KC Motorgroup Ltd. (KCMG) concluded the opening event of Asian Formula Renault with impressive drives by Garnet Patterson and BlackArts Racing by KCMG driver Dan Wells over the weekend. The first event of the Asian formula series, which was held as part of Pan Delta Super Racing Festival at Zhuhai International Circuit, witnessed KCMG clinch a double podium finish by Patterson.
Asian Formula Renault’s on-track action began last Friday with two practice sessions held to prepare the drivers for the series’ opening races. Saturday morning’s 25 minute qualifying session saw Patterson qualify in fourth and fifth place for AFR’s Race 1 & 2. Meanwhile, BlackArts Racing driver Dan Wells wrapped up the session in the top three, lining up P3 for Race 1 and P2 for Race 2.
Race 1, which was delayed due to an incident during the formation lap, witnessed KCMG seal its first podium finish by Patterson. From fourth place on the starting grid, the Australian driver managed to move up the order after the race restarted and maintained his position until he crossed the finish line in third place. Wells, on the other hand, experienced a starter motor issue and had to restart the race from the pit lane. He went on to finish in sixth position.
The team returned the following day for AFR’s second race, which highlighted a 12-lap challenge on Zhuhai’s 4.319km configuration. Wells started from second place, while Patterson took fifth spot on the starting grid. The British driver was off to a blistering start and led the race until an incident on Turn 4 cost him the lead. Wells had to pit for a new front wing and had to settle for a sixth place finish that afternoon.
Meanwhile, Patterson was engaged in a thrilling battle for the lead after defending his position from Pu Jun Jin for several laps. The dramatic contention for the win saw Patterson closely pursue Maxx Ebenal during race’s final laps. Despite his efforts, the Australian driver yielded a second place finish after the chequered flag dropped.
Garnet Patterson: “I had a solid weekend in Zhuhai. I’ve got to thank all the team at KCMG for giving me a good car as well as my sponsors in Australia-Bayliss Trading and Quirindi Tyre Service. I think we learned a lot as a team over the weekend. Together, we took a good points haul and I look forward to studying the car more and how to maximise it’s performance before Sepang in a few weeks, where we will be going for some wins.”
Dan Wells: “It is a real shame to have come out of the weekend’s two races without much to show for. In race one, we had a starter motor failure which led to me starting the race from the pit lane, and then in race two we were taken out of the lead by a driver trying to go from fourth to the lead in the space of one corner. The only positive I can think of is that we managed to complete both races and score some points, and that the team and I worked well together to make the best of the cards we were dealt. The team knows what they need to do in preparation for the next round in Sepang at least. I’d like to thank BlackArts Racing by KCMG, and also my partners CTPS, Start JG, and Dundon’s Solicitors for their support. On to Malaysia!”
John O’Hara, KCMG Deputy Managing Director: “Garnet and Dan delivered promising results and we’ve been able to identify areas that we need to work on ahead of AFR’s next event at Sepang. Rounding off our maiden outing with a podium is an encouraging result and I’d like to commend the entire team for a job well done over the weekend.”