Young Australian, Aidan Read, cemented a top five finishing position in the Formula Masters China Series (FMCS) by locking horns with the championship’s established leaders and achieving three solid results at the Shanghai International Circuit (17-19 October).
Read, a resident of Perth in Western Australia, was able to use knowledge and experience accrued during two previous outings at the SIC – the home of the Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix – to slingshot into the final weekend of the 2015 season.
Free practice was straightforward for the young Aussie, although he was heavily compromised by red-flag stoppages in qualifying and found himself slightly disappointed in sixth and eighth on the grid for races one and three respectively.
However, Read was certain he had a strong racecar with a setup suited to the SIC’s long straights and that would be competitive over a race distance, and he was able to take advantage of first-lap incidents to move up from his starting position to fifth in the opening encounter of the weekend.
Read spent the entirety of race two locked in a super-competitive three-way tussle with newly-crowned Formula Masters China Champion, Martin Rump, and Nicolas Rowe for third position.
The Eurasia Motorsport driver was delighted to demonstrate that he is more than capable of competing with the championship’s regular leading protagonists and he showed supreme racecraft and great maturity while attacking for the final podium place, once again taking the finish in fifth.
In the final race of the year, Read showed how much he has developed as a driver over the past 12 months; starting from P8, he deposed two rivals on the run through Turn 1 and continued chipping away to challenge 2015 Vice-Champion Jake Parsons for third position, but ultimately completed what he regards as one of his best races of his career in fourth.
Three solid results in Shanghai cemented fifth place on the championship table – a strong position in only his first year of competition on the international stage with the support of an globally renowned team in Eurasia Motorsport – and Read said: “Overall, I’m really happy with the outcome and I’m quite proud of my position, especially as I was only a few points away from finishing third.
“It was nice to end the year with a great weekend in Shanghai. I raced well relative to the start of the year and I feel I’ve come a long way. There have been vast improvements both on and off the track; driving ability isn’t something you can judge too well unless you’re comparing like with like, but my mental state and my ability to handle race weekends and the associated pressures and setbacks is where I’ve made the most progress.”
Read added: “It was a big step to move up to Asia and get involved in international racing with an international team and it required a whole new level of commitment and performance. It has been a significant learning curve, but it has been very useful and effective.”