With an all-star driver lineup, Pinnacle Motorsport welcomed the new F3 Asian Winter Series by putting in a solid performance at the season opener in Thailand. Amaury Cordeel, Akash Nandy, and David Schumacher all delivered good results last January 11-12 at the Buriram International Circuit and scored a best 3rd place finish for the Irish-licensed team.
The three young drivers were on pace throughout free practice and looked to be on course for a strong weekend. Nandy was the fastest of the group in both Qualifying sessions, taking P6 and P7 spots. Schumacher was only a few tenths behind to start P7 and P10, while Cordeel ended up in P9.
Green lights eventually got the much-awaited 2019 season underway on Friday afternoon. Nandy lead the team’s assault in Race 1 and managed to get as high as P3 in the grueling 20-lap race. The Malaysian driver fought hard to keep his position and barely missed a podium spot to finish in 4th place. Cordeel, on the other hand, had a brilliant charge from the back of the grid to climb all the way to 6th when the chequered flag dropped. Schumacher took 7th on his F3 Asian debut right behind his teammates.
Quickly learning from the previous day’s experience, David Schumacher was the team’s star in Race 2. The son of ex-Williams and Toyota Formula 1 driver Ralf Schumacher truly shone on Saturday morning with his charge from P9 on the grid to P4. He was then promoted to 3rd place after the driver ahead of him was handed a time penalty, thus earning Pinnacle Motorsport its first podium finish of the year.
Tensions ran high in the final race of the weekend with two Pinnacle Motorsport drivers squabbling for position. Schumacher was once again on the move and worked his way from P10 at the start to secure P4 with Cordeel following right behind. Both drivers were waiting for a possible podium in case anyone in the lead pack made a mistake. Cordeel, on the other hand, saw an opportunity to get past his teammate and grabbed it to finish 4th. Schumacher ended his weekend in 5th and Nandy in 7th.
In collaboration with the B-Max Racing Team, Tairoku Yamaguchi also added to Pinnacle Motorsport’s list of achievements at the season opener. The Japanese driver made his mark in the Masters Class by winning all three races at Buriram.
Only a week separates the F3 Asian Winter Series’ first two events as the series resumes on January 18-20 at the Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia.
John O’Hara, Team Director: “It was a positive weekend in Buriram. We were up against some of the best young drivers in the world, but I’m very pleased with what David, Amaury, Akash, and Yamaguchi-san all achieved. They all made huge steps over the weekend and we expect to be very competitive in Sepang this weekend.”