AP: ART Motorsports Zhuhai weekend summary

ART Motorsports had a promising start Asia Racing Team (ART) Motorsports enjoyed an encouraging start to its Formula Renault 2.0 season campaign last weekend, with a promising performance at the Asian Formula Renault Challenge meeting at ...

ART Motorsports had a promising start

Asia Racing Team (ART) Motorsports enjoyed an encouraging start to its Formula Renault 2.0 season campaign last weekend, with a promising performance at the Asian Formula Renault Challenge meeting at Zhuhai International Circuit.

A very young and green line up experienced a very tough race weekend. Following a difficult first race for the team, the second race of the weekend a resurgence in pace for the ART Motorsports squad. In the end of the weekend ART Motorsports got two podiums, a fastest lap, and two victories in "IFC Trophy", all with legal cars.

Israeli motorsport hope Alon Day was the weekend's revelation. Without previous top-racing experience sixteen years old Day was up to the challenge and amazingly scored the 2nd time in the Qualifying! Unfortunately Day paid the lack of experience being black flagged in Race 1 after disrespecting the start procedure. The unlucky weekend of Day finished in the first lap of Race 2, the innocent victim in an over ambitious overtaking manoeuvre. Anyway the youthful Israeli had a productive Sunday as he set the fastest time in the warm-up session and achieved the fastest lap of the Race 2.

The very young and brave former Gokart ace Rio Haryanto had an up and down first single seater weekend. After an uninspired Qualifying, Rio had big accident in the Race 1. Fortunately, Race 2 saw a different Rio in the track. As the lights went out, the Indonesian pride and reigning Kart Asian Juniors champion start to climb positions in the classification. The younger of Haryanto's brothers showed a stunning performance overtaking eight cars in ten laps and finishing on 4th, and 2nd of Asian drivers.

Quite discreet during the Free Practice sessions and Qualifying, French competitor Thomas Santin was the best of ART Motorsports drivers. In the Race 1, former Formula Azzura driver was hit by an opponent and had to come to the pits to repair his car. This non-predicted pitstop didn't stop him to be 7th. Race 2 saw a stronger Santin . The Pierjacomini Driver Development newbie opted to secure the first podium position (3rd) of his career instead of taking risks to go even further.

Further down the field, Michael Choi and Douglas Moore have fought their own battles! Touring Cars and single seaters Hong Kong driver Michael Choi won twice the Gentlemen Drivers "IFC Trophy", and was astonishingly 5th in the second race. On other hand, Hong Kong based Canadian Douglas Moore have been improving during the weekend. Unfortunately one collision forced the retirement of the no 18 car on Saturday's race. On Sunday, Moore earned a 13th place finish.

Reflecting on the Pan Delta Super Racing Festival meeting, ART Motorsports Team Manager Philippe Descombes commented, "despite the lack of experience of our drivers we showed a good pace. Alon did a great job in Qualify session, especially missing the first 5 minutes due to the clutch problem that we meet 20 minutes before the session starts. It's a shame what happened on the Race 1 start. Anyway, it was his first race weekend so we have plenty of time to make him a top driver.

"Thomas did a good race on Sunday. He was able to get up to 2nd but he preferred to make sure he'd get a podium. I'm also impressed with the end of the weekend of Rio. After the Saturday's crash Rio recovered in an amazing way, lapping in the times of the race leader. The talent is there, he just needs a little bit more of track time and racing experience.

"I am quite happy with my two "Gentleman Drivers" too. Michael went home with a double win in the IFC Class and a Top-5 on the second race. Even Douglas, who has such lack of racing miles, proved he can be much quicker".

-credit: art-motorsports.com

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Rio Haryanto , Alon Day