Sentul F4: Gowda takes two podium finishes, Nalwalla gets double top five

Akash Gowda claimed further two podium finishes in the third round of Formula 4 SEA at Sentul, with Mohammed Nalwalla ending inside the top five in the two races.

After having won the second race on Saturday, Gowda once again found himself in the battle for victory in Race 5 of the weekend with Faine Kahia and Presley Martono.

As the race progressed, Kahia built a comfortable gap over Martono and had enough to take the win from the Indonesian, with Gowda completing the podium.

“I am quite pleased with this result especially as I started from P8 on the grid and managed to finish on the podium," Gowda said.

"I had a great start and was able to capitalise on my pace to put in some good laps in the first five laps. But then I started to struggle in the latter stages and decided to ease off on the pace.

"By then, the three of us [Kahia and Martono] had a good lead over the rest that we could afford to ease off and just focus on bringing it home," he added.

Meanwhile, Nalwalla had a battle on his hands with Keanon Santoso behind and Chia Wing Hoong heading the pack.

In the end, Wing Hoong managed to keep fourth from Nalwalla and Santoso - the trio separated by a mere 0.847s over the line.

Gowda closes Round 3 with podium

In the final race of the weekend, Gowda was again involved in a three-way tussle for the win, with Kahia and Martono chasing the Indian in the wet conditions in Indonesia.

By Lap 2, Kahia was all over Gowda and made a move stick to take the race lead as the Indian then had Martono in the battle for second.

A brief safety car period allowed Martono to clear Gowda upon re-start as Kahia took his second consecutive win on Sunday from Martono and Gowda.

"Starting from second, I was a bit nervous as I do not really have the pace in the wet, but I just stayed focus and had a really good start," Gowda said after the final race.

"I also knew that both Faine and Presley were faster than me and I did lose out to Faine. Then we had the safety car period, which was actually a disadvantage to me as I also knew Presley was quick and he managed to take the position into Turn 1.

"Overall though, I am really happy and know the areas that I need to work on to continue to make improvements. I am now looking forward to the race in Sepang next month.”

Wheres, Nalwalla battled with a returning Daniel Frost, who was sidelined from Race 5 due to ailment, but was up to speed to take fourth from the Indian.

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About this article
Series Formula 4 SEA
Event Sentul
Track Sentul International Circuit
Drivers Akash Gowda , Mohammed Nalwalla
Article type Race report