Formula Masters China Series (FMCS), China and the region’s Number One international junior single-seater series, is set for an epic championship showdown as Asia’s finest fledging talents take on the Zhuhai International Circuit for the penultimate round of the 2015 season. Returning to China for Races 13-15 at the 4.3 km Southern Chinese circuit, the pressure is intense as the drivers battle it out for crucial championship points in the career-changing FMCS title chase.
In Zhuhai, lightning-quick Estonian Martin Rump of Cebu Pacific Air by KCMG will be the man to beat after the 19-year old racked up six consecutive race victories to take a commanding lead in the 2015 Drivers Classification. Australian Jake Parsons (20) of Meritus.GP has taken three wins so far this season plus a further four podium finishes, but will need to be on top form in Zhuhai if he’s to reduce the gap to Rump. In third place, and with a mathematical outside chance at the 2015 title, is fellow Australian and Rump’s team mate, Nicholas Rowe (17), who will be out to snatch his maiden FMCS victory in Zhuhai.
Although 10 different drivers have celebrated on the FMCS podium so far this season, Rump was unbeatable at the championship’s debuts in Chinese Taipei and on the Kuala Lumpur Street Circuit. He arrives in Zhuhai as a hot favourite, but there is no shortage of young drivers capable of putting the brakes on his dominance.
In addition to Parsons and Rowe, Australian Aidan Read (16) of Eurasia Motorsport, currently fourth in the championship, is looking to bounce back from a tough weekend in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysian Daniel Woodroof of Meritus.GP is now fifth overall having scored a pair of runner-up place finishes earlier this season.
Belgian Alessio Picariello (22) of Absolute Racing returns to FMCS in Zhuhai having made an impressive series debut last month in Kuala Lumpur where he took two podiums, finishing second in Race 10 and third in Race 8.
Picariello will be joined at Absolute Racing by American Oliver Askew (18), who is utilizing the FMCS platform to make his formula car debut at the final two race weekends of the season.
Leading the charge in the Best Chinese Driver Trophy standings is Cebu Pacific Air by KCMG driver Jeffrey Ye (18). Ye took top honours in the category last month in Malaysia and will be looking to repeat his success in Zhuhai. Ye is part of the Star Racing Academy (SRA), a first in China and a proven platform for developing the next generation of Chinese motorsport heroes, as are fellow first-year driver Sean Zheng (17) and third-year driver Yuan Bo, who also competes in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia. Both Zheng and Yuan join Ye at Cebu Pacific Air by KCMG.
Ye recently joined the Audi Sport customer racing Asia Young Driver Development Programme, and he and Rump return to FMCS competition hot off the heels of an exclusive Audi R8 LMS Cup test. As leaders of the overall Drivers Classification and the Best Chinese Driver Trophy, Rump and Ye, respectively, received coaching from former Formula 1 driver and defending Audi R8 LMS Cup champion Alex Yoong before getting behind the wheel of an Audi R8 LMS Cup car for the very first time.
As the season thunders towards a spectacular finish, there are 55 critical championship points still on offer and, if the hard-charging battles of the 2015 season are anything to go by, the competition is set to intensify in Zhuhai. The field of 17 includes drivers from 12 different countries and territories as close to home as China, and as far away as South Africa, Europe and the United States, creating a credible international benchmark by which drivers can test their talent.
“We are delighted to return to our home base of China for the final two races weekends of the 2015 season,” said Dominic Lyncker, Head of Group Sports Car, Motorsport and Car Culture, Volkswagen Group (China). “We’ve seen some exhilarating racing over the course of the 2015 season and, as the championship heats up and the drivers fight for valuable points, we expect plenty of wheel-to-wheel battles as our drivers to put up a furious fight to finish the 2015 season.”
Races 13-15 of the Formula Masters China Series take place from Friday, September 18 through Sunday September 20.