Home Featured PaddockScout Weekend Preview: 24-25 September

PaddockScout Weekend Preview: 24-25 September

by Peter Allen

Photo: BMW

With the GP2 and GP3 seasons over, it’s time for the JK Racing Asia Series to step into the spotlight (quite literally!) as support for the Grand Prix in Singapore…

The JK Racing Asia Series is the new name for Formula BMW Pacific, after the German marque withdrew its involvement in the championship. This year has been dominated by two drivers in particular – Austrian Lucas Auer and Malaysian Afiq Ikhwan.

After winning one of the races in support of the Malaysian GP, car racing rookie Auer then won all four races at the same Sepang circuit in May. Second year driver Ikhwan then won all four races at Sentul in Indonesia in July. Auer, the nephew of Gerhard Berger, holds a 34 point lead over Ikhwan. This weekend will be their first race in two months after the Guangdong round was cancelled due to a typhoon.

The title fight was intensified yesterday with the announcement of a GP2 test with Tony Fernandes’ Caterham AirAsia team for the winner.

Elsewhere, the penultimate round round of the British F3 season takes place at Donington Park, with all eyes on the battle for the runner-up spot after Felipe Nasr secured the crown last time out at Rockingham. Kevin Magnussen moved into the position there and would be a safe bet to hold onto it with five wins so far this season. Will Buller and Carlos Huertas are both close behind though.

They will all have a new driver to contend with this weekend though, as newly-crowned GP3 champ Valtteri Bottas joins Double R with hopes of racing at the Macau GP. The Finn was ominously fastest in this morning’s test session at Donington. He previously ran in F3 in the Euro Series in 2009 and 2010, winning the Masters at Zandvoort in both years.

Bottas will be the man to watch at Donington this weekend. Photo: British F3

The penultimate round of British Formula Ford also takes place at Donington, where Scott Malvern is set to seal the title having dominated the season so far with 15 wins from 18 races.

The Formula Renault North European Cup season concludes at Monza (which we here at PaddockScout certainly wouldn’t consider as ‘North Europe’). Carlos Sainz Jr won the title last time out, and Daniil Kvyat has a 79 point lead over third-placed Stoffel Vandoorne with a maximum of 90 up for grabs from this weekend’s three races.

JK Racing Asia isn’t the only Formula BMW-based series racing this weekend. The British Intersteps and Swiss Formel Lista championships conclude at Croft and Monza respectively. Car racing rookies Jakes Dennis and Alex Walker go head-to-head for the Intersteps title, while their fellow Brit Philip Ellis is hoping to steal the Lista title from German Dennis Wusthoff having won the last four races.