Cebu Pacific Air by PRT concluded their Formula Masters China Series (FMCS) debut over the weekend with a stellar performance. Fielding a three-car lineup in the season opener, the team secured two pole positions and three victories at the Shanghai International Circuit with Nicholas Rowe, Kim Jeong Tae, and Jeffrey Ye.
Rowe found the quickest way around the 5.5 km Chinese Formula 1 circuit during the wet qualifying sessions to secure pole position. This was equally matched by Kim Jeong Tae allowing the team to lockout the front row.
The 17-year-old Australian, however, stalled on the grid in Race 1 and dropped down the order. With the team’s success now in Kim’s hands, the South Korean driver lead the race until the chequered flag to secure his and Cebu Pacfic by PRT’s maiden FMCS victory setting the fastest lap of the race in the process. Rowe managed to recover and finish in seventh place while Ye completed the race in tenth.
“It was a great season start for me and the team,” said Rowe. “Despite my missed opportunity in the first race, I just put my head down in race two and three to cap the almost perfect weekend. Thanks to all the guys in the team for giving me a great car all weekend and I’m looking forward to the next round with the championship lead.”
Learning from his earlier error, Rowe came back stronger on Sunday to dominate Race 2 and 3 sweeping all wins for the team. Meanwhile, Kim put up a strong fight to defend his position and claimed fourth. He was once again busy fending off the competition throughout Race 3. His efforts would eventually pay off and wrapped up the weekend with a commendable fifth place finish.
Chinese driver Jeffrey Ye was determined to finish well for the team. He made up ground during the six-lap Race 2 and climbed from tenth on the grid to finish fifth. Finding better pace in Race 3, Ye was trailing his teammate Kim’s rear wing when the pair crossed the line earning him sixth position. “I had a great experience on my first outing with Cebu Pacific Air by PRT. We made good progress on my driving and car setup which allowed me to fight for position. I would like to thank my team and hope for a better finish in the next round.”