Team Sweden’s Pedro Fortuna made a superb start to the first F4-S race of the season and managed to pass Team Abu Dhabi’s Mohammed Al-Meharbi and take the lead.
The duo held station through four laps, as Max Stilz maintained third and Tom Chiappe climbed from the rear of the field to fourth and passed the German before the halfway point to shadow Fortuna and Al-Mehairbi.
Team Sweden’s Fontuna held his position to claim a stunning win and Al-Mehairbi started his campaign with second overall, while Chiappe rounded off the podium places.
10 boats lined up at the start of the season for the first of the two 20-minute races in Portugal.
Al-Mehairbi made an immediate impact in the timed trials and posted the target lap of 54.15 seconds in the first few minutes, before improving still further with a 54.07sec tour.
That was sufficient to give the Emirati pole position.
F4 Trophy newcomers Quentin Dailly and Max Stilz qualified in second and third positions.
British F4 racer Sam Whittle slotted into fourth place on his F4 Trophy debut, although neither Tom Chiappe nor Rudolf Mihaldinecz took part.
Whittle failed to start the race after a water pick-up issue in the gearbox.
F4 Trophy – positions after race 1:
1. Pedro Fortuna (PRT) Team Sweden 20pts
2. Mohammed Al-Mehairbi (UAE) Team Abu Dhabi 15pts
3. Tom Chiappe (FRA) Emirates Racing Team 12pts
4. Max Stilz (DEU) Blaze Performance 9pts
5. Wu Bingchen (CHN) CTIC F1 China Team 7pts
6. Quentin Dailly (FRA) Maverick Racing 5pts
7. Ahmed Al-Fahim (UAE) Victory Team 4pts
8. Ian Gonsalves (GUY) Maverick Racing 3pts
Sam Whittle (GBR) F1 Atlantic Team 0pt
Rudolf Mihaldinecz (HUN) Mad-Croc Baba Racing Team 0pt