Young talents from the Formula Masters China Series (FMCS) were given a golden opportunity to learn from the best when they joined the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia 2016 pre-season test with reigning 24 Hours of Le Mans winner and two-time Porsche Carrera Cup Asia champion Earl Bamber. Bamber, who began his career racing single-seaters in Asia, worked with FMCS drivers Aidan Read of Australia, South Korea’s Kim Jeong Tae and Chinese talent James Yu during last weekend’s official test at China’s Formula 1 facility in Shanghai. The valuable opportunity for the trio of FMCS youngster was just one of many exclusive collaborations between the two Volkswagen Group China championships.
The FMCS drivers were joined by two series alumni, both of whom are now competing full-time in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia: Chinese drivers Bao Jin Long, embarking on his third season with the regional sportscar series, and Yuan Bo, making his debut this season having won two FMCS Best Chinese Driver Trophies in 2014 and 2015.
Fourteen-year old Yu, who makes his FMCS debut in May, was inspired by Bamber, who took the young driver on hot laps in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (Type 991) car. “I had a great time with Earl,” Yu said. “I learned that you need to be patient. The experience made me realize that it takes a lot to become a great driver and that, no matter how hard it is, I should persist and always be positive. I think the test experience has made me more confident and has given me courage to face the FMCS season ahead.”
Said Read: “It was a highlight to meet and talk to Andrew Tang, who is the Porsche China Junior driver for this season, and to see the future possibilities available to junior drivers is exciting. It was great to see cars in action on track and to [meet] Earl Bamber. The Porsche Carrera Cup Asia is without a doubt one of Asia’s premier series and I believe that racing in such as series is something to aspire to.”
At the test, FMCS drivers Kim, Read and Yu were given a comprehensive introduction to the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, before meeting with Bamber, who offered the drivers advice heading into the 2016 season. The weekend helped the young talents better understand what it takes to be a professional racing driver, while affording them the chance to look at future opportunities with the series.
This season, FMCS and the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia have expanded their partnership as part of their mutual commitment to developing young talent in China and the region. One FMCS driver will be given an exclusive Porsche Carrera Cup Asia test in 2017, while a coveted slot in the Porsche China Junior Programme 2017 shoot-out has been reserved for a candidate from FMCS. FMCS drivers will also be given the chance to attend the 6 Hours of Nürburgring in July with the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia.
“At Formula Masters China Series, we believe it’s essential for young drivers to work with successful, professional competitors and to experience senior championships in order to gain a better understanding of what is required of them to succeed,” said Dominic Lyncker, Head of Group Sports Car, Motorsport and Car Culture, Volkswagen Group (China). “One of the advantages of the Volkswagen Group China motorsport family is the close collaboration between FMCS and sportscar series such as the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia and the Audi R8 LMS Cup. We are delighted that our drivers had the chance to experience the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia test and to meet and learn from Earl Bamber.
“We wish former FMCS drivers Bao Jin Long and Yuan Bo all the best in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia season ahead. Both drivers established sound motorsport foundations with FMCS, which is precisely what the platform is designed to do. We are excited to see both drivers fly the flag for FMCS in this respected sportscar championship.”
Said Alexandre Gibot, Motorsport Manager, Porsche China: “Formula Masters China Series is an ideal professional development platform for young talent. As the region’s most respected and established international sportscar championship, the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia is delighted to contribute towards the development of the FMCS drivers by providing them with unparalleled experiences to help them realise their full potential.”
With last week’s pre-season FMCS test complete, the 18-race season of China and the region’s premier international junior single-seater series gets underway in May at the Shanghai International Circuit. For race opportunities, interested drivers are asked to contact FMCS Series Manager Matthijs Hoitink at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Formula Masters China Series 2016 Provisional Calendar
|7-8 May||1-3||Shanghai International Circuit, China|
|18-19 June||4-6||Zhuhai International Circuit, China|
|23-24 July||7-9||Chang International Circuit, Thailand|
|13-14 August||10-12||Kuala Lumpur Street Circuit, Malaysia|
|24-25 September||13-15||Korea International Circuit, Korea|
|15-16 October||16-18||Penbay International Circuit, Chinese Taipei|