Formula Masters China Series (FMCS), China and Asia’s leading international junior single-seater series, is set for a landmark fourth season with its first triple-header of the 2016 season this weekend at China’s Formula 1 track, the Shanghai International Circuit.
Following the success of the 2015 season – which saw drivers from 15 different countries given unmatched opportunities for career advancement with the Volkswagen Group China motorsport family – FMCS continues its growth, championing fledging talent and providing the optimum platform for driver development.
Six drivers return to the series, setting their eyes on the championship and a further nine are making their first appearance in FMCS, representing the growing enthusiasm of motorsport within the region. The field will battle it out over 18 races for the coveted FMCS championship title, while at the same time developing a solid foundation skillfully designed to launch a successful motorsport career. Backed by Audi R8 LMS Cup and Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, the championship has already proven to be a powerful platform in helping drivers graduate to higher level of GT series within Volkswagen Group China motorsport family; 2015 champion Martin Rump will be racing at the same weekend in Audi R8 LMS cup while 2015 best Chinese driver Yuan Bo had made a shining debut at PCCA’s 2016 season kickoff at F1 Grand Prix weekend in Shanghai.
As the 2016 FMCS season gets underway this weekend, Nicolas Rowe (18) of Cebu Pacific Air by PRT leads the charge as the highest-finishing returning driver. Rowe finished third in his first full FMCS season in 2015, the Australian will have his sights firmly on the championship prize. Joining Rowe at Cebu Pacific Air by PRT is Chinese driver Jeffrey Ye (19), who is the Star Racing Academy driver and was the runner up of Best Chinese Driver in 2015. His team mate Korean driver Kim Jeong Tae (21), another returning driver, was among those early birds to sign up for another full season’s battle.
Team Absolute Racing which joined FMCS in 2015, returns with two rising talents to continue their attack on the title: German new comer Philip Hamprecht (19) was the champion of junior Rotax Max Challenge Germany in 2013 and his Chinse team mate Sean Zheng, also a Star Racing Academy driver, is eager to demonstrate his improvement after a full season’s learning in 2015.
Australian Aidan Read (16), who joined FMCS full-time last year, returns for a full-on championship assault with team Eurasia. Japanese drivers Takashi Hata is back with Super License after a full season in 2015. He is joined by two Chinese drivers James Yu, newly selected Star Racing Academy driver in 2016, who was the champion of Parilla_X-30 CHALLENGE in Japan in both 2014 and 2015 and Hong Shi Jie, back for a second FMCS season.
In 2016, FMCS will race across Asia at six different tracks, making its debut in Thailand as well as in Korea. The opening round in Shanghai will be held on China’s prestigious F1 circuit, with Zhuhai, Penbay in Chinese Taipei and the hugely-successful KL City Grand Prix in Malaysia also on the calendar.
A new innovation this season is the FMCS Masters Trophy, a category tailored to more senior drivers keen to hone their car control skills in the region’s premier single seater championship. The new category welcomes 6 drivers from China, Italy and France to compete for the title.
Races 1-3 of the Formula Masters China Series are being held from May 21-22, 2016. Saturday, May 21 will feature two qualifying sessions, which determine the grid for Races 1 and 3, respectively. The Race 1 takes place on Saturday afternoon, with Races 2 and the Race 3 held on Sunday, May 22.
Formula Masters China Series 2016 Provisional Calendar
|21-22 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, South Korea|
|15-16 October||16-18||Penbay International Circuit, Chinese Taipei|