BlackArts Racing Finish Debut Formula 3 Race Weekend Tied for 4th Place in Teams Classification
Zhuhai-based BlackArts Racing took 3 double top 10 finishes in the first race weekend of the 2018 FIA F3 Asian Championship at the Sepang International Circuit on July 13-15.
Drivers Louis Prette and Presley Martono both took part in their first Formula 3 events, with the BAR team also making their debut in Formula 3 after 8 titles in 3 years in both Formula Renault and Formula 4.
Practice went very well for the team, with Monegasque driver Louis Prette topping 2 of the pre-event test sessions and setting the 2nd fastest lap time of the weekend in the Official Practice, while Presley Martono got familiar with the car after a late deal to join the team for the weekend.
Qualifying got under way in dry conditions on Friday afternoon, with two sessions – the first to set the grid in race one, and the second to set the grid. APM Monaco-sponsored Louis Prette secured P5 and P7 from the two sessions, with Presley in the Top 10 in both qualifyings.
Race one commenced on Saturday morning in bright and sunny conditions, with Louis managing to come home in P7 and Indonesian Presley Martono taking the checkered flag in 10th. Race two took place later that day with the grid having been decided by the fastest laps from race one, and in the scorching Malaysian heat Louis and Presley both battled their way to once again to both finish in the Top 10.
The grid reformed for the final race of the weekend at midday on Sunday, and with changes being made to improve the setup for both drivers, the team at its best result of the weekend with a 7th and 8th place finish to cap off a promising debut for the BlackArts Racing team in the FIA Asian Formula 3 Championship.
Louis Prette, commented; “It was a very promising start to the week – we showed great pace in practice and the car felt great to drive. Unfortunately, qualifying did not go to plan and we seemed to struggle relatively more in the higher temperatures during the races, but we have a lot of data to go through from this weekend and try and come back stronger for the next event”.
Presley Martono explained; “This weekend has been a great experience – I’ve learned a lot about the car, the tyres, and thanks to everyone at the BlackArts Racing team for helping me constantly improve my driving throughout the weekend. The setup was very well balanced and allowed me the confidence to get my best result of the weekend in the final race. I feel like I have learned a lot which can be beneficial for the future.”
Josh Evans, General Manager of BAR, continued; “I’m very pleased by the effort and resolve shown by the team over these two weeks to have a successful first weekend in the FIA Asian F3 Championship. I’d like to thank everybody for their hard work and 3 double Top 10 finishes are just reward. We have shown great pace this weekend against strong competition and know how we can improve for the future, so we are looking forward to continuing strongly in this great new Championship. I’d also like to thank the organiser, TopSpeed, and the manufacturer; Tatuus, for a smooth debut of the new car and series. Bring on the next round!”
Louis Prette sits 8th in the driver’s standings, with Presley Martono in 11th. The team sits tied for 4th place in the Team Classification.
The next outing will be a two-day test at the Shanghai International Circuit in August while the next race event will take place at the Ningbo International Circuit on September 1-2.
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