· Dutch revelation Joey Alders leads charge to spectacular Abu Dhabi F1 track
· Top five drivers on leaderboard entered with four different teams
· Dubai 24H 2020 winner Khaled Al Qubaisi makes series debut with Abu Dhabi Racing UAE
After three wins in six races, BlackArts Racing’s Joey Alders leads the charge as the F3 Asian Championship Certified by FIA continues its triumphant Middle East debut, this time at the home of the Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix, the stunning 5.55km Yas Marina Circuit. Races 7 to 9 will be run on January 17 and 18 (Friday and Saturday), with two, hour-long test sessions on Thursday.
While Alders may have a healthy 37-point lead over closest challenger Jack Doohan, who turns 17 on January 20, with nine races remaining the Australian Pinnacle Motorsport driver has ample opportunity to catch and pass his title rival. Just 15 points adrift of Doohan is quick Russian protégé Nikita Mazepin with reigning and two-time team champions Hitech Grand Prix, while 19-year-old Italy-based Canadian newcomer Devlin DeFrancesco has impressed with his consistently strong performances on the Absolute Racing squad.
Spanish-Venezuelan Sebastian Fernandez, 19, was a standout performer on his series debut in Dubai last week. In incredibly challenging track conditions, the Pinnacle Motorsport driver took three consecutive podium finishes to lie fifth on the leaderboard ahead of Race 6 winner, Yu Kanamaru of BlackArts Racing.
With three more rounds in which to bag all-important super license points head of the start of the traditional racing season, several drivers will be fighting hard to pocket championship points this week. Among them are W Series champion, Absolute Racing’s Jamie Chadwick, for whom an increased role as Williams Racing development driver has recently been announced, and Alfa Romeo F1 reserve driver Tatiana Calderón of Seven GP and Haas F1 reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi of Pinnacle Motorsport, both of whom will contest the Japanese Super Formula series later this year.
Khaled Al Qubaisi joins Zen Motorsport’s Paul Wong and Thomas Luedi of BlackArts Racing in the Masters category, the successful Emirati driver making his championship debut hot on the heels of his third Dubai 24 Hour victory on Saturday.
Qualifying for Races 7 and 9 gets underway at 13:50 local time (GMT+4) on Friday, January 17, with Race 7 beginning at 17:50. Race 8 starts at 10:15 onSaturday, with Race 9 beginning at 15:35.