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BURIRAM INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT-
This weekend, Round 2 of the exciting 2019 Asian F3 Championship was held at the challenging 12 turn, 4.55km Buriram [‘Chang’] International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand, 400kms North East of Bangkok. With races four through six of the 2019 championship taking place Saturday and Sunday, the ultimate challenge was on not only on the track but in the pits as well, as teams worked on finding the best setup for the regions high heat on a technically demanding circuit.
On Friday, drivers took to the track, many for the first time at Buriram, for two testing sessions of 60min each followed by a 30min Official Practice.
In Saturday morning, Qualifying was held under hot and dry conditions, with Leitch placing 5th, off 4th by just seven hundredths, while BAR teammate Beckhäuser qualified 6th, to complete a BAR 3rd row on the grid for the start of Race One. Meanwhile Thomas Luedi qualified fastest in the Masters Class by almost two full seconds.
Saturday afternoon’s Race One didn’t bring the best of luck for BAR: Leitch finished 5th and Tom Beckhäuser placed 11th despite solid lap times, after dropping back after spinning off while passing two other cars; meanwhile Luedi had a strong lead the Masters Class but experienced a technical issue towards the end of the race and did not finish.
For Sunday morning’s Race Two, bad fortune continued for BAR: Leitch was charging up the field until a mistake dropped him back to P6, followed by an off-track excursion which resulted in a DNF while he was attempting an overtake for 5th halfway through the race. Beckhäuser finished 6th, while Thomas Luedi had created an 11.8 second lead in the Masters, but once again retired as the result of a technical issue.
However, Saturday afternoon’s Race Three brought a massive change of fortune for BlackArts Racing. With one last chance of the weekend to take to glory, BAR wound up having its best F3 race to date- Leitch started 5th and stormed up the field, within several laps not only setting the fastest race lap but also setting the fastest lap of the entire weekend’s races. Meanwhile, in doing so, he charged up to P2 and was closing quickly on race leader Sasahara, following closely behind until dropping off slightly in the remainder of the race with high tire temperatures, still managing to take 3rd on the podium in the Oloi Powered by BAR race car. Meanwhile, Tom Beckhäuser finished 8th with a solid pace while Thomas Luedi, with car issues now resolved, took an easy win in the Masters, by an entire lap.
“Yeah pretty interesting weekend for us, started off with a few little gremlins but as the weekend went on was more comfortable with the track and we sorted the balance by the end of the weekend. Pretty awesome to set the fastest lap of the race weekend and splitting the Hitech cars for half a race was pretty cool as well.
A few things to work on for the next race but I think we’ve made some big steps this race weekend and with all the information that we have now, we can really get on top of the car nice and early and send it.”
“It was a difficult weekend. While we had a very strong pace, we struggled with technical issues. Overheating sensors triggered an engine shut down in Races One and Two, so we had two DNFs while leading in the Masters Class. The team did a great job in changing the wiring loom for the car for the third race, which we finished and took the Masters Category win.”
“Thailand was an interesting experience. I really enjoyed driving around the Chang International Circuit, it’s a great track. I think both the team and I have made progress since the last event. Even though the weekend went better than the one in Sepang it was still far from ideal and not what we aim for.”
BlackArts Racing is now 3rd in the Team Championship and tied for 4th in the Drivers Championship. Round 3 of the 2019 Asian F3 Championship will take place at the incredible Suzuka International F1 Circuit on June 22nd-23rd – visit BAR on FaceBook at facebook.com/BlackArtsRacingBAR/ for updates, and the team website at BlackArtsRacing.com. For racing and testing opportunities please email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Asian F3 Certified by FIA 2019 Championship:
Rnd 1 – April 6-7 Sepang International Circuit
Rnd 2 – May 11-12 Buriram International Circuit
Rnd 3 – June 22-23 Suzuka International F1 Circuit
Rnd 4 – Sept 7-8 Shanghai International F1 Circuit
Rnd 5 – Sept 27-28 Shanghai International F1 Circuit