· FIA-certified Asian F3 series heads to Dubai Autodrome and Yas Marina for two triple-headers rounds
· BlackArts Racing’s tops Drivers’ and Teams’ leaderboards after double
victory for Joey Alders in Malaysia
· Sebastian Fernandez joins championship on three-car Pinnacle Motorsport line-up
The F3 Asian Championship Certified by FIA makes its debut in the Middle East this week with a back-to-back, two-round showcase of international junior single seater talent, beginning at the Dubai Autodrome on January 9 as part of the prestigious 24H Dubai 2020. The championship then travels to the Yas Marina circuit, home of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for Round 3 on January 17 and 18.
New to the series is 19-year-old Spanish-Venezuelan FIA Formula 3 Championship driver Sebastian Fernandez, who joins the F3 Asian Championship with Pinnacle Motorsport alongside team regulars Red Bull Junior Jack Doohan, second in the championship after three races, and Brazilian Haas F1 Test Driver Pietro Fittipaldi.
BlackArts Racing’s Joey Alders was the star of the show at a thrilling season- opener at Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit last month, the 20-year-old Dutchman winning the first two races to top the leaderboard heading to the Middle East. Alders is joined on the team by Japan’s Yu Kanamaru and Masters entrant and class winner in Races 1 and 3, Thomas Luedi.
It was a challenging season-opener for two-time and defending Drivers’ and Teams’ champions Hitech Grand Prix. However, with its daunting four-man line-up of single seater stars, Russia’s Nikita Mazepin, Briton Jakes Hughes, Italy’s Alessio Deledda and guest driver and reigning champion Ukyo Sasahara, there is no doubt of a strong comeback in Dubai.
Championship newcomer Devlin DeFrancesco made an impressive debut in Malaysia with Asian-based squad Absolute Racing. The 19-year-old Canadian took two podium finishes in his first series’ outing to lie fourth on the leaderboard. He is joined on the strong, international three-car Absolute Racing line-up by reigning W Series champion Jamie Chadwick of Britain and Australian youngster Tommy Smith. Team regular, talented Chinese rising star Daniel Cao, will be absent from the Middle East rounds due to school commitments.
China’s Yu Kuai is back with Zen Motorsport having just missed out on a podium finish in Race 3, and is joined on the team by Masters points leader Paul Wong. Alfa Romeo Formula 1 test driver Colombian Tatiana Calderón returns with Seven GP.
Joining the championship for the first time, and testament to the series’ growing international stature, is 2019 Macau Grand Prix – FIA F3 World Cup-winning team MP Motorsport. The Dutch outfit, which fielded race winner Richard Verschoor to a giant-killing victory on the Guia street circuit last November, enters 17-year-old Belgian Amaury Cordeel as a guest driver.
The two 15-minute qualifying sessions to set the grids for Races 4 and 6 get underway at 12:45 on Thursday, January 9, with Race 4 beginning at 17:15 that afternoon. The fastest laps in Race 4 set the grid for Race 5, which starts at 09:45 on Friday, January 10, with Race 6 following at 13:20 local time (GMT+4). All races will be live streamed via the championship’s Facebo ok page and Yo uTube channels.