• Dragon HitechGP’s Ben Hingeley takes second; storming run by team mate and championship leader Raoul Hyman seals final podium place
• Yin Hai Tao takes second Masters win of weekend
Ningbo, China (September 2, 2018) – Absolute Racing and Jaden Conwright took their maiden victory in the new F3 Asian Championship Certified by FIA today, winning Race 6 at the Ningbo International Speedpark as the groundbreaking series made its Chinese debut. Second was Dragon HitechGP driver Ben Hingeley, making his series debut this weekend, while team mate Raoul Hyman extended his margin atop the championship leaderboard with a third-place finish.
Fourth overall was Absolute Racing driver Akash Nandy, with Super License ace Tomoki Takahashi of Japan rounding out the top five. Taking his second Masters victory of the weekend was ZEN Motorsport driver Yin Hai Tao of China.
With his win today, Conwright is now second in the championship standings on 85 points, 13 adrift of Hyman. Third is Dragon HitechGP’s Jake Hughes on 75 points. Hughes missed this weekend’s races due to GP3 commitments at Monza. Nandy is fourth in the points, with Macau’s Charles Leong of Dragon HitechGP rounding out the top five. With nine races of the inaugural season remaining, the championship remains very much wide open.
In the Masters classification, Yin leads Takashi Hata of Super License by 14 points, with Emc2 Racing’s Liu Ze Xuan third after his series debut this weekend.
Quick all weekend long, Conwright lined up for today’s 25-minute race from pole for the third consecutive time. Alongside the American was Nandy of Malaysia. Hingeley and Chinese driver Yu Kuai of ZEN Motorsport formed the second row, while Leong and Hyman lined up behind.
As the lights went out Conwright confidently held the lead, with Hingeley quickly getting past Nandy to move up into second. Yu remained in fourth while Takahashi, who had started from seventh on the grid, moved up two places to fifth by the end of the opening lap. Hyman, starting from sixth, dropped back a place at the start to seventh just behind Leong.
As Conwright continued to lead the field, behind him the chasing pack jostled for position. Hyman made quick work of getting past Yu, but was soon forced to contend with Takahashi. Hyman piled on the pressure to the Japanese driver, finally making his way up to fourth on Lap 5. From there, Hyman set his sights on Nandy and on the third and final podium position.
Conwright began to pull a gap to Hingeley and, while the Briton stayed close to the leader for the duration of the 15-lap race, the Absolute Racing driver had a faultless run to the chequered flag take a lights-to-flag victory by 1.532 seconds.
Hyman, in fourth, next turned his attentions to closing the gap to Nandy, and by the end of Lap 12, the gap had shrunk to just three-tenths of a second. While the Briton had hoped to get past the tenacious Malaysian as quickly as possible, Nandy defended well against a determined challenge. The Briton finally found a way past in the closing stages of the race but, despite putting in a series of blindingly quick laps, there was not enough time for Hyman to mount a challenge on Hingeley.
Behind the top four, Takahashi drove a steady race to round out the top five, with Leong finishing one place behind in sixth.
Next up for the Asian F3 Championship Certified by FIA are three races from September 21-23 at China’s Shanghai International Circuit, home to the Chinese F1 Grand Prix. As the series reaches the mid-point of its inaugural season, the championship battle will continue to intensify as the field of fledging talent seeks to prove their mettle on the challenging F1 circuit.
Jaden Conwright/USA/Absolute Racing – 1st Race 6
“It feels great. The first win is always the most difficult – there’s always so much going through your head. We had good pace all weekend, we had all three pole positions, it was great that we were just finally able take the pole position and turn it into a win.
“It felt a lot hotter out there, it was extremely physical especially being the third race of the weekend. It was physically draining but it was more satisfying when you came across the finish. We had a good start. The start was quite similar to Race 2 yesterday but we took what we learned from yesterday’s race where we came up just a bit short and we thought about the strategy and it worked out for this third race.”
Ben Hingeley/GBR/Dragon HitechGP – 2nd Race 6
“I struggled at the start of the race. I had a slight issue with the down changes and stuff so I think maybe there was an underlying problem from yesterday when we had to stop. Maybe something to look at, but Jaden just had a bit too much pace today.”
Raoul Hyman/GBR/Dragon HitechGP – Winner Race 6
“In terms of pace, I think it was really good today. I had not such a great start, I had to start sixth and actually went down to seventh on the first lap, that didn’t go to plan, but then I managed to just start picking away at the car in front. I managed to get past a few cars and then there was a big gap to Akash. I hunted him down with good pace, caught him and managed to get past. Glad to come away with a podium from a tough race.”
Results Race 6
|1||80||Jaden CONWRIGHT||USA||Absolute Racing||26:12.738|
|2||34||Ben HINGELEY||GBR||Dragon HitechGP||+1.532|
|3||27||Raoul HYMAN||GBR||Dragon HitechGP||+2.490|
|4||29||Akash NANDY||MAL||Absolute Racing||+8.555|
|5||7||Tomoki TAKAHASHI||JPN||Super License||+13.319|
|6||11||Charles LEONG||MAC||Dragon HitechGP||+18.051|
|7||5||YU Kuai||CHN||ZEN Motorsport||+19.030|
|8||4||Louis PRETTE||HKG||BlackArts Racing||+20.708|
|9||33||Akash GOWDA||IND||M-Sport Asia||+31.900|
|10||3||YIN Hai Tao (M)||CHN||ZEN Motorsport||+40.833|
|11||6||LIU Zexuan (M)||CHN||Emc2 Racing||+42.772|
|12||2||Takashi HATA (M)||JPN||Super License||+58.316|
F3 Asian Championship 2018 Drivers Classification after Race 6
|1||27||Raoul HYMAN||Dragon HitechGP||98|
|2||80||Jaden CONWRIGHT||Absolute Racing||85|
|3||34||Jake HUGHES||Dragon HitechGP||75|
|4||29||Akash NANDY||Absolute Racing||67|
|5||11||Charles LEONG||Dragon HitechGP||59|
|6||7||Tomoki TAKAHASHI||Super License||45|
|7||34||Ben HINGELEY||Dragon HitechGP||43|
|8||5||YU Kuai||ZEN Motorsport||34|
|9||0||Chase OWEN||Chase Owen Racing||24|
|10||4||Louis PRETTE||BlackArts Racing||24|
|11||33||Akash GOWDA||M-Sport Asia||14|
|12||8||Jeremy WAHOME||SVC Sport||14|
|13||55||Daniel CAO||Pinnacle Motorsport||7|
|14||32||Presley MARTONO||BlackArts Racing||6|
|15||6||LIU Ze Xuan||Emc2 Racing||5|
|16||3||YIN Hai Tao||ZEN Motorsport||5|
F3 Asian Championship 2018 Masters Classification after Race 6
|1||3||YIN Hai Tao||ZEN Motorsport||122|
|2||2||Takashi HATA||Super License||108|
|3||6||LIU Ze Xuan||Emc2 Racing||63|
|4||30||DRAGON||B-Max Racing Team||30|