Primed to tackle their biggest challenge of the season, the region’s brightest junior talents competing in the Formula Masters China Series (FMCS) will have their work cut out as they seek to conquer the brand new Kuala Lumpur Street Circuit at this weekend’s first-ever KL City Grand Prix. FMCS, the region’s leading international single seater championship, storms back into action for Races 10-12 of the hotly-contested 2015 season.
One of the most eagerly anticipated race weekends on the 2015 calendar, top talents from across China and Asia, and from as far away as Europe, South Africa and Australia, have been busy preparing for what will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of their young careers. This weekend, the drivers will gain valuable experience of a true street circuit when they take to the challenging 3.25 km track. Used for the first time this weekend, the circuit represents a completely level playing field on which none of the drivers will have had previous experience.
Leading the charge into Kuala Lumpur is Estonian Martin Rump, whose masterful hat-trick of victories last month in Chinese Taipei helped widen the gap to his challengers. The 19-year old Cebu Pacific Air by KCMG driver has never raced on a street circuit before, but is keen to step up to the challenge. Second on the leaderboard is Australian Jake Parsons (20) of Meritus.GP, who has reached the podium seven times so far this season and is looking to add some more trophies to his collection. Third and fourth in the standings are Australians Nicholas Rowe (17) of Cebu Pacific Air by KCMG and Eurasia Motorsport driver Aidan Read, who, at just 16, is the youngest driver in the field.
Malaysian Daniel Woodroof (19), fifth in the championship, races with Malaysian-based Meritus.GP. Woodroof will certainly have the advantage of home support as races past the iconic landmarks of his hometown.
Such is the high level of competition in the championship that a number of drivers are on the cusp of a breakthrough: last month in Penbay, Star Racing Academy driver Jeffrey Ye of Cebu Pacific Air by KCMG finished fifth for the first time this season, and took home the Best Chinese Driver award for the weekend. Arrows Racing’s Matthew Swanepoel of South Africa was just shy of the podium last month and is looking step up to the winners’ rostrum in Kuala Lumpur.
With drivers from nine different countries, and the majority aged under 21, FMCS continues to set an international benchmark for young drivers embarking upon their careers, with plenty of track time ensuring that they develop a solid motorsport foundation with the series.
A proven and powerful platform, FMCS has already seen its graduates progress to more advance series, including the FIA Formula 3 European Championship as well as with sportscar championships within the Volkswagen Group China motorsport family. FMCS vice-champion in 2013, Afiq Yazid of Malaysia competes in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo, as does current FMCS and Star Racing Academy driver Yuan Bo, who will have his work cut out for him as he competes in both championships at the weekend.
“We are delighted to be part of the inaugural KL City Grand Prix and to bring the region’s leading single seater championship to this fantastic event in the heart of Kuala Lumpur,” said Dominic Lyncker, Head of Group Sports Car, Motorsport and Car Culture, Volkswagen Group (China). “Street circuits present their own unique set of challenges, and the Formula Masters China Series drivers have been looking forward to experiencing these all season. Our triple-header on the Kuala Lumpur Street Circuit provides the optimum opportunity for these young drivers to prove themselves on the international stage, and we are looking forward to what we anticipate to be a fantastic weekend of racing.”
Formula Masters China Series 2015 Provisional Calendar
|24-26 April||1-3||Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia|
|5-7 June||4-6||Shanghai International Circuit, China|
|3-5 July||7-9||Penbay International Circuit, Chinese Taipei|
|7-9 August||10-12||Kuala Lumpur Street Circuit, Malaysia|
|18-20 September||13-15||Zhuhai International Circuit, China|
|17-19 October||16-18||Shanghai International Circuit, China|