Motorsport on their Formula Regional Middle East Championship Certified by FIA campaign are partners Motorsport Ireland.
Organized by Top Speed, Formula Regional Middle East Championship Certified by FIA is a brand-new series that held its inaugural season in 2023. It was created following the success of the Formula Regional Asian Championship. The Middle East is a burgeoning centre for junior single seater motorsport, and a dedicated championship gives drivers in the region a path to progress from karting, to F4 UAE, and Formula Regional Middle East.
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