Competitive Asian F3 Debut for Irish Owned Pinnacle Motorsport
The inaugural F3 Asian Championship Certified by FIA took to the track for the first time last June 16-18 at the Sepang International Circuit. Part of its 17-car grid was Pinnacle Motorsport who fielded a two-car assault headed by Daniel Cao and DRAGON of the B-Max Racing Team. Together, both drivers secured good point scoring finishes towards the 2018 championship.
Despite having only a few days to test the new Tatuus Autotecnica F3 car, Cao immediately showed good pace on his very first F3 outing. He ended Qualifying in P13 and P12 for Saturday and Sunday’s races. Pinnacle Motorsport’s second car, run in collaboration with Japanese Formula 3 outfit B-Max Racing Team, also had a problem-free run with DRAGON qualifying well amongst the Masters Cup’s grid.
A clean start from Cao in Race 1 saw the Chinese driver challenge for a top 10 spot in the opening laps. He then had an exciting scuffle against more experienced drivers that lasted throughout the 13-lap race. His efforts would allow the 16-year-old to land an impressive 9th place on his F3 debut. DRAGON also did well in the Masters Cup where he drove to a 3rd place finish in class.
Mirroring the morning race, Cao was once again entangled in a mid-filed battle in Race 2. This time, the reigning Formula 4 Southeast Asia champion would prevail to take the chequered flag in 8th. It was a similar story for DRAGON who continuously improves with every race. The 2017 All-Japan Formula 3 National Champion ended the day with another class podium spot in 3rd.
Race 3 on Sunday would give Cao a fresh shot at a top 10 finish. A lightning quick start earned him several spots after just a few corners. But his charge was briefly cut shot when DRAGON was involved in a first lap collision. This brought out the Safety Car and forced the Japanese driver into a DNF. Cao continued his hunt after the restart before wrapping up Pinnacle Motorsport’s weekend in 10th place.
The Irish-licensed, Philippine-based team’s campaign in the F3 Asian Championship Certified by FIA continues at the Ningbo International Speedway in China on August 31 to September 2.
John O’Hara, Team Director: “A very productive weekend overall for the team, Daniel, and DRAGON. We gained a lot of experience in the new single-seater series and glad to see both our drivers secure point scoring finishes at Sepang. Daniel adapted really well to the new car after a year in F4 Southeast Asia and had good battles on track. Also happy to see DRAGON on the Master’s Class podium twice for B-Max Racing Team. Our focus is now on the next race at Ningbo where we hope to land higher up in the results.”
Accompanying Pinnacle Motorsport on their F3 Asian Championship campaign are partners Teng Tools, Motorsport Ireland, and B-Max Racing Team.
Organized by Top Speed, F3 Asian Championship Certified by FIA is a new single-spec F3 championship designed to provide a stepping stone for regional drivers into Formula 2 and ultimately Formula 1. It focuses on performance, safety, and cost control for up-and-coming talent in the world’s most dynamic region.