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Race 3-F3 Asian Championship 2018

Jake Hughes completes hat trick for Dragon HitechGP as new championship hailed resounding success

•       Third pole-to-flag win for Hughes in Race 3

•       Malaysian Akash Nandy takes first series podium for Absolute Racing

•       Raoul Hyman resists fierce challenge from Tomoki Takahashi to claim final podium place

Sepang, Malaysia (July 15, 2018) – Teams and drivers from three continents hailed the new single chassis, single engine F3 Asian Championship Certified by FIA a resounding success as the opening round at Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit saw Dragon HitechGP make a sensational debut in the region, Jake Hughes taking three wins from pole. 

As the drivers clock up laps in the new Tatuus Autotecnica Motori F3 car, Race 3 saw the British-based Dragon HitechGP’s dominance challenged by local hero Akash Nandy, who not only gave his Absolute Racing team their first series podium finish, but also kept the experienced Hughes within reach for much of the 12-lap race. Hughes’ team mate Raoul Hyman had to work hard fend off a sustained challenge from quick Super License driver Tomoki Takahashi to claim the final podium place ahead of his Japanese rival. The battle produced some sensational racing, the pair fighting hard but fair all the way to the flag.

In the Masters Cup class, China’s Yin Hai Tao crossed the line first, but was later handed a 20 second penalty for overtaking under the Safety Car. That meant Takashi Hata of Super License took his third consecutive class win, strengthening his lead in the Masters points.

Hughes’ triple victories give him a 27 point lead at the top of the Drivers Classification over Hyman, with their team mate Charles Leong’s unlucky Race 3 putting him third (33 points), five points ahead of Nandy in fourth. Nandy’s Absolute Racing team mate Jaden Conwright lies joint fifth with fellow American Chase Owen of Chase Owen Racing.

Race 3

All 17 cars got away cleanly as the lights went out, with Nandy tucking in behind Hughes. However, an early incident brought out the Safety Car on the opening lap after DRAGON clipped ZEN Motorsport’s Billy Zheng, tipping the pair into a spin. Zheng was able to recover to complete the race, but it was retirement for DRAGON.

As the Safety Car closed up the pack, an incident between Conwright and Dragon HitechGP’s Charles Leong, third on the grid, saw the Macau 16-year-old drop right down the field. Leong, second in the points at the start of the race after two podium finishes, eventually crossed the line 12th, while Conwright received a 20 second penalty for overtaking behind the Safety Car.

Racing resumed quickly and at the restart, Nandy stayed with Hughes to lead the pack away, but Hyman was looking to make a move on the Malaysian. Nandy, firmly firmly closed the door on the Briton, who then had his hands full for the remainder of the race with multiple challenges from a determined Takahashi.

Behind the four, Chase Owen Racing’s James Yu was up to fifth from his ninth place grid position, a strong performance from the Chinese driver who kept Hyman and Takahashi up ahead well within reach. BlackArts Racing’s Louis Prette separated Yu from team mate Chase Owen.

Up at the front, Nandy continued to chase Hughes, but dirty air was taking its toll on his tires and, once he realized he wasn’t going to be able to get close enough to overhaul the Briton, he eased off on the final four or so laps.

Hughes was then able to sail to the flag, with Akash untroubled by challengers behind him. However, Hyman was forced to scrap with Takahashi every inch of the way, eventually taking a heard-earned third place. Behind Takahashi, who set the fastest lap of the race, team mates Yu and Owen crossed the line in fifth and sixth, followed by Prette, BlackArts Racing team mate Presley Martono and SVC Asia’s Jeremy Wahome.

The battle for the inaugural Asian Championship Certified by FIA title resumes at the end of August, this time at China’s 4km Ningbo International Speedway from August 31 to September 2.

Driver quotes:

Jake Hughes/GBR/Dragon HitechGP – Winner Race 3

“[Racing in my first Asian championship compared to Europe] still requires the same effort to win the race. I didn’t at any point this weekend back off; that was my limit. I was pushing the whole weekend and we got the results from it.  For sure, Europe is very challenging so if you arrive anywhere else around the world you’re well prepared.  That race was obviously a bit more close in terms of the gap.  I was pushing a lot.”

Akash Nandy/MAL/Absolute Racing – 2nd Race 3

“We’ve been working hard all week just to catch up to [Dragon HitechGP]. They’ve had really good pace and we’ve just been playing catch up. We managed to find a bit of pace today. My driving helped to close the gap a bit, and also Absolute Racing and I worked a lot last night to find some pace from the car.”

Raoul Hyman/GBR/Dragon HitechGP – 3rd Race 3

“I didn’t notice he was there! I’m joking. [Tomoki Takahashi] did a great job. He had pace that was pretty obviously a bit better than mine because he could stay really close behind, within half a second or a second, for the entire race. He seemed to be able to just close the gap at will. Not ideal from my side. I usually like to look forward rather than behind. It was quite a pressured race. I said earlier that I’d been out of a car for about six to eight months now, so it’s always nice to come back and have a great dice like that just to show that you haven’t lost any of the race craft. Jake’s done a great job this weekend and there’s obviously a bit of a gap between us, so there’s a lot of work to do; investigation into my own driving and so on. Let’s try and come back stronger and challenge at the front and be consistent.”

Results

Race 3

 

#

Name

Nat

Team

 

1

34

Jakes HUGHES

GBR

Dragon HitechGP

26:31.400

2

29

Akash NANDY

MAL

Absolute Racing

+3.688

3

27

Raoul HYMAN

GBR

Dragon HitechGP

+9.696

4

7

Tomoki TAKAHASHI

JPN

Super License

+10.535

5

5

James YU

CHN

Chase Owen Racing

+14.587

6

00

Chase OWEN

USA

Chase Owen Racing

+15.759

7

4

Louis PRETTE

HKG

BlackArts Racing

+19.466

8

32

Presley MARTONO

INA

BlackArts Racing

+22.744

9

8

Jeremy WAHOME

KEN

SVC Asia

+24.352

10

55

Daniel CAO

CHN

Pinnacle Motorsport

+28.791

11

33

Akash GOWDA

IND

M-Sport Asia

+28.890

12

11

Charles LEONG

MAC

Dragon HitechGP

+29.051

13

2

Takashi HATA (M)

JPN

Super License

+33.845

14

10

ZHENG Jianian

CHN

ZEN Motorsport

+39.058

15

80

Jaden CONWRIGHT

USA

Absolute Racing

+49.938

16

3

YIN Hai Tao (M)

CHN

ZEN Motorsport

+52.438

DNF

30

DRAGON (M)

JPN

B-Max Racing Team

-

Fastest Lap: Tomoki Takahashi/JPN/2:04.602/Lap 6

 

F3 Asian Championship 2018 Drivers Classification after Race 3 

Pos

#

Driver

Team

Points

1

34

Jakes HUGHES

Dragon HitechGP

75

2

27

Raoul HYMAN

Dragon HitechGP

48

3

11

Charles LEONG

Dragon HitechGP

33

4

29

Akash NANDY

Absolute Racing

28

5

80

Jaden CONWRIGHT

Absolute Racing

24

5

00

Chase OWEN

Chase Owen Racing

24

7

7

Tomoki TAKAHASHI

Super License

20

8

8

Jeremy WAHOME

SVC Asia

14

8

4

Louis PRETTE

BlackArts Racing

14

10

55

Daniel CAO

Pinnacle Motorsport

7

11

32

Presley MARTONO

BlackArts Racing

6

F3 Asian Championship 2018 Masters Classification after Race 3 

Pos

#

Driver

Team

Points

1

2

Takashi HATA

Super License

75

2

3

YIN Hai Tao

ZEN Motorsport

54

2

30

DRAGON

B-Max Racing Team

30

 

2018 F3 Asian Championship Certified by FIA
Provisional Calendar

Date

Venue

Event

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)

 

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