Absolute Racing achieved better than expected results at the legendary 5.807km Suzuka Circuit this past weekend with Eshan Pieris finishing in the points in all three the F3 Asian Championship Certified by FIA races, as his teammate Daniel Cao also picked up points in the two first rounds, which included a podium position in race two after crossing the line in second.
- Podium finish for Daniel Cao
- Triple finish for Eshan Pieris
- Absolute Racing remains second on Teams’ standings
It was the first time for both drivers on the Japanese figure 8 layout racetrack and each was suitably impressed. Regrettably some power issues limited the running in Free Practice. On Saturday morning qualifying sessions, Cao qualified in sixth for races one and three, while teammate Pieris, after one single flying lap in free practice, struggled for pace throughout, clocking only the 10th and 11th fastest times.
In race one on Saturday afternoon the 17-year-old driver from China had a good couple of battles, and from there he managed to climb two positions, crossing the finish line in fourth. His teammate from Sri Lanka was only able to finish ninth at the flag, struggling with turbo issues.
The second and third races took place on Sunday. Starting from fourth on the grid for race two, Cao was decided to go to the podium and he pushed hard to attack, and a few overtaking opportunities on the challenging Japanese circuit made it possible to move up the rankings. The Chinese driver finished second. No less brilliant, Pieris, who lined up 12thon starting grid,climbed six positions during the race two to finish in sixth place.
The final encounter of the Japanese weekend took place in the afternoon. Cao had a short race as one faulty suspension part snapped for apparent no reason in lap 2. With an excellent getaway, Pieris charged through the pack in the final race of the day to finish in fourth.
After two rounds and six races, the Absolute Racing pair of Cao and Pieris lie third and fifth respectively. Absolute Racing remains second in the Teams’ standings.
Next time out Absolute Racing junior drivers will visit team’s home track at Shanghai in China on the weekend of the 7th and 8th September for rounds 10, 11 and 12.
Ingo Matter (Team Director): “We knew from the beginning that we had a big task in front of us this weekend as Daniel and Eshan were new to the circuit. Our drivers were able to keep on improving their times in every session during the weekend, and it shows that we worked on the right direction. Suzuka is perhaps the most difficult circuit in the calendar, but Daniel and Eshan still managed to deliver some good performances with strong results on Sunday races. We look forward to the next race in Shanghai.”
#5 Daniel Cao Zhuo: “It’s been tough weekend, but it’s all part of the experience. My second race was good. I had a good start and got up to third position, but Brendon (Leitch) is a good driver and is very fast. We fought for almost five laps, but maybe he made a mistake and I saw he was off the track. Then we had the safety car, which took a little bit of a long time. I will be trying my very best in the remaining races.”
#15 Eshan Pieris: “It was not the best weekend for me with all the issues with the turbo and having almost no track time up until qualifying which was a disadvantage considering its my first time in Suzuka. Either way we still managed to score points in each race, which is a positive and we finished one position behind the podium in P4 in the last race. Thanks to Absolute Racing for continuous support and for always working hard to get the car back up to its maximum potential.”