F3 ASIA 2019 – A YEAR OF ACCOMPLISHMENT FOR BLACKARTS RACING & OLOI, Inc
Shanghai International F1 Circuit –
-BAR took 3rd in the 2019 F3 Asia Team Championship, of the 10 teams
-BAR/OLO driver Brendon Leitch took to the podium at every round during the season
-BAR’s Thomas Luedi took 5 wins and 7 podiums in the Masters Class
In an incredible season of accomplishment for BlackArts Racing and team sponsor OLOI, Inc, the Zhuhai and Sepang-based BAR wrapped up its third season in F3 Asia in style last weekend with taking to the podium with a 3rd in team points, while F3 rookie Brendon Leitch finished 4th overall in the Driver’s Points in his F3 Asia rookie season. This incredible accomplishment was made even more remarkable by that fact that Leitch was juggling Super Trofeo at the same time not just during the overall season but during many of the F3 Asia events as well.
Not to be outdone, BAR racer Thomas Luedi [Switzerland] finished 2nd overall in the Masters Class. Despite 5 wins and 7 podium finishes in the five round series, unfortunately the Masters Class series favorite lost critical points from several DNFs in his fight for the championship in which he was the clear pace setter.
Five Rounds in Review
Sepang International Circuit, April 5-7, Round 1:
Race One Brendon Leitch got off to a fantastic start for the season, finishing just off the podium in 4th in the OLOI Powered by BAR car. Meanwhile, Thomas Luedi was leading the Masters and ready to take to the top of the podium until being hit by a competitor which caused him to DNF.
Race Two Brendon Leitch had a consistently fast drive and wound up taking BlackArts Racing’s first-ever F3 Asia podium in 3rd place, finishing less than two tenths off P2. Thomas Luedi had a strong race and was heading to the Masters Podium before an unfortunate DNF.
Race Three Thomas Luedi was on his way to the Masters win when a competitor hit him under braking and they both spun. Managing to continue, Luedi took to the podium for 2nd in the Masters, after driving up to 1 second a lap faster than the eventual Master Class winner. Meanwhile, Brendon Leitch in the OLOI Powered by BAR car stormed up the field from starting in P9, taking competitors down one by one until finishing just 0.49 sec behind P3 at the finish line.
Buriram International Circuit, May 11-12, Round 2:
Race One: Leitch finished 5th while Luedi had a strong lead the Masters Class but experienced a technical issue towards the end of the race and DNF’d.
Race Two: bad fortune continued for BAR, as Leitch was charging up the field until a mistake dropped him back to P6, followed by an off-track excursion which resulted in a cut tire and DNF while he was attempting an overtake for 5th halfway through the race. Meanwhile Thomas Luedi had created an 11.8 second lead in the Masters, but once again retired as the result of a technical issue.
Race Three brought a massive change of fortune for BlackArts Racing. With one last chance of the weekend to take to glory, BAR wound up having its best F3 race to date- Leitch started 5th and stormed up the field, within several laps not only setting the fastest race lap but also setting the fastest lap of the entire weekend’s races. Meanwhile, in doing so, he charged up to P2 and was closing quickly on race leader Sasahara, following closely behind until dropping off slightly in the remainder of the race with high temperatures, still managing to take 3rd on the podium in the OLOI Powered by BAR race car. Meanwhile, Thomas Luedi, with car issues now resolved, took an easy win in the Masters, by an entire lap.
Suzuka International F1 Circuit, June 22-23, Round 3:
Race One: Brendon Leitch in the OLOI Powered by BAR car stormed up the field six positions in the brief eight lap race to finish 5th, and took the third fastest lap of the race while on old tires. BAR's Thomas Luedi took a strong lead in the Masters Class to finish with a 17 second gap to the Masters P2 in the shortened 8 lap race.
Race Two: Drivers got off to a clean start, but despite Brendon Leitch in the OLOI Powered by BAR car immediately moving up to P4, misfortune struck when he went off track when attempting to pass for 3rd, sustaining damage and causing him to DNF. Thomas Luedi dominated the Masters Class to take his second win of the weekend.
Race Three: Again, Lietch set a new best for BlackArts Racing in the OLOI Powered by BAR car by taking 2nd overall, while Luedi completed an amazing hat trick weekend with his 3rd Masters Win of the weekend.
Shanghai International F1 Circuit, Aug 7-8, Round 4:
Race One: Leitch started on the second row in 4th and with a consistently fast pace, took yet another podium in the OLOI Powered by BAR car, while unfortunately teammate Thomas Luedi DNFd due to a technical issue after an earlier off-track excursion in what would have been another Masters Class victory.
Race Two, Leitch finished 5th; however teammate Thomas Luedi fended off title rival Paul Wong to claim another Masters win after a fierce battle with the 852 Challengers driver.
Race Three: In drama-filled action, Leitch and Absolute Racing’s Daniel Cao collided at the start, with Leitch dropping back in the field. After a safety car period and race restart, Leitch charged up the field to finish sixth but later received a ten second penalty for the race start incident, demoting him to eighth. Meanwhile, Luedi took his second Masters victory of the day to bring home yet another Masters Class win for the BAR squad.
Shanghai International F1 Circuit, Sept 28-29, Round 5 finale:
Race One: Starting from P3 in qualifying for Race One, Leitch fell back slightly on the start and was making the pass for P3 but received a puncture while passing on the dirty side of the 1.2km back straight and had to pit in for a tire change, finishing 10th. Unfortunately Thomas Luedi DNF’d after contact with Pinnacle Motorsport’s Tommy Smith, with Luedi hit and receiving radiator damage, later having to stop on lap 4 with an overheated engine. Smith was later handed a three-place grid penalty for the incident.
Race Two: Leitch bounced back to claim second place, starting from P4, after a strong move around the outside at Turn 1 and into Turn 2 took him from fourth to second, which he held to the end of the race. Thomas Luedi, had to retire after clutch issues from a spin and restart in 5th gear.
Race Three: Leitch started in P4 but on old tires wasn’t quite able to make podium pace, while Thomas Luedi retired after several laps due to clutch damage complications in Race Two.
While the season had its ups and downs for the BlackArts Racing team, overall it was a season of breakthroughs for the team, which had its maiden F3 season just last year and is competing with the likes of the highly experienced Europeans-based Hitech Grand Prix F3 outfit.
Despite the stiff competition in one of the highest-level open wheeler categories in motorsport, BAR has taken a strong learning curve, as its 2019 podium finish in the Asian F3 Team Championship has demonstrated.
…Looking Towards Next Season
After Brendon Leitch’s amazing accomplishment of finishing 4th in his rookie Asian F3 season after coming off season finishes of 8th in US F4, and 6th, 8th, and 9th in Toyota Racing Series, the talented Kiwi will now switch his focus to his other campaign this season in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia and the world finals in Spain at the end of the month.
Thomas Luedi, who was the clear season pace setter for the Masters Class Driver’s Championship. Thomas has clearly step-up his pace and with some further improvements will take on the 2020 Asian F3 season with one goal in mind: taking home the Masters Class Champion trophy, of which he is well capable of.
Brendon Leitch: “I've got to be satisfied with fourth in the points,” Leitch said. “We took a podium at every round. We were a small team in the championship competing against bigger players with more experience of the tracks, the car and the set up. In addition I’ve had to learn all the tracks as we go. Nevertheless, it's a season of huge positives for me and the only real downer is that we didn't secure a race win when we had the outright pace to do so on a number of occasions. Fortunately we managed to bring home third place in the Teams’ Championship, which is pretty cool”
Thomas Luedi: “It was a tough start to the season with some technical issues that we had to sort out with these newer cars, and that definitely cost us points. However once we got that sorted, I was taking wins in the Masters. Unfortunately by then I was playing catch up in terms of points, despite more Masters wins. Anyhow, definitely looking forward to the upcoming season, new circuits and challenges and going for that Masters Champion season trophy.”
…New Tracks, New Format, New Challenges
For the 2020 season, the Asian F3 Certified by FIA Championship will take on a new format, with the ‘regular’ season run in the winter months December – February, in order to give competitors the chance to earn FIA Super License points in the Asian F3 series, before competing in various European series on the regular season 2020 calendar. In addition, the Asian F3 series will bring exciting new circuits into the championship such as the Yas Marina Formula One Circuit.
After its stellar climb in Asian F3 in the past year, BlackArts Racing is poised to continue its championship-winning contention.
For testing and championship drive opportunities please contact BlackArts Racing Team at email@example.com, or visit us at www.BlackArtsRacing.com or on facebook at www.facebook.com/BlackArtsRacingBAR.
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2020 Asian F3 Certified by FIA Championship Calendar:
Round 1: Sepang International F1 Circuit, Malaysia, 14th-15th Dec, 2019
Round 2: Dubai Autodrome, UAE, 10th-11th Jan, 2020
Round 3: Yas Marina F1 Circuit, UAE, 17th-18th Jan, 2020
R0und 4: Sepang International F1 Circuit, Malaysia, 15th-16th Feb, 2020
Round 5: Buriram International Circuit, Thailand, 22nd-23rd Feb, 2020