Philip Hamprecht (19) of Absolute Racing scored a victory in Race 10 of the Formula Masters China Series (FMCS) at the Sepang International Circuit today, strengthening his championship lead. The action-packed day saw Hamprecht top the time sheets in the hour-long Free Practice, before setting pole position in the first of two qualifying sessions. Second on the Race 10 podium was Hamprecht’s team mate Sean Zheng (18), while Leong Hon Chio (15) of DP Motorsport finished third.
“The start was quite okay and I defended into Turn 4,” said Hamprecht. “Kim was pretty aggressive from outside. Great move for him. It was a fair play. When it came to the last corner, he made a big mistake and went really wide. I stayed tight and gained distance on him and passed him from the outside in the slip stream. And I managed to pull up a gap from then. After that, I had to defend one more time into T4. Because it is a long straight, he tried to slip stream me, but I managed to pull up the gap in the quick sector. I am really happy with that. I drove in Sepang two years ago. But they resurfaced it and [there] was a huge difference. The car handled differently with a lot more grip. Once I pulled up the gap, I drove much more slowly to save the tyres for tomorrow.”
With Hamprecht also setting the fastest lap time in the 10-lap race, the German will start from pole position in Sunday morning’s Race 11, with Zheng alongside him. In Race 12, Zheng will start from pole, having claimed his maiden pole position following a strong performance in today’s second qualifying session. Kim Jeong Tae (21) of Cebu Pacific Air by PRT will start from third on the grid for both of tomorrow’s races.
While the recent track resurfacing rendered Malaysia’s Formula 1 track smoother and easier to drive, the searing heat remained a challenge for the young drivers as track temperatures soared to 55 degrees Celsius.
From the moment the lights went out, Race 10 saw plenty of action. Kim, who started from third on the grid, had a strong start and got past Hamprecht and Zheng at Turn 4. However, a mistake in the final corner of the first lap proved costly, with Hamprecht then retaking the lead. While Kim attempted another overtaking maneuver, Hamprecht stood firm and led the field for the remainder of the race.
Behind them, Zheng waited patiently until Kim spun on the second lap to overtake him and finish the race comfortably in second place. Leong had a strong start, jumping up two places from seventh on the grid. The battle in front of him on the second lap gave him the opportunity to get past James Yu (15) of Super License and later Kim to cross the line in third, ahead of Yu and Kim, who finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
Sean Zheng: “This time I came here and saw a big difference on the track. Some of corners are like brand new to me. I had to use a new way to drive through. It took me a lot of time to adapt to these changes. I had an okay start, but due to some issue with the mirrors, I didn’t notice much of the situation behind me. And Kim overtook me. I couldn’t really keep up the pace with the battle between Hamprecht and Kim. A bit disappointed. For the newly paved track, the T2 and T9 became easier for me, but T14 and T15 were very challenging for me to drive. ”
Hamprecht’s consistent performance extended his lead in the championship to 32 points, ahead of Aidan Read (17) of Eurasia Motorsport who is suffering from the flu this weekend. Read finished sixth in Race 10 and will start alongside Kim on the second row for both Races 11 and 12. Thanks to another strong performance, Zheng is closing the gap to Read in the Drivers Classification and now trails his rival by just nine points, while also firmly leading the Best Chinese Driver classification.
Race 10 Results
|1||5||Philip HAMPRECHT/GER||Absolute Racing||21:44.507|
|2||6||ZHENG Shangguan/CHN||Absolute Racing||+12.345|
|3||8||LEONG Hon Chio/MAC||DP Motorsport||+19.906|
|4||88||James YU/CHN||Super License||+22.462|
|5||1||KIM Jeong Tae/KOR||Cebu Pacific Air by PRT||+30.388|
|6||24||Aidan READ/AUS||Eurasia Motorsport||+34.854|
|7||55||Takashi HATA/JPN||Super License||+35.323|
|8||17||HONG Shijie/CHN||Super License||+58.421|
|9||9||HU Nan/CHN||DP Motorsport||+1:27.491|
|10||39||James WONG/HKG||Amateur Cup||1 lap|
|11||23||LIU Zexuan/CHN||DP Motorsport||1 lap|
|–||4||Thomas SWIFT/HKG||Cebu Pacific Air by PRT||DNF|
Fastest Lap: Philip HAMPRECHT / Absolute Racing/ 2:09.115 / top speed at 205.714k/h
Formula Masters China Series Points Classification after Race 10:
2016 Drivers Classification (Top 5)
|1||5||Philip HAMPRECHT/GER||Absolute Racing||144|
|2||24||Aidan READ/AUS||Eurasia Motorsport||112|
|3||6||ZHENG Shangguan/CHN||Absolute Racing||103|
|4||1||KIM Jeong Tae/KOR||Cebu Pacific Air by PRT||91|
|5||88||James YU/CHN||Super License||47|
2016 Best Chinese Driver Trophy
|1||6||ZHENG Shangguan/CHN||Absolute Racing||150|
|2||17||HONG Shijie/CHN||Super License||111|
|3||88||James YU/CHN||Super License||96|
|4||3||Jeffrey YE/CHN||Cebu Pacific Air by PRT||82|
2016 Masters Trophy
|1||55||Takashi HATA/JPN||Super License||122|
|2||37||Carlo MANTORI/ITA||Amateur Cup||42|
|3||48||Angelo NEGRO/ITA||Amateur Cup||38|
2016 Team Classification
|2||Cebu Pacific Air by PRT||152|
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||Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia|
|2-4 September||13-15||Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia|
|15-16 October||16-18||Penbay International Circuit, Chinese Taipei|