Asian F3 Round One: OLOI Powered by BAR Joey Alders storms to double wins; Luedi takes double Masters wins; BAR leads Driver & Team Championships
>BAR takes first ever Asian F3 victory in Friday’s season opener
>OLOI Powered by BAR pilot Joey Alders takes double season opening race wins and 3rd
>Thomas Luedi takes double wins in Masters
>Joey Alders leads the Driver’s Championship by 18 points to Red Bull driver and 2018 Asian F3 season runner-up Jack Doohan
>BlackArts Racing leads Team Championship by 17 points
December 15, 2019
Sepang International F1 Circuit –
In a sensational weekend for BlackArts Racing team, Dutch driver Joey Alders took double season opening race wins in the OLOI Powered by BAR car, while Thomas Luedi of Switzerland took double Masters wins.
The race week started off in BlackArts Racing’s favor from Tuesday when BAR’s Yu Kanamaru set a new lap record in the morning’s testing at a blistering 1:59.0.
After a two day break on Wednesday and Thursday, the cars were prepared for a busy Friday during which the race weekend officially began.
Friday was nonstop action on the track and in the pits, with a final test session in the morning, followed by Official Practice, Qualifying One, Qualifying Two, and Race One. No less than six teams took part in a field of star-studded international single-seater talent that included two F1 test drivers and various F2 and FIA F3 European series top drivers.
In Race One, Alders, having just last week won the 2019 Asia Formula Renault Driver’s Championship in the final round at Zhuhai International Circuit, kept the winning momentum up in the first Asian F3 2020 Championship race with an amazing victory.
The Dutch driver started in P2 and after a safety car period caused by an on-track incident, Alders made a daring pass on the inside of T4 to take the lead from GP3 veteran Devlin DeFrancesco. Rounding out a perfect Friday the 13th for the BlackArts Racing team was the Masters Class Win from Thomas Luedi, who took the season-opening class victory from Zen Motorsport’s Paul Wong, passing Wong early in the race. Meanwhile BlackArts Racing driver Yu Kanamaru finished sixth ahead of W Series champion Jamie Chadwick despite a technical issue.
Race Two took place on Sunday morning under steady rain, with Alders in the OLOI Powered by BAR car taking an amazing win, getting off to an another fast race start after powering past pole sitter Canadian Devlin DeFrancesco of Absolute Racing while going into Turn One. Alders led the entire race to take the win and make it two for two wins for the Asian F3 season opening weekend. Meanwhile Yu Kanamaru had a fantastic race, stormed up the field in the rain to go from starting P9 to move all the way up to 5th for the checkered flag. Thomas Luedi Did Not Start after a technical issue, but came back with a vengeance in the Masters for Sunday afternoon’s Race Three.
Race Three got underway Sunday afternoon with a recently dried track. However, with the entire field on slicks, drizzle began at the beginning of the race and continued for the entire duration, with the circuit becoming extremely slippery later on in the race. Alders started in P3 and got off to another strong start, pulling into P2 to hunt down Jack Doohan in the slippery conditions. However Doohan managed to keep the lead to the finish, with Alders later sliding in the slick Turn 9 exit, which allowed Devlin DeFrancesco to pull by with Alders still able to finish on the podium in 3rd. Meanwhile Thomas Luedi took another Masters win after being hit by Paul Wong, with Wong pitting in during the race to replace his nose after the hard contact. With broken alignment, Luedi still managed to make it across the finish line and take a well-deserved Masters Win. Lastly, BAR’s Yu Kanamaru had gotten off to a strong start but had to pull in the pits early in the race with a clutch issue.
Joey Alders: "Exactly 2 years ago I drove my very first meters in a Formula car, now I was able to take the top step on the Formule 3 podium amongst highly competitive and experienced racing drivers. I'm really thankful to Oloi.inc and BlackArtsRacing to give me this opportunity, and providing me with a beast of a car. Let's keep going!"
Yu Kanamaru: "Unlucky weekend, and I just want to forget what happened here. Trouble with the one of the engine sensors from qualifying to Race 1, which the team did everything to find out what the problem was and completely not their fault. A lot of drivers had a problem with the rain tires in Race 2, and ours’ weren’t exceptional. Still managed to finish P5, but we were way off the pace from top 3 because of the problem with the tires. Then in Race 3, I had a clutch trouble on the first lap, which means that I had to retire the car. I believe this wasn’t my team’s fault either. Therefore, this weekend was to forget, and already looking forward to the next round! Thank you all for your support."
The 2020 Asian F3 Certified by FIA Championship will head to the Middle East for double header Rounds 2&3 just a few weeks from now, to the Dubai Autodrome on Jan 10th-11th and Jan 17th-18th at the Yas Marina F1 Circuit.
OLOI, Inc, the primary team sponsor of BlackArts Racing, 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 and exciting promotional offers. For more information on OLOI, please visit: http://www.OLOIinc.com or on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/oloiinc/.
BlackArts Racing 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.
Asian F3 Certified by FIA 2020 Championship Calendar:
Rnd 1 – Dec 14-15 – Sepang International F1 Circuit
Rnd 2 – Jan 10-11 – Dubai Autodrome
Rnd 3 – Jan 17-18 – Yas Marina F1 Circuit
Rnd 4 – Feb 14-15 - Sepang International F1 Circuit
Rnd 5 – Feb 22-23 - Buriram International Circuit