AP: ART Shanghai summary

Asia Racing Team (ART) Motorsports drivers did a stellar job this weekend winning both races of Formula Asia 2.0 Non-Championship Round on the Chinese circuit of Shanghai. The weekend started disastrously for everyone in the Paddock. The teams'...

Asia Racing Team (ART) Motorsports drivers did a stellar job this weekend winning both races of Formula Asia 2.0 Non-Championship Round on the Chinese circuit of Shanghai.

The weekend started disastrously for everyone in the Paddock. The teams' containers bearing the Formula Asia 2.0 cars and equipment, which were scheduled to be delivered to the circuit on Wednesday, 19 November 2008, were delayed at the port in Shanghai by the local customs. The shipment was only released on Saturday, 22 November 2008. The Series organizers held a meeting with the teams and drivers and have come up with the consensus to use this weekend as non-Championship Races for the drivers instead of holding the Rounds 10 & 11 as planned.

Asia Racing Team returnee Mathias Beche proved his favourite status by winning the Pole for the first Sunday race having the Asian rookie Mateusz Adamski alongside him on the front row. ART regulars Yoshitaka Kuroda would start from 5th and Rio Haryanto from 6th.

Race 1 saw Mathias Beche claiming the first victory of the weekend. The Swiss Frenchman found his footing in the wet beating newcomer and teammate, Mateusz Adamski as well as Rio Haryanto for the win. Beche hold bravely the position from Adamski's assault in the first corner and kept the Polish driver on his mirrors. Haryanto, who dropped some positions at the start, made another impressive race climbing from 10th in the first corner to the podium in the finish line. Japanese Kuroda battled hard for the 4th place but held station as soon as he understood it would be too risky to take the position.

Race 2 saw Beche leading for the first half of the race but the Race 1 winner wouldn't keep his position until the end. A couple of mistakes of his teammate helped 15-years old Haryanto to achieve his first victory in the series. A good start from the Indonesian driver helped him move from 3rd to 2nd into Turn 1, before Haryanto moved ahead of Beche for 1st with 5 laps to go. Fighting against his helmet visor Beche had to fight until the end for the 2nd place. Struggle with his engine Kuroda was 4th again. Adamski did not finish the 12 laps race after being hit by an opponent when he was battling for a podium position.

The Formula Asia 2.0 will now take a weekend break, with the racing action resuming in earnest at Shanghai in China, for the season finale, which will take place 5-7 December 2009.

Drivers Comments:

#15 Mathias Beche : "From the very beginning the weekend went very well for us. I managed to set the Pole time and win the Race 1. I took the advantage at the second turn in the start and kept my lead from there to the end. Race 2 wasn't so auspicious for me. I had a good start maintaining my 1st position but after that it was difficult to keep the lead from Rio. I had some problems with my helmet visor too which didn't help me to keep focus. Overall it was a positive weekend and I am looking forward to the last event of the year".

#20 Yoshitaka Kuroda : "It wasn't a very good weekend for me, and that's important it doesn't score for the championship. It was my first time in Shanghai, and I couldn't match the pace of the frontrunners but I know we have potential to go faster next time. We now have a break of one weekend and we will use the time to prepare for getting our championship campaign back on track for the season finale".

#22 Rio Haryanto : "I am very happy with my victory today. I suffered a little as my engine did not have good speed in Qualifying; the mechanics found a problem with the injector and fixed it. In Race 1 I had a bad start and dropped down in the field but after the first corner I started to push again and made a steady climb and managed to finish in 3rd. In Race 2 I managed to squeeze inside Mateusz at the start and I was also quite surprised that I could keep up the pace with him. I started to move around more and finally in the final eight laps Mathias made a mistake at the first corner and so I passed him without incident. Thank you to the team, my family, my sponsors and the media".

#26 Mateusz Adamski : "My Race 1 start was not perfect but was good enough to lead in the first corner. Unfortunately I took the wrong line and I lost the position. I tried to keep Mathias under pressure but I lost a lot of time behind a lapped car. I wasn't very lucky in Race 2 because I was hit by an opponent fighting for 3rd. It's disappointing, but these things happen in racing. Anyway I'm quite happy with the team job and I can say I had a great first experience in Asia".

-credit: art

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Rio Haryanto , Mathias Beche