Ten teams have already registered for the inaugural season of the new F3 Asian Championship Certified by FIA which gets underway this July in Malaysia, giving young drivers a wide choice of proven, professional racing outfits with which to further their careers. The teams, which hail from Asia, Europe and North America, are expected to field a total of 24 cars at the opening round on July 13-15.
From Asia come China’s Absolute Racing, BlackArts Racing (BAR) and Zen- Motorsport, Hong Kong team Eurasia Motorsport, India’s MSport Asia (Meco Motorsport), Super License from Japan and Pinnacle Motorsport from the Philippines.
Italian-based SVC Asia and the UK’s Hitech GP are the two European teams confirmed for the championship, while LA-based Chase Owen Racing further strengthens the series’ international credentials.
Commented General Manager of championship organizer Top Speed, Davide De Gobbi: “We are thrilled to announce such a strong line-up of ten professional, experienced teams for the F3 Asian Championship Certified by FIA. Never before has an Asian-based single seater championship been given such a ringing endorsement by some of the sport’s most respected teams.”
Established in 2010, Absolute Racing currently operates from Shanghai, Zhuhai and Malaysia, and has taken victory in every major racing series it has entered, be it GTs or single seaters. The team’s expertise has ignited the careers of a number of young drivers, amongst them reigning Audi R8 LMS Cup champion Alessio Picariello, current Porsche Carrera Cup Asia driver Philip Hamprecht, and former junior single seater driver Daniel Lu, a 2018 Porsche China Junior.Reigning Audi R8 LMS Cup champion Alessio Picariello.
With operations based in China and more recently at the UK’s Silverstone Circuit, BAR has won the Asian Formula Renault Team Championship for the past three years as well as the F4 Chinese Championship in their debut season of 2017. Their commitment to driver development saw the creation of the BlackArts Racing Academy, based at the Zhuhai International Circuit. Their roster of professional coaches includes: Nick Cassidy, current factory Lexus driver in Japanese GT500 and Macau F3 podium winner; Kelvin Burt, former Formula 1 driver and British F3 champion; former BAR driver Josh Burdon, 2016 Asian Formula Renault Champion; as well as their 2015 Asian Formula Renault Champion Dan Wells, who has since competed as a factory Ford driver in the China Touring Car Championship as well as LMP3.
Established at the start of 2014, Zen-Motorsport is a Chinese-based racing team integrated with a high level of European racing expertise, from engineers and driving coaches to team management. The team contested the 2014 Formula Masters Series with season-long drivers Ronald Wu, Bao Jinlong and Yin Haitao as part of its commitment to furthering Chinese motorsport.
Formed in 2003, Eurasia Motorsport is one of the region’s most established and respected teams. Designated the Minardi Formula 1 Junior Team for two years while competing in the Formula BMW Asia Series, the team achieved no fewer than 40 championship titles in South East Asia over the course of a decade. A team with a proven driver development track record, Eurasia has helped propel many young drivers to the uppermost echelons of world motorsport. Its graduates include Red Bull Racing Formula 1 star Daniel Ricciardo, Ferrari Formula 1 protégé Antonio Giovinazzi, and 24 Hours of Le Mans LMP2 winner Richard Bradley.
MSport Asia is the racing arm of Meco MotorSports, India’s number one motorsport management company. The team was set up by Armaan Ebrahim and Patrick Roberts. Ebrahim is an accomplished driver who advanced up the motorsport ladder from karting to single seaters and on to Formula 2 and FIA GTs, while Roberts is one of Asia’s leading race engineers, winning in every category in which he has run a car. With countless victories both at home and across Asia, MSport is made up of a strong team of experienced professionals and, as part of the Meco group, also provides a wide range of driver development services.
Japanese racing team Super License is a major supporter of single seater competition in Asia, having contested Formula Masters since its inception. The team provides drivers with full support, coaching and interpreters, and has earned itself an excellent reputation within the Asian motorsport fraternity and beyond.
Pinnacle Motorsport specialises in single-seater, GT, sportscars and prototype racing. Established in 2016, Pinnacle employs a talented group of personnel to deliver a wide spectrum of motorsport services. The Philippine-based team also has offices in Sepang, Malaysia and Zhuhai, China which operate programmes in all the region’s major championships.
SVC Asia is a new team born as a branch of SVC The Motorsport Group, an Italian motorsport organization which, amongst its many business and sporting activities, takes care of all racing activities for Villorba Corse, a well-known, international team which has been working and competing in LMP and GT competition for almost 20 years. In addition to Villorba Corse, SVC The Motorsport Group is part of numerous racing projects in the world of motorsport.
Hitech GP is one of the biggest and best-known names competing in motor racing outside Formula 1. Since its welcome return to the sport in 2015, the team has already scored impressive results in the FIA F3 European Championship. Spearheading the growing success of Hitech GP is a senior management team with a formidable combination of business skills and racing knowledge. Under the leadership of Owner and Managing Director Oliver Oakes the team brings a wealth of practical experience and technical know-how to the sport. Together, they’ve earned a truly impressive track-record of championship success and victories in British F3, Superleague Formula, FIA F3 European Championships and GP2/GP3 Series. Hitech GP is headquartered at its advanced purpose-built facilities at Silverstone Park in Northamptonshire in the UK, where the team competes in the FIA F3 European Championship
Twenty five-year-old, Texan-born Chase Owen is a driver on a mission to reach the pinnacle of LMP and GT racing as both a driver and a team. The 2016 BRSCC Formula Ford champion moved to the BRDC F3 Championship last year to continue his drive forward and has now formed his own team to take the next steps to success with the F3 Asian Championship in its inaugural year. “I see the new AF3 series as a great opportunity for the next stage of my career”, said Chase Owen from his office in London, “and having the FIA blessing and support, I am sure the series promoted by Top Speed will be a great success and I very much look forward to leading our new team, with our partners in the UK, US and Asia, on this new project.”
Momentum continues to build ahead of the F3 Asian Championship’s July debut. The FIA World Motor Sport Council announcement regarding the 2019 F3 International Championship, which will feature alongside Formula 2 on the F1 support bill, has once again put the category firmly in the spotlight. Aspiring drivers anywhere in the world can now plot a clear path to F1, via karting, F4, regional F3, international F3 and F2. And those looking at the vast opportunities available in Asia now have an enviable choice of superb teams with which to make their mark as the F3 Asian Championship Certified by FIA prepares to make its debut.
2018 F3 Asian Championship Certified by FIA: Provisional Calendar
July 9-10: Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia, Official Test
July 13-15: Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia
Aug 31-Sep 2: Ningbo International Speedway, China
Sep 21-23: Shanghai International Circuit, China
Oct 12-14: Ningbo International Speedway, China
Nov 23-25: Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia