Home Formula 3Asian F3 Alpine junior Zhou takes double Asian F3 pole at Dubai

Alpine junior Zhou takes double Asian F3 pole at Dubai

by Ida Wood

Photo: F3 Asian Championship

Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema’s Guanyu Zhou comfortably took both pole positions in the penultimate Asian Formula 3 round at Dubai Autodrome.

The fastest laptimes in the first qualifying session were set towards the beginning, with Pinnacle Motorsport’s points leader Chovet leading the way on the first flying laps and then Zhou going quickest on the second.

From then on there was no change or improvements at the top of the timesheet, with the most noticable rise up the grid being Mumbai Falcons’ Jehan Daruvala rising from sixth to fourth with two minutes of the session to go.

Joining him on the second row was fellow Red Bull junior Ayumu Iwasa for Hitech GP, while Motorscape’s Roberto Faria shuffled Iwasa’s team-mate Roman Stanek down to sixth.

Patrik Pasma was the top Evans GP driver in seventh after topping pre-event testing, and in the final five minutes the debuting David Vidales rose up to eighth for Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema.

Hitech pair Reece Ushijima and Roy Nissany were the last two drivers to get faster, with Ushijima bringing himself up to ninth place and Formula 2 driver Nissany up to 11th ahead of Evans GP’s F3 debutant Alex Connor.

The second qualifying session was red flagged before any drivers had set a flying lap, and in the fairly short gap before action got underway again Zhou was summoned to the stewards.

He was then the driver to beat once drivers did put some laps down, with his first effort putting him straight into first place by half a second ahead of Iwasa and Chovet.

Once again there were few improvements as the session went on, and the next positions behind the top three were filled by Pasma, Faria and Vidales.

Zhou’s F2 rivals Daruvala and Nissany were ninth and 10th, while there was no sign of Pinnacle’s Matthias Luethen, who had signed to contest the full season.

Qualifying round-up
Race 1 grid
1 Guanyu Zhou Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema 1m55.356s
2 Pierre-Louis Chovet Pinnacle Motorsport +0.092s
3 Ayumu Iwasa Hitech GP +0.280s
4 Jehan Daruvala Mumbai Falcons +0.310s
5 Roberto Faria Motorscape +0.359s
6 Roman Stanek Hitech GP +0.397s
7 Patrik Pasma Evans GP +0.480s
8 David Vidales Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema +0.488s
9 Reece Ushijima Hitech GP +0.811s
10 Kush Maini Mumbai Falcons +0.888s

Race 3 grid
1 Zhou 1m54.844s
2 Iwasa +0.507s
3 Chovet +0.627s
4 Pasma +0.759s
5 Faria +0.793s
6 Vidales +0.903s
7 Cem Bolukbasi BlackArts Racing +0.917s
8 Maini +0.978s
9 Daruvala +1.050s
10 Roy Nissany Hitech GP +1.138s