Cebu Pacific Air by KCMG driver Martin Rump (19) proved unbeatable at the new Kuala Lumpur Street Circuit, winning Races 11 and 12 to complete a perfect weekend and take his fifth and sixth consecutive victories in the Formula Masters China Series (FMCS).
At the inaugural KL City Grand Prix, Rump was masterful with two lights-to-flag victories. In Race 11 he finished ahead of championship rival Australian Jake Parsons (20) of Meritus.GP and Belgian Alessio Picariello (21) of Absolute Racing. Norwegian Dennis Olsen (19) of Absolute Racing was second in Race 12, ahead of Parsons.
Rump has extended his lead in the FMCS Drivers Classification to 54 points over Parsons. Fellow Australian Nicholas Rowe (17) of Cebu Pacific Air by KCMG is a further 38 points adrift, having finished sixth in Race 11 and fourth in Race 12. Sixteen-year old Aidan Read of Eurasia Motorsport is fourth in the championship, while Malaysian Daniel Woodroof (19) of Meritus.GP rounds out the top five. Cebu Pacific Air by KCMG driver Jeffrey Ye (18), who is part of the Star Racing Academy, was the weekend’s top-finishing Chinese driver and continues to lead the race for the Best Chinese Driver Trophy.
Both races featured spectacular, hard-fought racing on the technical and bumpy 3.305-km street circuit. With the fastest lap times from Race 10 setting the grid for the short 10-lap Race 11, Rump was on pole with Picariello alongside him. While Parsons was unable to finish Race 10 after his suspension broke and he hit the wall, he had been pushing to the limit earlier in the race and set the third-fastest lap to give him a spot on the second row with Japan’s Shota Kiyohara (22) of Super License alongside him.
In Race 11 Rump made a clean getaway at the start, but Parsons soon got by Picariello to move into second and setting up a battle for the position. As Rump began to build a little bit of a gap, Picariello piled the pressure on Parsons. Meanwhile, Kiyohara, in fourth, was steadily closing down on third.
Behind Kiyohara, Rowe, Woodroof and Olsen were locked in a tight battle for fifth. While Rowe held his rivals at bay for the second half of the race, Woodroof was, to the delight of the crowds, able to get past the Australian on the final lap to finish fifth.
By the penultimate lap, Rump had built up a more than three-second lead, but it was still close racing behind him. As Rump took the chequered flag, it was a photo finish for Parsons and Picariello, with the former crossing the line just two-tenths of a second ahead of his rival.
Having set the fastest time in Saturday’s second qualifying session, Rump again started Race 12 from pole position, with Olsen alongside him. Parsons and Picariello comprised the second row, with Kiyohara and Rowe starting from the third row.
Rump made a wheel-perfect start to lead Olsen and Parsons. Picariello was forced to retire on the first lap after his rear suspension sustained damage. On Lap 2, Kiyohara made a move on Parsons and moved into third and as the two battled for position, Rowe, in fifth, began to close in.
Behind the leading pack, there was plenty of action. Woodroof, who after hitting the wall in qualifying was forced to start from the back of the grid, made his way through the field and by the fifth lap he was battling for ninth position, where he would finish. On Lap 6, Singapore’s Sean Hudspeth (21) of Eurasia Motorsport and South African Matthew Swanepoel (20) of Arrows Racing were side by side, with Swanepoel getting past Hudspeth to ultimately finish seventh.
With five laps remaining, Rump had built a 3.9 second gap to Olsen, with Kiyohara still in third. However, the Japanese driver was assessed a drive-through penalty for a jump start and two laps later, when the Safety Car was called out for an incident involving team mate Takashi Hata, Kiyohara served his penalty. He would ultimately finish fifth as the race finished under Safety Car.
Following its debut in Chinese Taipei and this weekend at the KL City Grand Prix, FMCS next returns to China, for three races in Southern China at the Zhuhai International Circuit.
Broadcast Schedule for Races 10-12 highlights:
|Fox Sports 3||August 16||4 p.m.|
|August 17||6:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 11:30 p.m.|
|August 18||8:30 a.m., 3:30 a.m.|
|August 19||6:30 a.m.|
|Star Sports China||August 19||8 p.m.|
|August 20||12 p.m., 3 p.m.|
|August 21||10:30 p.m.|
*All times are listed China Standard Time and subject to changes. Please check local listings for updates.