Inaugural Asian F3 Championship kicks off in July

  The first-ever F3 Asian Championship is all set to roll with about ten teams already registered in the series. The series is set to get underway this July in Malaysia at good ol’ Sepang Circuit. The registered teams, hailing from Asia, Europe and North America, are expected to field a total of 24 cars at the opening round on 13-15 July.

Spotlight on Asian and European F3 contingents

The Asian contingent comprises China’s Absolute Racing, BlackArts Racing (BAR) and Zen- Motorsport, Hong Kong team Eurasia Motorsport, India’s MSport Asia (Meco Motorsport), Super License from Japan and Pinnacle Motorsport from the Philippines. Established in 2010, Absolute Racing currently operates from Shanghai, Zhuhai and Malaysia, and has taken victory in every major racing series it has entered, be it GTs or single seaters. The team’s expertise has ignited the careers of a number of young drivers, amongst them reigning Audi R8 LMS Cup champion Alessio Picariello, current Porsche Carrera Cup Asia driver Philip Hamprecht, and former junior single seater driver Daniel Lu, a 2018 Porsche China Junior.

BAR, based in China and Silverstone Circuit, have won the Asian Formula Renault Team Championship for the past three years as well as the F4 Chinese Championship in their debut season of 2017. Their roster of professional coaches includes: Nick Cassidy, current factory Lexus driver in Japanese GT500 and Macau F3 podium winner; Kelvin Burt, former Formula 1 driver and British F3 champion; former BAR driver Josh Burdon, 2016 Asian Formula Renault Champion; as well as their 2015 Asian Formula Renault champion Dan Wells, who has since competed as a factory Ford driver in the China Touring Car Championship as well as LMP3.

Zen-Motorsport started in 2014 as a Chinese-based racing team and the team have contested the 2014 Formula Masters Series with season-long drivers Ronald Wu, Bao Jinlong and Yin Haitao. Another Asian team is Eurasia Motorsport, one of the region’s most established and
respected teams since 2003. Designated the Minardi Formula 1 Junior team for two years while competing in the Formula BMW Asia Series, the team achieved no fewer than 40 championship titles in South East Asia over the course of a decade. A team with a proven driver development track record, Eurasia has helped propel many young drivers to the uppermost echelons of world motorsport. Its graduates include Red Bull Racing Formula 1 star Daniel Ricciardo, Ferrari Formula 1 protégé Antonio Giovinazzi, and 24 Hours of Le Mans LMP2 winner Richard Bradley.

MSport Asia is the racing arm of Meco MotorSports, India’s number one motorsport management company. The team was set up by Armaan Ebrahim and Patrick Roberts. Ebrahim is an accomplished driver who advanced up the motorsport ladder from karting to single seaters and on to Formula 2 and GTs, while Roberts is one of Asia’s leading race engineers, winning in every category in which he has run a car. With countless victories both at home and across Asia, MSport is made up of a strong team of experienced professionals and, as part of the Meco group, also provides a wide range of driver development services.

Japanese racing team Super License is a major supporter of single seater competition in Asia, having contested Formula Masters since its inception. The team provide drivers with full support, coaching and interpreters, and has earned itself an excellent reputation within the Asian motorsport fraternity and beyond.

Pinnacle Motorsport specialises in single-seater, GT, sportscars and prototype racing. Established in 2016, Pinnacle employs a talented group of personnel to deliver a wide spectrum of motorsport services. The Philippine-based team also have offices in Sepang, Malaysia and Zhuhai, China which operate programs in all the region’s major championships.

Also partaking in the series are the European representatives Italian-based SVC Asia, UK’s Hitech GP and L.A.’s Chase Owen Racing. SVC Asia is a new team born as a branch of SVC The Motorsport Group, an Italian motorsport organization which, amongst its many business and sporting activities, takes care of all racing activities for Villorba Corse, a well-known, international team which has been working and competing in LMP and GT competition for almost 20 years.

Lastly, Texan-born Chase Owen is a driver on a mission to reach the pinnacle of LMP and GT racing as both a driver and a team. The 2016 BRSCC
Formula Ford champion moved to the BRDC F3 Championship last year to continue his drive forward and has now formed his own team to take the next steps to success with the F3 Asian Championship in its inaugural year.

Momentum continues to build ahead of the F3 Asian Championship’s July debut. The FIA World Motor Sport Council announcement regarding the 2019 F3 International Championship, which will feature alongside Formula 2 on the F1 support bill, has once again put the category firmly in the spotlight.

2018 F3 Asian Championship calendar

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)