The Chinese Formula 4 season is finally kicking off this weekend, and pole positions for the opening round at Zhuhai were claimed by Ryan Liu and Charles Leong.
Liu topped Q1, which sets the grid for race one, by just 0.027 seconds over the guesting Leong. Last year’s Macau Grand Prix winner [pictured above in 2020] is once again competing as a guest driver as he won the Chinese F4 title in 2017, and is entering the series now as preparation for the final which will take place on the streets of Macau.
Former Asian Formula Renault and Audi R8 LMS Cup racer Liu last appeared in Chinese F4 in 2019, when he picked up three podiums from three races at Shanghai.
Two other drivers were able to get within a second of Liu’s pole lap around Zhuhai, with former FIA European Formula 3 racer Andy Chang qualifying third and Sicheng Li – whose F4 experience has also included races in the USA – qualifying fourth.
The laptimes were slightly slower in Q2, which sets the grid for race three of four, and this time Leong set the pace by four tenths of a second over Chang. Liu was third, and Li was 1.4s back in fourth.
There were 13 cars that took part in the two qualifying sessions, as Liu Tiezheng was ruled out by a free practice crash in his Blackjack21 Racing-run car. Champ Motorsport’s Chengru Hu also failed to qualify.
Race 1 grid
1 Ryan Liu Smart Life Racing 1m41.406s
2 Charles Leong Smart Life Racing +0.027s
3 Andy Chang Chengdu Team +0.841s
4 Sicheng Li LEO Geeke +0.943s
5 Neric Wei Grid Motorsport +1.846s
6 Weiyuan Fang Pointer Racing +2.358s
7 Jingxi Lu Smart Life Racing +2.819s
8 Patrick Tsang Champ Motorsport +2.900s
9 Weifu Huang LEO Geeke +3.261s
10 Brian Lee iDEAK by KRC +3.389s
Race 3 grid
1 Leong 1m41.546s
2 Chang +0.411s
3 Liu +0.454s
4 Li +1.404s
5 Lu +2.506s
6 Fang +2.546s
7 Wei +2.611s
8 Lee +2.084s
9 Tsang +3.447s
10 Zhongwei Wang iDEAK by KRC +3.493s