Aidan Read, the 17-year-old from Perth Western Australia racing for Eurasia Motorsport in the Formula Masters China Series got his season off to a promising start with 4th and 2 x 3rd place finishes in the Championships opening weekend of the season at the Shanghai International Circuit, China.
Returning for his second full season and hoping to make a title challenge in his burgeoning single seater race car career, the youngster showed a step forward from last season posting times at the top of the timesheets through practice in dry conditions.
Qualifying however was wet and Read struggled to maintain his position from dry running but still posted P4 and P3 for the 2 main races of the weekend to leave him with the prospect of decent points and results.
Race 1 held on the Saturday also took place in wet conditions and the spray from the open wheelers was immense as Read battled up to second place from the start. As the race progressed and struggling for grip compared to his closest rivals he was powerless to defend eventually slipping back to fourth spot at the flag
Race 2, the shorter sprint race of the weekend, saw Aidan line up 5th on the grid as a result of the wet lap times from race 1. Despite the short race sprint format he showed well to pass Race 1 winner Kim and front runner Zheng to run P3 to the line for his first race podium of the 2016 Series proper.
The final race over 12 laps was to prove a battling performance. Starting P3, Aidan held position at the start of the race but fell back into the clutches of Phillip Hamprecht to run P4 until passing Kim once again to step back into the podium positions.
Aidan quoted “It’s been a very useful couple of days racing in Shanghai. The inconsistent nature of the weather and track conditions required the ability to adapt quickly in a competitive environment, which was challenging but important for developing further race experience. I’m happy with the results, with 2 podiums and solid points, and I’m looking forward to my next chance on the track”.
A change of machinery now beckons for Aidan who heads immediately with his mentor and driver coach 5 times Le Mans 24 hour winner Oliver Gavin to Sepang Malaysia where he will take the wheel of an LMP3 prototype sports car for the first time in round one of the all new ACO Sprint Series, a 3 round Championship. All of which will be held at the home of the Malaysian Formula 1 Grand Prix where Aidan has enjoyed considerable success in the past, most notably the triple win earlier this year at the Formula Masters Winter Series event.
The switch to LMP machinery is part of the development process mapped out for Aidan in 2016 where he will try to gain experience in a variety of different formulas on a one off rather than Championship basis. Read adding “competing in the Asian Le Mans Sprint Series with Eurasia Motorsport, at the Sepang F1 Circuit in Malaysia. For the first time in my career, I will be driving in the LMP3 category. This will be a great chance to expand my understanding of the sport into the GT/LMP and endurance branch. I’m looking forward to returning to the Sepang Circuit after it’s surfacing and using my skills and knowledge of the track to make the most of this opportunity.”
For more information on Aidan Read and his racing activities, please visit the official www.aidanread.com.au.