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Preview: Wells goes for glory in Formula Pilota China

by Peter Allen

Photo: Formula Pilota China

British hopeful amongst those aiming to succeed Matheo Tuscher, last year’s champion who has since gone on to stun F2, starting this weekend in Shanghai…

As a new series, Formula Pilota China went a little under the radar last year. The championship uses the Formula Abarth chassis, and offers a prize of a Ferrari Driver Academy evaluation for the champion and the top Asian driver. Last year Tuscher won eight of the 12 races on his way to the title, aged just 14.

Dan Wells finished runner-up to Oliver Rowland in the Formula Renault UK Finals Series at the end of last year, and was aiming to return to the championship for a title tilt in 2012, were he able to obtain the necessary budget. As it was, the season was cancelled and he has instead set his sights on the Formula Pilota crown, driving for KCMG.

?I’m really looking forward to racing with KCMG in my first ever race in Asia, taking place at Shanghai International Circuit,? said the 21-year-old, who took part in a Q&A with PaddockScout last December. ?Our pre-season preparations have gone well and I am sure that we are going to be fighting for victories. I have to thank VISA Global Logistics Group, BAM Motorsport Promotions and everyone else who has supported me over the winter, whom without I would not have had this opportunity. I cannot wait to get our championship under way!?

It is the Eurasia Motorsport outfit where much of Wells’ competition is likely to come from. Heading their lineup is 18-year-old Indian Parth Ghorpade, who last year learnt his trade in the French F4 Championship. They also have three drivers arriving out of karting with strong records. It has taken until the age of 22 for Belgian Sami Luka to step into cars, but last year he won the CIK FIA European KF2 title. 18-year-old Italian Antonio Giovinazzi meanwhile was fifth in that same competition, and third in last year’s KF2 World Cup. 15-year-old Indonesian Sean Gelael has also raced internationally.

Japanese driver Shota Kiyohara, who turned 19 last weekend, competed in Formula Challenge Japan last year. He does so again this year, and races as a member of the Honda Formula Dream Project. In 2010 he placed second in the CIK-FIA World Cup for Super KF and KF1, between Rowland and Nyck De Vries. In FPC, he drives for Team UKYO with Super License.

Malaysian Afiq Ikhwan finished runner-up to Lucas Auer in the JK Racing Asia Series, winning 10 of the 18 races. The 20-year-old is again racing JKRAS as well as FPC this year, lining up with the Meritus team in both categories.

Stay tuned to PaddockScout for the latest on Formula Pilota China throughout the season.