- New F3 Asian championship approaches inaugural season mid-point
- Four winners in six races reflect intensity of competition
- Talented international line-up represents nine countries and territories
The new F3 Asian Championship Certified by FIA continues to raise the bar on junior single seater competition with the third round of its inaugural season set for China’s F1 facility, the Shanghai International Circuit. As the title chase approaches the half way point in the 15-race season, the fight for the championship title resumes with an international line-up of fledging talent hailing from the four corners of the world.
The four different winners across the six races so far this season illustrate both the depth of talent in the field as well as the intensity of the competition. While GP3 Series top 10 runner Jakes Hughes may have taken the opening three wins of the season, fellow Britons and Dragon HitechGP team mates Ben Hingeley and Raoul Hyman have also tasted victory, while 19-year-old American Jaden Conwright took a brilliant win in Round 6 for Asian-based team Absolute Racing.
Following the most recent races at China’s Ningbo International Speedpark just three weeks ago, Hyman leads the drivers’ classification as the series heads to its second F1-standard race track. Hyman’s first series win of the season at Ningbo, followed by a podium finish, gives him a 13-point lead over his closest rival, Conwright. Third on the leaderboard is Hughes, who returns to the series having missed the three races in Ningbo due to GP3 duties. Hughes began his Asian F3 season with three consecutive victories in Malaysia and will be out to continue his success when he returns to the championship this weekend. Rounding out the Dragon HitechGP trio is Macao’s 17-year-old Charles Leong, who currently lies fifth in the drivers’ classification having two podium finishes so far.
Like Hyman, Conwright also had his first taste of Asian F3 victory last month, rounding out his weekend with a Race 6 win following two second-place finishes. Conwright is joined at Absolute Racing by Malaysian Akash Nandy, currently fourth in the championship standings, just ahead of Leong.
Having earned his first podium finish in Ningbo, Japanese driver Tomoki Takahashi of Super License will be looking to replicate that success in Shanghai. Takahashi is joined at Super License by compatriot Takashi Hata, one of the five competitors in the Masters class.
Chinese driver Yu Kuai of ZEN Motorsport showed his form in Ningbo, scoring points in all three races and just missing out on a podium finish. Racing alongside Yu at ZEN Motorsport is fellow countryman Yin Hai Tao, who currently leads the Master classification ahead of Hata, having scored two class victories in Ningbo.
BlackArts Racing’s Louis Prette will be looking to climb the championship leaderboard in Races 7-9. He’ll be joined on the team by series newcomer Thomas Luedi who is entered in the Master class. Returning to the category and the series is B-Max Racing Team principal and Japanese F3 national class champion DRAGON.
Akash Gowda of M-Sport Asia will continue to fly the flag for India in Shanghai, while Kenya’s Jeremy Wahome of SVC Asia returns to the championship having missed the last round. Emc2 Racing’s Liu Zexuan returns having made his series debut in Ningbo.
The weekend officially gets underway on Friday, September 21 with a single free practice session followed by two 15-minute qualifying sessions at 13:25 local time which will determine the grid for the round’s first and third races. On Saturday, September 22, Race 1 is set for 12:15, with the drivers’ fastest laps in the 25-minute sprint setting the grid for Race 2. Races 2 and 3 will take place on Sunday, September 23 at 10:15 and 15:55 local time. All three races will be live-steamed on the official website (www.f3asia.com) and Facebook page @F3AsianChampionship.
Saturday, September 22
12:15 Race 1
Sunday, September 23
10:15 Race 2
15:55 Race 3
F3 Asian Championship Certified by FIA
Provisional Entry List – Rounds 7-9
|1||2||Takashi HATA (M)||JPN||Super License|
|2||3||YIN Hai Tao (M)||CHN||ZEN Motorsport|
|3||4||Louis PRETTE||HKG||BlackArts Racing|
|4||5||YU Kuai||CHN||ZEN Motorsport|
|5||6||LIU Zexuan (M)||CHN||Emc2 Racing|
|6||7||Tomoki TAKAHASHI||JPN||Super License|
|7||8||Jeremy WAHOME||KEN||SVC Asia|
|8||9||Thomas LUEDI (M)||HKG||BlackArts Racing|
|9||11||Charles LEONG||MAC||Dragon Hitech GP|
|10||27||Raoul HYMAN||GBR||Dragon Hitech GP|
|11||29||Akash NANDY||MAL||Absolute Racing|
|12||30||DRAGON (M)||JPN||B-Max Racing Team|
|13||33||Akash GOWDA||IND||M-Sport Asia|
|14||34||Jake HUGHES||GBR||Dragon Hitech GP|
|15||80||Jaden CONWRIGHT||USA||Absolute Racing|
2018 F3 Asian Championship Certified by FIA
|July 9-10||Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia||Official Test|
|July 13-15||Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia||Round 1 (Races 1-3)|
|Aug 31-Sep 2||Ningbo International Speedway, China||Round 2 (Races 4-6)|
|Sep 21-23||Shanghai International Circuit, China||Round 3 (Races 7-9)|
|Oct 12-14||Ningbo International Speedway, China||Round 4 (Races 10-12)|
|Nov 23-25||Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia||Round 5 (Races 13-15)|