Absolute Racing racers Akash Nandy and Jaden Conwright put on a very satisfactory performance at Sepang International Circuit in the opening event of 2018 F3 Asian Championship Certified by FIA, including an impressive second place finish of Nandy in Round 3 on Sunday.
After a long week of assembling the Autotecnica Motori Alfa Romeo-powered Tatuus built cars and consequent first testing sessions, Nandy delighted his home fans putting in a respectable recital in the F3 Asian Championship Certified by FIA first ever qualifying session. The Malaysian driver set the fourth fastest time in Q1. He further improved in Q2, posting the second-fastest lap time, missing out on pole position by just four-hundredths of a second.
On the other side of the Absolute Racing garage, Jaden Conwright did an equally great job. The American driver, who didn’t run on Friday morning’s free practice session due to an electric problem, was eighth fastest in Q1. He also improved his position during Q2, qualifying P5 for the weekend’s Round 3.
The first two races of the inaugural season took place on Saturday in the typical Malaysian mix of scorching track temperatures and humidity.
Jaden Conwright gave the Absolute Racing two fourth-place finishes to close out the first day of races. Team-mate Nandy was forced to retire in the first race due to a car problem but he bounced back in Round 2, crossing the finish line in fifth.
On Sunday Akash drove well to work his car to second after a solid start. The single seater returnee not only gave his Absolute Racing team their first series podium finish, but also kept the much experienced race winner within reach for much of the 12-lap race.
Team-mate Conwright was involved in a collision early in the race. He still managed to cross the finish line in P13, but after the race the American driver was hit with 20-second time penalty, dropping to 15th.
With 28 points Nandy is fourth in the standings, while Conwright lies in fifth on 24-points.
F3 Asian Championship Certified by FIA moves to China for the next round of the championship. Ningbo Speedpark plays host to the second meeting of 2018, on September 01/02.
#29 Akash Nandy: “We’ve been working hard all week just to catch up to. They’ve had really good pace and we’ve just been playing catch up. We managed to find a bit of pace on Sunday. My driving helped to close the gap a bit, and also Absolute Racing and I worked a lot in the night before to find some pace from the car.”
#80 Jaden Conwright: “Overall I believe the weekend was very positive! We started the week completely from point zero with brand new cars and a brand new series. Being able to finish both race one and race tow in the 4th position is definitely a positive step for the entire team and in the long term towards the championship. The situation that occurred in race three is definitely disappointing, but we live and we learn from our mistakes and we’ll come back even stronger! Thank you to everyone at Absolute Racing for all their hard work these past weeks. We’ll definitely be ready to fight at Ningbo.”
Ingo Matter (Team Director): “A second place finish and so close to the championship leader is an encouraging and positive way to conclude the first weekend of the new season. It is also a reward for all the hard work everyone in the team produced over the last week. We constantly improved the car from the first running, and hopefully the strong performance showed this weekend in Sepang will be a good indicator of what’s to come throughout the year. Congratulations also to both Akash and Jaden, who drove faultlessly throughout the event. There is more to come in the next races.”
Rounds 1, 2, 3 (Sepang)
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