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Category: Formula Renault 2.0 Asia

PS RacingZhuhai International Circuit, Zhuhai ChinaWith the 2013 Asia Formula Renault series winding down the season, the competition amongst teams and drivers remains tight. Last weekend’s AFR Rounds 7&8, part of Zhuhai International Circuit’s huge Pan Delta Race Festival, had an attendance of over 20,000 fans as well as live TV for all events.

Formula Renault teams at the ZIC had Official Practice on Friday, with PS Racing driver Sunny Wong of Hong Kong setting the 3rd fastest time in OP1 and 4th fastest in OP2. In qualifying, Wong took 5th but American Pete Olson a disappointing 9th after starting to get up to speed late in the session just before a red flag came out for a car stopped on track. PSR’s AFR rookie Neric Wei was 12th of 18, doubling up on his race weekend by competing in both the Circuit Hero events in a Honda DC5, as well as AFR.

Wong got off to a strong start in Saturday afternoon’s Round 7, spending most of the race having a thrilling televised battle with Alex Asmasoebrata which resulted in a half dozen position swaps, with Wong finishing 6th. Olson got a wheel-spinning start and initially dropped to 11th but then fought up four positions in ten laps to finish 7th overall, with Neric Wei 11th overall but taking 3rd on the podium in the Asian Class.

In Sunday’s Round 8, Olson got off to a fantastic start while Wong stalled, with Olson moving up to finish 4th just off the podium and Wong making an incredible charge up the field to battle back from 17th to 7th in just ten laps.

After the races, Olson and Wong were interviewed by Deutsche Presse-Agentur for a radio interview about PS Racing’s promotion of ‘Racing for Children’ with ChildFund International, where the drivers and team use the popularity of auto racing to spread publicity about the worldwide charity [http://www.ChildFund.org]

urrently, with the 2-race points drop, Olson is tied for 3rd for driver’s points in AFR’s top International Category with himself and Asmasoebrata at 74 points each, and PS Racing’s AFR rookie Neric Wei currently 4th overall in the Asian Category. PS Racing currently stands a close 2nd overall in team standings by just two points. The 2013 Asia Formula Renault series will come to its dramatic conclusion on December 21-22 with Rounds 9&10.

For more information visit PS Racing on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/PSRacingChampions, or the team website at http://www.pekkasaarinen.info.

Benjamin Rouget

Asia Racing Team (ART Motorsports) fulfilled its pre-season promise with two stirring victories in the second round of the AFR Championship at Beijing Goldenport Circuit yesterday, taking Benjamin Rouget to his first Formula Renault 2.0 victory. The French has become the new series’ leader and ART is tied to the top of team standings. Luis Sa Silva had a mixed feelings weekend and rookie Luca Ferigutti showed some improvement.

During Saturdays’ qualifying session, Rouget showed its intention of ending the weekend on a high, setting the 2nd best time. Team-mate Luis Sa Silva wasn’t lucky as the young Angolan was unable to get the best out of his new tyres, posting the 6th quickest time. A spin prevented Ferigutti from showing his true potential again, winding up 8th.

The opening race on Sunday, held over 18 laps, wasn’t a fairly processional. At the Chaoyang District’s racing track Rouget had no plans to finish 2nd and after a hard dispute with Alon Day, he won the duel and settled the first Formula Renault 2.0 victory of the season for the Macanese Zhuhai-based team. After a disappointing qualifying, Sa Silva drove a storming race from 6th to 4th. Former Asian Kart champion Ferigutti finished 10th after spinning in lap 2 fighting for the 7th position.

The second Formula Renault race of the first Beijing Northern Race Super Series weekend saw Rouget cruising to the second victory after a faultless start. Sa Silva had an eventful first lap, climbing one position at the lights and being hit from behind by an opponent. Driving a damaged car, Sa Silva would stay for a while in 2nd but a spin cost him two places. Stuck behind a slower opponent Ferigutti spin out again and couldn’t do better than 9th.

Rouget is now leading the championship point standings, and Sa Silva climbed to 3rd. Ferigutti is currently standing in 12th.

The Asia Racing Team will recommence its AFR campaign at Shanghai International Circuit in four weeks time on 22/23 August.

#26 Benjamin Rouget : “What a perfect weekend for me and the team! I had a very disappointing Qualifying after being the fastest in the Thursday and Friday’s free practices. In the Race 1 I was following the leader very close when he did a mistake. We had a great fight but I found a way to overtake him and keep the position. Race 2 was easier as I managed to defend my position at the start and Alon (Day) spun, so I eased it back a bit. Next race will be in Shanghai and we need to be at the top if we want to be champions. Alon is a strong contender for the championship. We have a good fight ahead of us, so I’m looking forward to the next races.”

#27 Luca Ferigutti : “It was my first time at Beijing and I enjoyed it. The car was great and the did a nice job. My qualifying session wasn’t awesome but I don’t think I could qualify better than 7th. Despite a so-so start, I managed to keep my position but I lost the car in the double right when I was trying to catch up the car in front. I rejoined the race but my race was done. In the second race I had a poor start and got stuck behind a slower car. I couldn’t overtake him and I lost the car in the last corner. I kept pushing hard though as you never know what will happen. Overall the weekend wasn’t that bad as we saw some improvement. I need to be more aggressive and to improve my driving in the middle of the pack”

#34 Luis Sa Silva : “My qualifying was a disaster. I was unable to get the best out of his new tyres and the successive red flags didn’t help too. Fortunately I did a good first race start and climbed one position. It’s very hard to overtake in Beijing but I managed to pass Xiao Le He in the middle of the race. Perhaps with a few extra laps I could have found a way past the 3rd. In the second race I went third in the first corner but I got hit from behind in the last corner of the opening lap. My car was very difficult to handle after that. I tried to keep my position, and I did it for a while, but I couldn’t avoid a spin. The weekend wasn’t perfect as I would like to take a podium position to Angola but due to the circumstances I’m happy and very motivated to give the best to my sponsors.”

Rio HaryantoRio Haryanto will race with Asia Racing Team (ART Motorsports) in the 2009 Asian Formula Renault Championship opening round at the Shanghai International Circuit. The 16 year-old racer and Indonesian motorsport superstar, who is competing in his second season of single seater racing this year, will rejoin the Macanese Formula Renault 2.0 team for an assault on the Shanghai races.

Indonesian racer learnt his race craft in the 2008 Formula Asia 2.0 and Asian Formula Renault Championship with ART Motorsports. After a tough 2008 season start, Haryanto finished the season on high with impressive race wins at Zhuhai and Shanghai. Haryanto is currently 3rd on the leaderboard of Formula BMW Pacific.

“We’ve had a great year in 2008, and it’s very nice to see him around one more time. I am pretty sure he will be a frontrunner from the beginning, however, he needs to get used to the car again after so many tests and races in Formula BMW. Definitely I think we can expect some great performances this weekend”, Team Manager Philippe Descombes commented after concluding the deal with the 2008 Formula Asia 2.0 – Asian Drivers Champion.

Speaking about his return to the team and prospects for the race weekend, Rio Haryanto added “It’s great to be back in the ART’s team atmosphere again. We all have the same desire to achieve big goals and from my side I will give my all to realising this vision. I believe they will do their best to perform just like we did last year. Actually I want to make myself ready before the 3rd round of Formula BMW as I am not participating in the series at full time. It’s been a long time without driving any formula car but I hope to do very well this weekend. It would be nice to win again.”

The Asian Formula Renault Championship gets the green flag Friday, May 22, with three Free Practice sessions. Saturday features the Qualifying session and Race 1 and the second 10-lap race will take place on Sunday, May 24.

Felix RosenqvistFelix Rosenqvist, 17, this weekend secured his first international single-seater championship title as Asian Formula Renault series Formula Asia 2.0 reached its final stop on the 2008 calendar at the Shanghai International Circuit. The Swede was declared Champion after finishing second in Saturday’s Race 1, but remained in the limelight by claiming victories in the three following races on Sunday. Rosenqvist – the first Swedish driver to triumph in the championship – ended the year having won ten out of a possible 15 races, standing on the podium 13 times and starting from the first row of the grid in all but two events.

“I don’t think I have ever understood how nice it is to win a championship before today,” Rosenqvist states. “I am very happy with how the season developed and glad that I reached the target we set at the beginning of the year, while it also feels great to have won the final three races here in Shanghai to end 2008 appropriately! Now that I’ve secured my first single-seater title, I think the timing is right to direct a huge ‘thank you’ to everyone who has supported me this year – March3 Racing have been absolutely fantastic to work with, and I now look forward to at least as good a 2009”!

Felix went to the season finale in Shanghai with a significant advantage in the standings, and when championship contender Mathias Beche was forced to retire after a collision with Yuki Iwasaki in Race 1, second place was enough for the title to land in the Swedish driver’s hands. The Sunday races were controlled by Felix from lights to flag, and awaiting the new Champion now are a number of test sessions to reward him for his championship success.

“Nothing is settled for next year, but I do have a few thoughts about what would be interesting to try,” Felix concludes. “During the season, a host of alternatives have turned up and I look forward to some exciting tests this winter. At the moment, though, I just feel relieved and want to enjoy winning this title – it will help me a lot in the future, and Formula Asia 2.0 has been an instrumental stepping-stone; Xie xie”!

On Saturday night, Felix Rosenqvist was named one of this year’s Ronnie Peterson Memorial Foundation scholarship winners. The honor-filled annual prize, which is traditionally handed out to gifted drivers or leaders within Swedish motorsport, was presented at the Swedish Motorsport Gala at Nacka Strand, Stockholm, and acts as a very likeable confirmation that Felix’s speed in Formula Asia 2.0 is appreciated also in his native country. Despite the fact that Felix received the largest amount of money (SEK 40.000:-) of all scholarship winners, the night wasn’t over as he was later called back up on stage: this time as the outright winner of the prestigious Rydell Special Award following the decision from prize initiator and WTCC driver Rickard Rydell to encourage Felix’s performances this year by awarding him what was probably the most personal distinction of all during the night.

Felix went to Stockholm knowing absolutely nothing about the Awards ceremony, having been fooled by his family and friends who convinced him he was heading for an important Formula Renault meeting in the Swedish capital. However, with a wide variety of guests invited to the happening, Felix began to ponder what was actually going on until Swedish Motorsport body the SBF wanted to speak to him on stage to discuss his season in Asia. Thereafter, it all became obvious as the Ronnie Peterson Memorial Foundation scholarships were presented – 30 years after Peterson died following a first-lap crash at Monza, Italy. The Rydell Special Award – which was founded in 1999 with the aim of helping talented drivers both financially and strategically to develop their international single-seater careers – now sees Felix join an exclusive group of drivers (Sebastian Hohenthal, Alx Danielsson and Marcus Ericsson to mention a few) who have won the Award in earlier years. The motivation for the 2008 Rydell Special Award read: “A young driver who has dominated the championship in which he competes and now is ready for the next step in his international career”.

Next up for Felix is another trip to Shanghai, China, where he will try to win the Formula Asia 2.0 Drivers’ and Teams’ titles on the weekend of December 5-7 – this time strengthened by the beautiful support of his home country.

As Formula Asia 2.0 reached China and the Shanghai International Circuit this weekend, championship leader Felix Rosenqvist from Sweden arrived determined to reinforce his overall position. However, issues with the local customs meant several competing teams were unable to gain access to their cars in time for the first practice sessions, leading to a controversial decision from event officials to run Sunday’s two races under non-championship conditions – giving drivers the possibility to practice under normal racing forms, but leaving them unable to score any points. The races themselves were hit by rain and Felix’s best result was a third place in Race 2.

“Needless to say, it’s sad that decisions like these can take so much away from the competitors,” Rosenqvist says. “I had a number of supporters and guests with me this weekend who had all been looking forward to watching two
real championship races, but at least I got a lot of valuable practice laps in the wet. I feel I’m developing more in the rain than in the dry at the moment, so that was an important positive”.

The Formula Asia 2.0 customs problems follows after the series had to cancel the races originally planned for Shanghai in early November due to other political reasons, while the final round of the championship on 6th-7th December will now feature four races with a fully normal points scheme. Felix Rosenqvist is in the best position to claim the title, even though championship rival Mathias Beche won one of this weekend’s races for his new team ART.

“I know of course that Mathias and the other drivers are very tough competitors,” Felix concludes. “Having said that, I do think that I have raised my game all through the year and will do my very best to win the title. We’ll have
to see how it all unfolds now that there will be four races, but I feel very well prepared for the final battle of the year – come sun or rain”.

16 year-old Swede Felix Rosenqvist continued to shine this weekend, as Formula Asia 2.0 travelled to Sepang and Malaysia for the second time this year. Having won two out of what was then three races during the last event one month ago, Rosenqvist upped the pace even further to control car and competitors to perfection, winning both of the weekend’s races comfortably from Pole Position. The Swedish driver now leads the Championship by a convincing 27 points, and also became the first driver of the year to secure a double hat trick after recording the fastest lap in both races to add to his race wins and qualifying performances.

“A warm, tough and incredibly satisfactory weekend”, Rosenqvist says. “I always put pressure on myself and want to extract more from my driving, but this time everything went well and I’m very pleased with the way things developed in Malaysia. As a racing driver, you always want to be the fastest in all sessions, and that is exactly what I achieved this weekend – even though my fellow competitors made it difficult at times! I would like to credit my March3 Racing mechanics and engineers for flawless work throughout the event, and am looking forward to the rest of the season.”

Race 1, which took place on Saturday and was run in intense heat, saw Rosenqvist cross the finish line a full 13,5 seconds clear of second-placed Yuki Iwasaki. The Sunday race was even more straightforward as Felix kept a pace almost one second a lap faster than anyone else, and the margin to the chasing pack – led home by team mate Zhu Dai Wei – increased to 16 seconds by the chequered flag. The Formula Asia 2.0 season now enters a well-deserved summer break, giving teams and drivers the chance to relax before action resumes with rounds six and seven later this year.

“It feels fantastic to leave Sepang knowing that my Championship challenge is actually looking pretty good at the moment”, Rosenqvist concludes. “I will try my best to manage the advantage next race weekend as well, but I know how difficult it can be and will take absolutely nothing for granted. However, I do feel stronger than ever right now, and will be going flat out to win the title already this year.”

Felix RosenqvistAsian Formula Renault series Formula Asia 2.0 competed at the Sepang International Circuit this weekend, when Swedish driver Felix Rosenqvist left a major mark after scoring some astonishing results. Two wins, two Pole Positions and one fastest lap made the 16 year-old talent leave Malaysia at the top of the standings, leading all of his more experienced competitors in the fight for the title. The heat – and, more specifically, the humidity – was a major concern all through the event, but Rosenqvist kept his cool in challenging conditions while recording the fastest times in all practice sessions.

“I’m naturally overjoyed with my performance this weekend”, Rosenqvist says. “The first race, in which I finished second to Mathias Beche, was a clear example of how easily a chassis issue can influence your performance as the car suffered from bad understeer, but as soon as we changed the set-up back to what it was before I was able to run at a comfortable, steady pace at the front and win the remaining races. The car has been great throughout, and I would like to thank my team March3 Racing for an impeccable effort in the Malaysian heat”.

The Sepang victories mean that Rosenqvist has now won four out of the five Formula Renault events he has contested in 2008, and the flawless race craft was made even the more impressive by an equally as strong qualifying showing timed to perfection. Formula Asia 2.0 ran two races on Sepang’s full-length Grand Prix circuit, with the final round of the weekend taking place on a shorter, 2.807 km configuration – where Pole Position was secured with the remarkable margin of 0.7 seconds. The races, arranged as a part of popular motorsport event package the Asian Festival of Speed, were broadcast on a number of TV channels and attracted thousands of on-site visitors during the weekend.

“I already had good memories of Sepang and Malaysia from last year”, Rosenqvist concludes. “However, this weekend was just fantastic, and although I did hope to win again after the success of Shanghai, I never thought it would be possible to do so with such a big margin in a control series like this. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to win all three races this time – something that disturbs me considering the pace we’ve had – but when we get back here for the next meeting in one month’s time I will go all out to perform even better. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season, and will do my best to win the Championship”.

Felix RosenqvistSwedish motorsport talent Felix Rosenqvist, 16 years old, sensationally claimed victories in both races when the 2008 Asian Formula Renault season began at the Shanghai International Circuit this weekend. The astonishing results were cemented further after Rosenqvist recorded fastest lap in Race 1 on Sunday, following it up with a lights-to-flag victory only a couple of hours later.

“An absolutely brilliant start to the season”, Rosenqvist says. “The car wasn’t great in practice and it was difficult to reach an ideal set-up, but to be able to win both races already at the curtain-raiser really shows how much work we’ve put in during the winter. I won one of the races here as a complete single-seater rookie last year, so the track in Shanghai obviously suits me well”.

Rosenqvist, who encountered some problems early on in the weekend and was unable to complete much running prior to the races, ended up fourth in qualifying for Race 1 despite struggling with set-up issues and chased Pole-sitter Benjamin Rouget off the line. Having followed the Frenchman for a few laps, Felix made his move – and went on to win in impressive fashion in an event which was shortened as a result of an incident down the field. In the second race, Felix started from Pole Position and kept his lead – practically unchallenged – the entire distance.

“The starting procedure went according to plan in both races”, Felix explains. “I wanted to study Benjamin’s driving style at the beginning of the first race to see where I was quicker than him before overtaking, while the decisive moment of Race 2 was the restart behind the safety car; a situation I managed to handle without problems. I would like to thank my team, March3 Racing, for their strategic support during qualifying and both races, and am looking forward to the next event in Malaysia with great anticipation. I am convinced that we will be able to fight for the victories there as well, and I will do my very best to continue the season as positively as it has begun”.

Going into the 2008 season, 16 year-old Swede Felix Rosenqvist has signed for another year with Chinese-Italian team March3 Racing to compete on the Asian continent. Despite being a complete single-seater rookie, Felix finished fourth in last year’s Asian Formula Renault Challenge series and targets even better results this time – changing Championship to new Formula Renault installation Formula Asia 2.0 in order to compete with the very best of Asian motorsport. The series, which has already succeeded in signing a majority of the best Formula Renault teams from the region, will hold rounds in both China and Malaysia – and receives full international status from governing body, the FIA. The first tests will take place in the coming weeks.

“It is very exciting to be one of the drivers in the first-ever year of Formula Asia 2.0”, Rosenqvist says. “During last season, I got to know the team and learn how the car behaves, and it is a pleasure for me to be able to work with March3 Racing again. Having fought at the front of the field at the end of 2007, my obvious target will have to be to win the Championship, and I can’t wait for the first round of the series at Zhuhai on April 19-20”.

Rosenqvist, who secured the Asian Formula Renault Challenge “Rookie of the year” title last November, will be up against a number of highly competitive teams and drivers in what promises to be an exhilarating season for Asian motorsport. With a range of new series established this winter, the interest is greater than ever; especially in China. As one of the highlights in event package Asian Festival of Speed (AFOS), Formula Asia 2.0 is set to be broadcast in more than 60 different countries worldwide.

“The pressure will be immense”, Felix concludes. “It will be all about performing at the highest level while competing in one of the most covered Championships single-seater racing has seen, but if I can do it successfully there will be plenty of opportunities to further strengthen my career. I would like to do one or two tests in an even more powerful category later this season, but my ultimate focus will be on Formula Asia 2.0 and developing together with March3 Racing. At the moment, we know that there will be at least 20 cars on the grid, and I look forward to this fantastic adventure with great anticipation”.