Conrad Clark sealed the 2019 Chinese Formula 4 title at Shanghai with his 12th win of the season.
The New Zealander took pole in qualifying, only the second time he has been able to do so, beating title rival Zijian He by 0.064 seconds.
He multiplied that margin by 10 in the opening race after a tasty battle with Smart Life Racing Team’s He.
In the opening laps Clark pulled away to form a one second gap, but He was the faster driver in the middle of the race and settled in behind the leader.
Once he’d secured fastest lap, He used the tow from Clark to attempt a move down the long back straight but was held off by 0.641s.
Clark’s BlackArts Racing team-mate Ryan Liu made the podium in third on his debut, with X-Racing Team’s Shang Zongyi and FFA Racing’s Jing Zefeng completing the top five.
He’s plan to beat Clark in the second race was halted at the start when Liu passed him heading into the long straight on the opening lap. He was then swamped by several other cars, enabling Clark to break away to take a dominant win and the title.
Liu came under extreme pressure from He and Han Yuchao, another debutant running with GEEKE, but managed to finish secnd and secure a BlackArts one-two.
In the reversed grid third race, He finally took his first win. Zefeng led the field away, but had already succumbed to the charging He by the hairpin at the end of the opening lap.
Clark also rose up the order, setting fastest lap on the way, but in the end could do no better than a distant fifth.
In Japanese F4, Ren Sato also came close to securing the title at Autopolis. The Honda Formula Dream Project driver won both races, but was beaten to race one pole by team-mate Atsushi Miyake.
It only took one corner for Sato to snatch the lead, and although he could never quite escape the clutches of Miyake he never looked in a position to lose the lead either.
Kakunoshin Ohta ensured a HFDP podium lockout, while OTG’s title contender Togo Suganami struggled to seventh.
A manic start to the second race still ended with Sato in the lead, and he once again had Miyake to fend off. Le Beausset Motorsports’ Kohta Kawaii was third, while sixth place for Ohta moved him into second in the standings.
Results round-up?[pole in bold, fastest lap in italics]
|Race 1 (9 laps)||Race 2 (9 laps)||Race 3 (9 laps)|
|1 Conrad Clark 20m34.230s
2 Zijian He +0.641s
3 Ryan Liu +10.806s
4 Shang Zongyi +14.465s
5 Jing Zefeng +18.493s
|1 Clark 20m29.276s
2 Liu +17.991s
3 He +19.424s
4 Han Yuchao +19.622s
5 Zongyi +21.838s
|1 He 21m15.215s
2 Zongyi +12.074s
3 Liu +22.172s
4 Liu Tiezheng +36.388s
5 Clark +1m37.693s
|Standings?1 Clark 325? ?2 He 237? ?3 Zongyi 165? ?4 Jingwei Lu 83? ?5 Zefeng 73|
|Race 1 (13 laps)||Race 2 (13 laps)|
|1 Ren Sato 24m49.988s
2 Atsushi Miyake +0.965s
3 Kakunoshin Ohta +1.779s
4 Sota Ogawa +6.040s
5 Kohta Kawaai +7.060s
|1 Sato 28m54.342s
2 Miyake +1.601s
3 Kawaai +2.542s
4 Reiji Hiraki +4.352s
5 Iori Kimura +5.819s
|Standings 1 Sato 211? ?2 Ohta 115? ?3 Suganami 114? ?4 Miyake 94? ?5 Kawaai 90|