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Race 7 -F3 Asian Championship 2018

Jakes Hughes continues unbroken run of pole-to-flag victories on Shanghai debut

• Dragon HitechGP team mate Raoul Hyman retains championship lead with second place finish
• Super Licence ace Tomoki Takahashi rockets from sixth on grid to podium
•  Liu Zexuan takes Masters victory on home track  

Shanghai, China (September 22, 2018) – Dragon HitechGP’s Jake Hughes took a dominant pole-to-flag victory in Round 7 of the F3 Asian Championship Certified by FIA at the Shanghai International Circuit today, continuing his perfect record of winning every race he has started so far this season. In a storming return to the championship, having missed out on the Ningbo triple-header earlier this month, Hughes crossed the line more than five seconds ahead of team mate and championship leader Raoul Hyman to take his fourth series win.  

Third across the line, having rocketed from sixth on the grid and after a superbly-executed, late-race move on Macau’s Charles Leong, Tomoki Takahashi took his second podium finish of the season so far.

Local hero Liu Zexuan, who joined the championship in Round 2, took the Masters class win for new team Emc2 Racing ahead of compatriot Yin Hai Tao of ZEN Motorsport, and B-Max Racing Team’s DRAGON of Japan.

Hyman’s second place finish sees him retain his place at the top of the Drivers’ Classification with eight races of the inaugural season remaining, but team mate Hughes is now just 16 points adrift. Fastest in Qualifying 2, and having hammered out a string of fastest laps in Race 7, Hughes has the advantage of pole position starts for both Races 8 and 9. Absolute Racing’s Jaden Conwright, sixth in Race 7, drops down the leaderboard to third, seven points behind Hughes but 20 clear of team mate Akash Nandy of Malaysia in fourth.

Yin continues to lead the Masters Classification, and now has a 32-point advantage over Hata, with Liu in third on 88 points.

Race 7

Following a second formation lap, after M-Sport Asia’s Akash Gowda stopped on the first warm-up lap, Hughes led the field away at the start with Hyman in hot pursuit. Behind the pair, Leong was immediately on the attack to ZEN Motorsport’s Yu Kuai, pulling alongside and getting past to complete a Dragon HitechGP 1-2-3 in the running order. Takahashi was on the move, though, and up to fourth in the order ahead of Nandy and Yu when the Safety Car was called out after BlackArts Racing’s Louis Prette was left stranded trackside. Super License driver Takashi Hata was another early retirement, driving into pitlane after just four laps.

With 13 minutes remaining, the Safety Car released the field and Hughes immediately pulled clear of the pack. Behind him though, Hyman went wide on the exit of the final corner allowing team mate Leong to get alongside. Takahashi was also in the mix, with Nandy keeping a watching brief behind the trio. Hyman held firm, but the fracas had allowed Hughes to run away with the lead. 

As Leong and Takahashi were locked in battle for the final podium place, behind them Yu dived on the inside of Nandy and up to fifth in the order. The final minutes of the race were packed with drama. First it was the turn of SVC Asia’s Jeremy Wahome who made an impressive run on the outside to dive past Liu before pulling clear to cross the line eighth behind Nandy, who had lost another place to Conwright before the flag.

Having battled hard all race, and with just two minutes to go, Takahashi finally found his way past rival Leong to claim the final podium place and with it, the valuable championship points.  

The F3 Asian Championship Certified by FIA continues its Shanghai debut tomorrow (Sunday) with Races 8 and 9. Both races will be live-steamed on the official website (www.f3asia.com) and Facebook page @F3AsianChampionship. 

Driver quotes:

Jake Hughes/GBR/Dragon HitechGP – 1st Race 7
“It’s good fun [to be back with the championship]. I enjoy driving the car and for Dragon HitechGP. It’s my first time here in Shanghai, so I’m enjoying the circuit. I said it in Malaysia, that I was at my maximum. Maybe I got on top of the car bit quicker in Malaysia, but it’s definitely closer here. It was a good race for me, but I was pushing all the way. Yesterday in qualifying, I got pole by one tenth and one-and-a-half tenths which shows it’s much closer here.”

Raoul Hyman/GBR/Dragon HitechGP – 2nd Race 7
“[My restart] wasn’t very good was it? At the start itself, I had a bit of an issue with the clutch and I think I had the same again at the restart; on the upshift. I think my reaction time was pretty decent, but it allowed Charles [Leong] to get up the inside of me into turn 15, and obviously the Safety Car line is prior to the corner there. I left him space on the inside because I wasn’t sure if he was going to commit as he wasn’t fully up the inside. I didn’t want to risk anything. It wasn’t ideal, I had to go a bit wide, but it was all pretty much under control. I just had to defend a bit into turn one but after that the job was pretty much done.”

Tomoki Takahashi/JPN/Super License – 3rd Race 7 
“I didn’t have practice in the dry, so couldn’t do much in qualifying. But we managed to set up the car well and I’m looking forward to tomorrow. [Compared to other single seater cars I have driven], I’m very surprised by the downforce. There’s a big difference in grip – it’s totally, physically different.”

Liu Zexuan/CHN/Emc2 Racing – 1st Masters Class, Race 7
“Although it’s my home track, to be honest, I don’t drive here a lot. But through the testing I’m learning a lot – controlling the car and getting more familiar with the track. I think today the race pace was better than yesterday, so I’m pretty happy about that.”

F3 Asian Championship Certified by FIA

Results Race 7

 

#

Name

Nat

Team

Times

1

34

Jake HUGHES

GBR

Dragon HitechGP

 

2

27

Raoul HYMAN

GBR

Dragon HitechGP

+5.087

3

7

Tomoki TAKAHASHI

JPN

Super License

+11.447

4

11

Charles LEONG

MAC

Dragon HitechGP

+12.324

5

5

YU Kuai

CHN

ZEN Motorsport

+13.810

6

80

Jaden CONWRIGHT

USA

Absolute Racing

+14.376

7

29

Akash NANDY

MAL

Absolute Racing

+14.958

8

8

Jeremy WAHOME

KEN

SVC Asia

+20.389

9

6

LIU Zexuan (M)

CHN

Emc2 Racing

+23.231

10

3

YIN Hai Tao (M)

CHN

ZEN Motorsport

+23.921

11

30

DRAGON (M)

JPN

B-Max Racing Team

+41.572

12

9

Thomas LUEDI (M)

HKG

BlackArts Racing

+43.956

DNF

2

Takashi HATA (M)

JPN

Super License

4 laps

DNS

4

Louis PRETTE

HKG

BlackArts Racing

--

DNS

33

Akash GOWDA

IND

M-Sport Asia

 

Jake Hughes/Dragon HitechGP/2:05.817


F3 Asian Championship 2018 Drivers Classification after Race 7

Pos

#

Driver

Team

Points

1

27

Raoul HYMAN

Dragon HitechGP

116

2

34

Jake HUGHES

Dragon HitechGP

100

3

80

Jaden CONWRIGHT

Absolute Racing

93

4

29

Akash NANDY

Absolute Racing

73

5

11

Charles LEONG

Dragon HitechGP

71

6

7

Tomoki TAKAHASHI

Super License

60

7

5

YU Kuai

ZEN Motorsport

44

8

34

Ben HINGELEY

Dragon HitechGP

43

9

0

Chase OWEN

Chase Owen Racing

24

10

4

Louis PRETTE

BlackArts Racing

24

11

8

Jeremy WAHOME

SVC Asia

18

12

33

Akash GOWDA

M-Sport Asia

14

13

55

Daniel CAO

Pinnacle Motorsport

7

14

6

LIU Ze Xuan

Emc2 Racing

7

15

32

Presley MARTONO

BlackArts Racing

6

16

3

YIN Hai Tao

ZEN Motorsport

5

F3 Asian Championship 2018 Masters Classification after Race 7

Pos

#

Driver

Team

Points

1

3

YIN Hai Tao

ZEN Motorsport

140

2

2

Takashi HATA

Super License

108

3

6

LIU Ze Xuan

Emc2 Racing

88

4

30

DRAGON

B-Max Racing Team

45

5

9

Thomas LUEDI

BlackArts Racing

12

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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