WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS! – BAR’s Conrad Clark becomes 2019 FIA China F4 Driver’s Champion, Ryan Liu Takes Triple Podiums in Amazing Round 5 Drives
>Conrad Clark becomes 2019 FIA Formula 4 China Driver’s Champion
>Ryan Liu takes podiums in every race
>Clark sets new FIA China F4 records
Shanghai International F1 Circuit -
BlackArts Racing’s Conrad Clark of New Zealand became the 2019 FIA China F4 Champion Sunday after taking a record 13 wins and 8 consecutive wins in the series, while China’s Ryan Liu took amazing triple podiums. It was the conclusion to a weekend of success for both drivers and a stellar Driver’s Points win for the season for 16 year old Conrad Clark, despite one round remaining.
On Friday, BAR’s Ryan Liu dominated the first Official Practice then handed over the lead of the second Official Practice to Conrad Clark. Qualifying followed on Saturday morning, where Conrad Clark took his first Pole Position at the F1 circuit, with Liu taking P3 with the few laps he had before a technical issue cut his session short. The qualifying results gave BAR a 1st and 2nd row start for Saturday afternoon’s Race One/Round 12.
Race One was no easy win for Clark as he spent the race under pressure from Kent He, his main rival from the season, but Clark managed to hold on for the win with a steady pace and at times strong defense. Meanwhile teammate Ryan Liu held onto 3rd place to join Clark on the podium, a fantastic result for his first F4 race of the season.
In Sunday’s morning’s Race Two/Round 13, Clark dominated from flag to flag to finish with a massive 18 second lead for the win, thus securing enough points the 2019 FIA Formula 4 Driver’s Championship with four rounds remaining, and setting new records in the process for FIA China F4, for both total number of wins  and consecutive wins .
Not wanting to be left out of the limelight, Ryan Liu had an absolutely amazing Race Two drive, passing season points runner up Kent He just a few corners after the start, then holding him and the others off for the remainder of the 9 lap race. This helped teammate Clark open a gap while in P1, and put distance on the rest of the field to take the win and season points win. Liu’s great drive gave him 2nd on the podium for a picture perfect BlackArts Racing 1-2 finish.
The final race of the weekend, Sunday afternoon’s Race Three, was the exciting reverse grid. On the race starts, several cars collided going up the hill from T1-T2 as the field bunched up on the start, with one damaged car leaving fluids around the circuit after attempting to return to the pit for repairs. Thus, the race became a battle of attrition on the slick track, with the race pace down by 5 seconds due to the challenging conditions.
Despite the chaos, Ryan Liu managed to take to the podium for the third time, which was all the more impressive due to his tire situation: because of a technical issue in qualifying, he had flat spotted his first of the two sets of slicks allowed for qualifying and all three races. Thus, while half the field was on new or close to new slicks for the final race, Liu was running his one set of tires for all three races and had dozens of laps on them by the time of the third race; however, Liu still managed to work his way up the reverse grid field and take to the podium. Meanwhile, despite an amazing morning, Clark finishing fifth after pitting for a suspected puncture. Once rejoining the race, he went on to repeatedly reset the fastest lap of the race to finally set it at a -1.6 seconds, but finishing 5th overall for what would have very likely been another record win.
#11 Conrad Clark:
“What a weekend! It was a bit all over the show but we got there in the end, wrapping up the title with one round to go is incredible and a real testament to the hard work of the BlackArts Racing team! They’ve done an amazing job all season and I can’t thank them enough.’
#16 Ryan Liu:
“Going into the weekend, I was concerned about my performance after not having driven the car for some time. Then, on Thursday the track was closed for the afternoon and all the sessions cancelled after the rainstorms had caused track damage. So I was taking a risk to jump into the weekend, but it worked out even better than I expected, especially with our tire situation. I think Pete’s done a great job proving his new leadership of the BlackArts F4 program and I hope that will continue.”
Pete Olson [Coach/Manager BAR F4]:
“It was an amazing weekend for BlackArts Racing and both Ryan and Conrad. I expected Ryan would do well after he got adjusted to the car, but then we had paid practice canceled due to a track issue and could only do one session [Thursday], so Ryan had to jump right into Official Practice – and led it! So things really were looking up, then we had the issue where Ryan had one set of tires for all three races- and he still pulled off an amazing triple podiums including one 2nd place, on that one tire set - just awesome!
For Conrad, well, yes of course we were confident about this weekend but ‘is not over ‘till it’s over’ and we still had to get good results. He did a fantastic job taking his first pole in Shanghai after qualifying P3 in April’s F1 support event, so that was impressive. Then taking two more wins to seal the championship in style- that was an awesome end to the season. I am honored to have been working with him these past rounds and I think he has a bright future awaiting him in this sport.”
The final round of the season will take place just a few weeks from now on September 26th-28th where BlackArts Racing looks to seal the win for yet another F4 Team Championship. For updates visit www.facebook.com/BlackArtsRacingBAR.
BlackArts Racing Team is a China / Hong Kong registered motor racing team that was formed in January, 2015. Its main operational headquarters are located within the Zhuhai International Circuit, in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province [bordering Macau] and the famous Sepang International F1 Circuit in Malaysia. The team’s business operations predominantly focus on professional racing series in Asia including F3 Asian Championship, Asian Formula Renault Series/AFR Series, FIA China F4, 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.