Zhuhai, China —— New Zealand’s James Munro took his maiden Formula Masters China Series victories with the 17-year old Cebu Pacific Air by KCMG driver winning both Race 1 and Race 2 at the Zhuhai International Circuit.
Finishing second in both races was Super License driver Yuya Motojima of Japan, 23. Munro’s team mate, Dan Wells (22) of Great Britain finished third in Race 1, while 18-year old Hong Kong driver Matthew Solomon of Eurasia Motorsport rounded up the podium in the second race of the day.
Heading into Race 3, Munro leads the FMCS Drivers Classification with 33 points. Motojima is eight points behind in second, with Wells a further nine points adrift. Star Racing Academy driver Yuan Bo, who is racing with Eurasia Motorsport this season, is currently fourth overall and just two points behind Wells. Yuan is also currently atop the Best Chinese Driver Trophy standings. Rounding out the top five is Solomon.
Unlike yesterday’s qualifying conditions, the first race of the day took place under dry conditions. Shortened to 10 laps, pole-sitter Matthew Swanepoel (19) of Cebu Pacific Air by KCMG stalled at the re-start, allowing Munro to take the lead into Turn 1, with Wells behind him. However, the drama was not over and the Safety Car was called out on the first lap following a multi-car incident.
When racing began again on Lap 3, Munro got away cleanly. Wells held onto his position in second, with Motojima third and Yuan in fourth. One lap later, Munro had already pulled a 1.508 second gap to Wells, while Indonesia’s Darma Hutomo of Humpuss Junior Racing Team and Hong Kong driver Ronald Wu of Zen Motorsport had overtaken Yuan. Yuan would regain one place on Lap 6 to finish fifth overall, one behind Hutomo who at 15 is the youngest driver in the series.
Munro continued to increase his lead and finished 5.398 seconds ahead of Motojima, who got by Wells on the final lap.
The second race of the day saw Munro score his second victory in as many races, this time in the rain. With the grid for Race 2 determined by the fastest lap times in Race 1, it was Munro on pole with Motojima alongside him on the first row.
The race began under the Safety Car, following an incident between Star Racing Academy driver Bao Jin Long of Zen Motorsport and Swanepoel on the formation lap. When racing began on lap 5, Munro held his position and began to build a gap. Motojima followed behind him in second and although he attempted to catch up, the Porsche Carrera Cup Japan driver could not get close and Munro won the race by a comfortable 3.202 seconds.
Behind the leading pair were Wells and Solomon, with Solomon getting past on lap 6 to take his first podium position of the season. Wells finished fifth behind Yuan, who gained a position on the final lap.
James MUNRO/ New Zealand/ Cebu Pacific Air by KCMG – Race 1 and Race 2 winner
“A big thanks to the team for a great car in both the dry and the wet. [Race 2] was an interesting start as the Safety Car made my job a lot easier. I only had to hang on for three laps! I managed to build a gap and take advantage of the extra visibility I had by being out in front, which made it even easier for me.
I came to Zhuhai feeling fairly well prepared and at the moment I’m feeling really comfortable in the car.”
Yuya MOTOJIMA/ Japan/ Super License – 2nd Race 1 and Race 2
“I’d like to thank my team Super License for giving me the opportunity to be part of Formula Masters China Series. I haven’t raced formula cars for a few years so I was really looking forward to this race. As this is my first time in Zhuhai, at the beginning there was quite a learning curve, but I felt better as the race went on.”
Dan WELLS/ Great Britain/ Cebu Pacific Air by KCMG – 3rd Race 1
“I think the race was going well and then I felt the gears start to go and with two laps to go I felt them go altogether [which] enabled the Super License car to get past me.”
Matthew SOLOMON/ Hong Kong / Eurasia Motorsport – 3rd Race 2
“I’m happy to be back on the podium. I missed this week’s testing so I was at a disadvantage. We’re still not there yet, but this is a step in the right direction.”
YUAN Bo / China/ Eurasia Motorsport – Fastest Chinese Driver
“I feel more comfortable in the car this year, but while my result is not too bad, I have my targets that I want to achieve. Right now it’s okay. In the off-season I worked hard at losing weight and I’m now racing with Eurasia. I’ve been working really hard this past off-season. Of course I’m happy to have finished fourth and fifth, but I hope tomorrow to finish even better.”
2014 Formula Masters China Series: Results Race 1
* 30 second penalty for causing a delay at the start and receiving assistance past the start line
Fastest lap: James MUNRO/New Zealand/Cebu Pacific Air by KCMG/1:39.350/Lap 8
2014 Formula Masters China Series: Results Race 2
Fastest lap: James MUNRO/New Zealand/Cebu Pacific Air by KCMG/1:54.859/Lap 6
Formula Masters China Series Points Classification after Race 2:
2014 Drivers Classification (Top 5)
2014 Best Chinese Driver Trophy (Top 5)
2014 Team Classification (Top 5)
Formula Masters China Series 2014 Provisional Calendar
Formula Masters China Series Background
Formula Masters China Series (FMCS) is a new Formula series designed to develop young drivers, and adds an exciting new element to the Chinese and Asian motorsport scene. The focus of the series is to provide an affordable and equitable stage on which to nurture fledgling talent ensuring skill and not financial advantage dictate success on the race track.
FMCS is a one-make series using a state-of-the-art Formula car providing both performance and safety. With a Tatuus FA010 Carbon composite monocoque, FIA F3 homologated chassis and a 2.0 Formula engine providing 180 HP, the FMCS race car is both competitive and cost-efficient.
The series is organised by Volkswagen Group China and TopSpeed Limited. FMCS will become an ideal source of new local talent for existing VGC motorsport events.
[Source: Formula Masters China Series]