- Two more race wins for Absolute Racing
- Lu extends championship the lead
- Esmaeili takes maiden win
Shanghai, 18th June 2017 – Absolute Racing dominated proceedings at the third round of the 2017 Formula Masters Asian Series in Zhuhai, People’s Republic of China this weekend. The home based squad leads the Teams and Drivers’ Championship with Daniel Lu following his fifth season win and a podium finish, while teammate Arvin Esmaeili produced an impressive performance in the last race to secure his maiden single seater win.
Saturday’s Qualifying session action in Zhuhai was washed out, and it could have gone better for the team’s drivers who had to fight their way through traffic and watch out for yellow flags on very tricky track conditions. Lu made it to the first row for race one and three after being in contention for the poles for much part of the sessions. Esmaeili impressed by finishing 4th in qualifying one and 14th in qualifying two, while Yu rounded out the top-5 in both sessions. Cabrera spun into the gravel in the opening lap of the qualifying one, catching up on qualifying two to end up with the 11th fastest lap.
The first race of the weekend came later in the afternoon and started behind the safety car as rain fell steadily in the Guangdong Province. Lu kept his calm in the start, but the same can’t be said of all of the drivers. The safety car was called just one lap later. In the restart Lu finally made the move to first place and began to pull away from the pack. Eventually the Chinese racer took a dominant fifth victory of the 2017 season, adding more fantastic points to his championship lead.
Teammate Arvin Esmaeili took the flag in fifth after a hard fought race, his first in wet conditions. As the chequered flag was shown, Cabrera was rewarded for a mature drive with ninth place. With four laps to go Yu slithered into the gravel trap and beached his car.
For round ten, on Sunday morning, Lu was the highest starting of the #AbsoluteRacing quartet in second place, four spots ahead of Esmaeili with Cabrera lining-up in 10th position and Yu P11.
With the weather conditions improving for Sunday, all drivers started on slicks the 6-lap sprint race in the morning. The race had started in poor fashion for the team as Yu got stuck in the gravel in T1, calling in the safety car. On restart Lu attacked the race leader but he overshot the first corner, ending up in that gravel trap too.
For the first time this season Absolute Racing failed to put a driver on the podium as Mexican racer Manuel Cabrera only just missed out on a podium visit in the final lap of the race, taking a best finish of fourth place, while Esmaeili rounded off top-5.
Rain revisited the circuit of Zhuhai between the races. The last encounter was raced with the track drying slowly. From 14th on the grid, Esmaeili moved his way through the field to take his first victory of the season. Starting on slick tyres on a drying track surface, the Swedish driver’s gamble paid off in taking the victory ahead of his teammate Lu, who had opted on wets for a safe bet. On last lap, Esmaeili made a risky move in T1, overtaking Lu and the third place finisher, pulling away to take the win one minute and half later.
Struggling in slippery conditions the whole weekend Yu has settled for seventh. Like his teammate Esmaeili, Cabrera bet on slicks but the Mexican driver spun out of track when fighting with his teammate.
With 141 points Lu is leading the championship standings with a good eighteen-point lead. Yu is now third with 99 points, while Esmaeili is fifth with 76 points. Cabrera lies in eight in the standings on 37-points.
Commenting about the weekend, Team Director, Fabien Fior, said “An eventful and entertaining race weekend from start to finish. We knew it was going to be tricky with such weather conditions. Congratulations to Daniel and to Arvin for the wins. Most importantly we head to the next race stronger and in better shape to continue in our quest for the 2017 Championships.”
The next stop for the Formula Masters Asian Series will be on 28-30 July when the Zhuhai International Series, China, hosts round four of the five-event 2017 calendar.
ABSOLUTE RACING CHINA CO.LTD.
Absolute Racing Workshop, Shanghai International Circuit, 2000 Yining Road Jiading Shanghai China 200051
Phone: +86 21 3887 9551E-Mail: [email protected]