Countdown begins as F3 Asian Championship prepares for second season

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The second season of the FIA F3 Asian Championship gets underway next week, and the series continues to strengthen with a prestigious calendar of FIA Grade 1 circuits and an international grid of exciting junior single seater talent.

The five-round, 15-race season kicks off at Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit, former host to the country’s F1 Grand Prix and current MotoGP venue, from April 6-7. In May, the series travels to Thailand’s acclaimed Buriram International Circuit, before making its debut in Japan at the iconic Suzuka Circuit in June. The season closes with two triple-header rounds at China’s Shanghai International Circuit on September 7-8 and 27-28.

Already 13 drivers are confirmed with some additional entries expected for the opening round. The field includes some new faces, such as 16-year-old Red Bull Junior Team driver Jack Doohan who took two podium finishes in three races on his Asian Winter Series debut earlier this year. The son of five-time 500cc motorcycle grand prix world champion Mick, Doohan is confirmed with reigning team champions Dragon Hitech GP.

Other newcomers include Ireland’s Jordan Dempsey at Pinnacle Motorsport, the newly-crowned China F4 champion joining 16-year-old Australian Thomas Smith on the team. Japan’s Yu Kanamaru, 2011 CIK-FIA Karting World Champion and 5th in the Japanese F3 Championship last season, makes his series debut with B-Max Racing Team.

Having had his first taste of the Tatuus F3 T-318 in the Asian Winter Series, winning the final round is sensational style, Sri Lankan Eshan Pieris makes his F3 Asian Championship debut with Absolute Racing. Joining him on the team is China’s Daniel Cao, 2018 Asian Formula Renault Pro Class Champion and 2017/18 F4 South East Asia Champion. The 17-year-old contested the opening round of the F3 Asian Championship last season.

Amongst the drivers returning for a second season are Yu Kuai of Zen Motorsport, India’s Akash Gowda of M-Sport Asia and Czech youngster Tom Beckhäuser, who is back with BlackArts Racing having contested the final three races of the 2018 season at Sepang.

Confirmed so far in the Masters class are winner of the Asian Winter Series Masters championship Tairoku Yamaguchi, who joins Kanamaru at B-Max Racing Team, and BlackArts Racing’s Thomas Luedi, who contested six races last season. Hong Kong’s Paul Wong, the reigning Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia Lamborghini Cup champion, makes his debut in the series in the Masters category.

All drivers will compete in the Tatuus F3 T-318, as the single-chassis, single-engine era of Formula 3 continues to strengthen in Asia. The Autotecnica-built engine – the ATM AR-F3R – is a 270hp, four-cylinder turbocharged Alfa Romeo 1750 TBi, with a total capacity of 1742cc. This is housed in the Tatuus F3 chassis which features a swathe of safety elements including side impact panels, front and rear carbon impact structures, wheel tethers, an extractable seat, plus the new Halo system.

Details of the full entry for Round 1 of the F3 Asian Championship Certified by FIA will be released shortly.

2019 F3 ASIAN CHAMPIONSHIP CERTIFIED BY FIA PROVISIONAL CALENDAR

Date

Venue

Event

April 6-7

Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia

Round 1 (Races 1-3)

May 11-12

Buriram International Circuit, Thailand

Round 2 (Races 4-6)

June 22-23

Suzuka Circuit, Japan

Round 3 (Races 7-9)

Sep 7-8

Shanghai International Circuit, China

Round 4 (Races 10-12)

Sep 27-28

Shanghai International Circuit, China

Round 5 (Races 13-15)

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