AFR non-championship Saturday Report Qualifying: The 15 year-old Thai grabbed pole The Formula Renault cars started their engines and rocketed to the track at 9:30 a.m. to start the qualify session. Sandy Stuvik, the 15 year-old young gun...
AFR non-championship Saturday Report
Qualifying: The 15 year-old Thai grabbed pole
The Formula Renault cars started their engines and rocketed to the track at 9:30 a.m. to start the qualify session. Sandy Stuvik, the 15 year-old young gun from Thailand sent by Asia Racing Team (ART), grabbed pole. Luca Ferigutti, another driver from ART, qualified 2nd. Zhicong Li, teenage driver from PTRS Racing team, qualified 3rd.
This non-championship race of AFR featured many new-faces: 7 new faces out of 12 drivers. As soon as the cars hit the track, Sandy Stuvik set 1:40 to lead the session. Luca Ferigutti spun at T4 and ran into some traffic the following 2 laps. When most of the cars roared into their 4th lap, the tire temperature got better and so did the laptimes. Stuvik set 1:38.2, with his teammate Tin Sritrai following very closely behind. Ferigutti set 1:39.6 moving to 4th and 3 laps later, he managed to better the lap to 1:37.5 to take the lead. When Zhicong Li finished his 4th try, he moved to 2nd. Rainey He set 1:38.7 in lap 6 climbing to P5. It was clear that Stuvik felt the pressure from his teammate and set the 1:37.564 pole-lap. In the end, Stuvik grabbed pole, Ferigutti 2nd. Zhicong Li set 1:38.0 confirming his 2nd row position for the afternoon race, while Sritrai qualified 4th. Shanqi Zhang, another young driver from PTRS, qualified 5th and Rainey He from FRD Racing team, qualified 6th setting 1:38.4 at his last try.
Race 1: Stuvik turned pole to winner, Ferigutti 2nd and Shanqi Zhang claimed 3rd
The first round started at 13:15. The temperature was certainly high enough to bring out good performance from the Kumho tires. Stuvik & Ferigutti stood side by side on the front row, while Zhicong Li & Tin Sritrai started from 2nd with Shanqi Zhang and Rainey He standing right behind.
As the red lights went off, Ferigutti got off to a good start as he hold the inner line entering Turn 1 with almost half body lead. It seemed Stuvik's car hesitated for a tenth during start and then he late breaked into T1 to keep the lead. Ferigutti followed very closely with his teammate.
Lap 4, Stuvik & Ferigutti established a clear lead, with Ferigutti following Stuvik very closely seeking for the overtaking opportunity. Zhicong Li was 3rd by then, running all alone by himself with 5 seconds lead and 5 seconds gap with the other cars. Shanqi Zhang, Tin Sritrai and Samin Briceno started a close fight at P4-6 with less than 1 second's time difference.
Lap 6, car No.10, Samin Briceno, stopped on the track when driving from T7 to T9. Safety car was sent to lead the race, which gave the drivers the chance to move closer to front cars .
Lap 8, safety car left and the race was restarted. Stuvik & Ferigutti managed to lead the fleet at the restart with Zhicong Li & Shanqi Zhang following 1 second behind. Shanqi Zhang managed to overtake his teammate Zhicong Li from the inside, this caused his teammate Li losing his line and Li's position dropped from 3rd to 8th.
In the end, Stuvik successfully transferred his pole advantage to winner. Ferigutti finished 2nd and certainly was in good shape for the new season. Shanqi Zhang was 3rd, with stability shown. Tin Sritrai was 4th while Rainey He finished 5th.
ART and PTRS' drivers were the major focus on Saturday. Stuvik, the 15 year- old, indicated that he was happy with the result and planned to race the whole season. "The car that my team set for me was just perfect in every way, so were the other cars on the team. I tested different types of Formula cars the past year and chose FR 2.0 as my first step in single seater, simply because the car is faster and easier to drive."
The 2nd round of the AFR non-championship will start at 16:50 on Sunday. Stay tuned for the brilliance of a kind.