F3 Asian Championship returns to Ningbo for penultimate 2018 showdown

F3 Asian Championship returns to Ningbo for penultimate 2018 showdown

11.10.2018: •Championship leader Jake Hughes leads Dragon HitechGP charge •Team mate Raoul Hyman just 12 points behind with six races remaining

•Championship leader Jake Hughes leads Dragon HitechGP charge

•Team mate Raoul Hyman just 12 points behind with six races remaining

•Nine countries and territories represented on international grid of bright young talent



The race for the inaugural F3 Asian Championship Certified by FIA title shifts into high gear with this weekend’s penultimate triple-header at China’s Ningbo International Speedpark. With six races remaining in the groundbreaking championship’s debut season, there is everything still to play for as the competition for what will be an historic first title intensifies.



Despite Hughes’ dominance, having won every F3 Asian Championship race he has started this season, the Briton acknowledges his rivals are closing in as they gain valuable track time. In addition, he will be one of only two drivers amongst the entry not to have raced before on the 4.101km Ningbo track.



“I feel that everyone is getting more and more used to the cars,” he says. “Maybe, with my experience, I got on top of [the car] really quickly. I’m already close to the limit and everyone else is gaining on me. That’s what it feels like to me.”



With four different winners and seven different podium finishers already this season, the competition throughout the field has been intense. GP3 Series top 10 runner Hughes leads the championship standings following a perfect weekend last month in Shanghai. Twelve points behind Hughes is team mate Raoul Hyman, who was second in two of the three Shanghai races.



Currently third on the leaderboard is American Jaden Conwright of Absolute Racing. Conwright converted his pole position into a debut championship victory in Ningbo last time and, having tasted victory there, the 19-year-old will be hungry for more. Fourth in the title chase is 17-year-old Dragon HitechGP driver Charles Leong of Macao, while Absolute Racing driver Akash Nandy of Malaysia rounds out the top five.



On brilliant form last month in Shanghai where he took two podium finishes, Japanese driver Tomoki Takahashi of Super License is on the hunt for his debut Asian F3 victory. BlackArts Racing’s Louis Prette returns to resume his championship campaign, as does India’s Akash Gowda of M-Sport. Kenya’s Jeremy Wahome of SVC Asia makes his debut at Ningbo along with Hughes having missed out on the previous visit.



Leading the Masters class is ZEN Motorsport driver Yin Hai Tao of China, who will look to bounce back to winning form this weekend in Ningbo. Super License’s Takashi Hata of Japan is second in the category, while China’s Ryan Liu of Emc2 Racing is third, having made a storming entrance to the series in Ningbo last month, and winning three of the six races he has contested so far.



The weekend officially gets underway on Friday, October 12 with two one-hour test sessions, followed by a single Free Practice session. Saturday opens with two 15-minute qualifying sessions at 10:20 local time which will determine the grid for the round’s first and third races.




The opening race is scheduled for 14:20 local time, with the race’s fastest laps determining the grid for the Sunday’s Race 2. Race 2 is scheduled for 09:55 local time, with the weekend’s final 25-minute race at 15:10. All three races will be live-steamed on the official website (www.f3asia.com) and Facebook page @F3AsianChampionship.




- Nikki Kemp - photos FIA F3

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/f3-asian-championship-ningbo-2018-showdown---181861.html

11.10.2018 / MaP

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