Home Formula RegionalFRegional Asian Championship Prema’s Zhou fastest in pre-event Asian F3 test at Dubai

Prema’s Zhou fastest in pre-event Asian F3 test at Dubai

by Ida Wood

Formula 2 racer Guanyu Zhou topped Thursday’s pre-event test at Dubai Autodorome for the Asian Formula 3 season opener.

The Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema driver had set the pace in pre-season testing, and improved on the best lap from Wednesday’s running by setting a 1m33.802s to top the first of the two pre-event test sessions on Dubai’s International layout.

He was 0.299 seconds faster than Ferrari-backed team-mate Dino Beganovic, who will be making his F3 debut this weekend, while Pinnacle Motorsport’s Pierre-Louis Chovet continued his pre-season form by going third fastest.

The new Evans GP team got up to speed with Chovet’s 2020 Formula Regional European Championship rival Patrik Pasma, with the Finn setting the fourth fastest lap of the day.

Mumbai Falcons’ Kush Maini was fifth, and Zhou’s F2 rivals Roy Nissany (Hitech GP) and Jehan Daruvala (Mumbai Falcons) were sixth and seventh.

The afternoon session was disrupted by a lengthy red flag stoppage that left BlackArts Racing’s Zdenek Chovanec unable to return to track afterwards, and featured Zhou at the top of the times again early on.

Motorscape’s Roberto Faria also looked quick, and he was in first place when the red flag came out.

When on-track action resumed, it didn’t take long for Chovet to move up the order, and he took over top spot with 10 minutes to go ahead of BlackArts’ Cem Bolukbasi.

Evans GP’s Isack Hadjar displaced Bolukbasi five minutes later, and then went fastest with just under four minutes remaining. Chovet reclaimed first place with two minutes to go, and then improved again while Hadjar came just short of moving back ahead.

The top laptimes from the afternoon were a second slower than the morning though, meaning Zhou – who was fifth fastest in the session – still ended the day on top. Bolukbasi, Faria and Pinnacle’s Matthias Luethen were the only drivers to improve on their morning bests.

Test results

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Guanyu Zhou Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema 1m33.802s 52
2 Dino Beganovic Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema 1m34.101s +0.299s 51
3 Pierre-Louis Chovet Pinnacle Motorsport 1m34.195s +0.393s 51
4 Patrik Pasma Evans GP 1m34.376s +0.574s 46
5 Kush Maini Mumbai Falcons 1m34.384s +0.582s 50
6 Roy Nissany Hitech GP 1m34.472s +0.670s 53
7 Jehan Daruvala Mumbai Falcons 1m34.508s +0.706s 52
8 Isack Hadjar Evans GP 1m34.522s +0.720s 51
9 Ayumu Iwasa Hitech GP 1m34.628s +0.826s 50
10 Lorenzo Fluxa BlackArts Racing 1m34.668s +0.886s 48
11 Nicola Marinangeli Motorscape 1m34.676s +0.874s 54
12 Casper Stevenson Evans GP 1m34.867s +1.065s 50
13 Rafael Villagomez BlackArts Racing 1m34.962s +1.160s 53
14 Reece Ushijima Hitech GP 1m35.062s +1.260s 52
15 Roman Stanek Hitech GP 1m35.222s +1.420s 48
16 Cem Bolukbasi BlackArts Racing 1m35.276s +1.474s 51
17 Roberto Faria Motorscape 1m35.280s +1.478s 53
18 Alexandre Bardinon Pinnacle Motorsport 1m35.343s +1.541s 54
19 Zdenek Chovanec BlackArts Racing 1m35.475s +1.673s 36
20 Alessio Deledda Pinnacle Motorsport 1m35.538s +1.736s 52
21 Amna Al Qubaisi Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema 1m36.125s +2.323s 51
22 Matthias Luethen Pinnacle Motorsport 1m36.167s +2.365s 38
23 Irina Sidorkova Evans GP 1m36.733s +2.931s 52