AFR Round 2: Alders Pole and Win, Tavartkiladze Podium; BAR Continues Championship Lead
Zhuhai International Circuit–
This weekend, four-time Asia Formula Renault Championship-winning team BlackArts Racing extended its lead in the 2019 AFR Series thanks to outstanding performances from its drivers.
Returning for the second AFR Round, held at Zhuhai International Circuit at the popular Pan Delta Race Festival, were Joey Alders [Netherlands], Sandro Tavartkiladze [Republic of Georgia], and Stephen Hong [China], with the car of Alders in OLOI-BAR livery to proudly display OLOI, Inc. as the primary sponsor of BAR for the 2019 race season [www.OLOIinc.com]. Also joining them was Patrick Tsang of Hong Kong in the Masters Class, in his first AFR race event.
Alders took the fastest time in both Official Practices on Friday, with Sandro and Stephen Hong alternating in the top three and five.
Saturday morning’s qualifying brought excitement with Alders getting on top early on, and Sandro Tavartkiladze in 2nd until the very last few minutes of the session when bumped to 3rd by less than a hundredth by Bruno Carneiro, whom had changed to a second set of new slicks. Patrick Tsang improved his fastest laptime by 2.8 seconds in qualifying after very limited practice time due to circuit scheduling changes last week.
In Saturday afternoon’s Race One, Alders got off to a perfect start and led the race to the finish, while Tavartkiladze passed Carneiro in the first race lap and held on to finish 2nd on the podium. Stephen Hong finished 7th while Patrick Tsang was 3rd in the Masters Class on the podium in his first AFR event.
Sunday’s Race Two was not as easy for the accomplished BAR Team, with Alders starting on pole but finishing 2nd to Carneiro, Tavartkiladze in 4th and Stephen Hong and Patrick Tsang both DNF after a safety car restart incident.
However, as a result of the strong weekend results from BlackArts Racing drivers, Sandro Tavartkiladze continues to lead the driver’s standings with 88 points with Joey Alders just 8 points behind in the OLOI Powered by BAR car. Meanwhile, fellow BAR Team season driver Stephen Hong continues to quicken his pace each weekend, now at various times in the top 3, but unfortunately has had two DNFs which puts him 9th in the driver’s points. However, he is sure to move far up the rankings over the remainder of the season with 9 races remaining.
Sandro Tavartkiladze: "I have mixed emotions. I am very pleased with the result of the first race, I had a good pace and was happy to finish 2nd. However, Sunday’s race wasn’t as good as the first one as I had a really good pace, but made a mistake on the start and was a bit unlucky. The car was perfect all weekend and I want to thank the whole team. I hope I can race in Tianjin soon!”
The Asia Formula Renault championship will next visit the new Tianjin Circuit near Beijing on July 13-14, before concluding overseas with two rounds at the famous Sepang International Circuit.
OLOI is a San Francisco-based motorsports-inspired line of apparel which focuses on blending performance with time-proven classics in its product line. Please support the OLOI brand by subscribing to their website for more details. For more information on OLOI, please visit: http://www.OLOIinc.com.
BlackArts Racing Team is a China / Hong Kong registered motor racing team that was formed in January, 2015. Its main operational headquarters is located within the Zhuhai International Circuit, in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province [bordering Macau]. The team’s business operations predominantly focus on professional racing series in Asia including F3 Asian Championship, Asian Formula Renault Series/AFR Series and various touring car series. The team also provides year-round beginning and advanced driver training via racing schools, individual driver training, and corporate track days. For more information on BlackArts Racing please visit http://www.BlackArtsRacing.com.
2019 Asia Formula Renault Championship Schedule:
Rnd 1 – March 23-24 - Zhuhai International Circuit, China [2 races]
Rnd 2 – June 15-16- Zhuhai International Circuit, China [2 races]
Rnd 4 – July 13-14- Tianjin V1 Circuit, China [3 races]
Rnd 5 – August 24-25- Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia [3 races]
Rnd 6 – September-28-29- Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia [3 races]