Home Formula 4Chinese F4 Ruiqi and Kaishun Liu share Chinese F4 wins with Rodrigues in Pingtan

Ruiqi and Kaishun Liu share Chinese F4 wins with Rodrigues in Pingtan

by Ida Wood

Photo: Chinese F4

The Pingtan street circuit hosted round three of the Chinese Formula 4 season this weekend after it was postponed by a week.

Five pre-event test sessions were followed by two practice sessions, with Ruiqi Liu leading Smart Life Racing team-mate Kaishin Liu by 0.049 seconds in those, then two qualifying sessions.

Champ Motorsport’s Tiago Rodrigues took race one pole by 0.008s over Ruiqi and 0.079s over Kaishun, and held onto the lead through the opening corners over the Smart Life duo.

He soon relinquished under pressure and dropped to fourth behind Jing Zegeng, but then dived down the inside of him at the final corner for third.

The two Lius quickly pulled away, and on lap two there was drama as Patrick Tsang retired in a clash and his car was left parked on the grass on the inside of turn three.

Only yellow flags were required there, although on lap 13 of 20 the safety car appeared after Gan Yicheng hit Ka Kham Chui while trying to pass him for 10th. They had been involved in a big battle for eighth, before Yang Shengwei gapped himself from the four cars behind.

Racing resumed on lap 17 and the two Lius sprinted away but never really fought each other, with Ruiqi winning and points leader Rodrigues following the Lius home. Shengwei managed to get into fifth following some late battles.

Wei Jiang finished 10th and had reversed-grid pole for race two. There was drama on the formation lap as Chengru Hu (who was third on the grid) stopped on track. The start was delayed, and there was another formation lap.

Jun Fei took the lead from Jiang down the inside of turn one at the start, and Rodrigues – from seventh on the grid – then passed Fei into turn one on lap two. The top three broke away from a five-car fight for fourth, then the race was red flagged (but the clock not paused) after Sixiang Lu stopped in a dangerous place.

The clock was reset to 23 minutes and the race restarted with a lap behind the safety car, with the end of lap one order as the grid. Rodrigues reclaimed the lead at turn one, and Ruiqi Liu passed Fei too.

On the lap after Liu passed Rodrigues, with Kaishun Liu getting into third while Fei dropped to a distant fourth. Rodrigues was back in the lead on lap five of the restarted race as Ruiqi Liu went off and into retirement.

The safety car came out on lap eight as Yicheng spun from eighth, and when racing resumed Rodrigues had to hold off two challenges from Kaishun Liu. The race was then red flagged after Tsang crashed, meaning Rodrigues won.

Ruiqi Liu beat Rodrigues to race three pole by 0.349s, but Rodrigues had a better launch and the inside line for turn one so quickly moved ahead.

Liu went for the lead on lap four but it enabled Kaishun Liu to get past him, and then Kaishun took the lead from Rodrigues at the final corner. Ruiqi Liu also got by Rodrigues before the safety car was called due to Yingfu Han spinning out.

Racing resumed on lap 10, but the safety car returned on lap 14 after Cheong spun, then Marco Lau spun into him. Two laps later the race was red-flagged, making Kaishun Liu the winner.

Fei had reversed-grid pole for race four, but it was Weibo Huang who led into turn one. He stayed ahead until lap five, when Ruiqi Liu and Rodrigues came through, then Kaishun Liu also got past. The latter took second from a frustrated Rodrigues on lap nine, after a bit of contact, and it was a quiet race until a Tsang crash and Cheong stopping led to it being red flagged and delivering Ruiqi Liu another win.

Results round-up
Race 1 (20 laps)
1 Ruiqi Liu Smart Life Racing 30m18.067s
2 Kaishun Liu Smart Life Racing +0.395s
3 Tiago Rodrigues Champ Motorsport +1.196s
4 Jing Zefeng Ningbo Team +5.033s
5 Yang Shengwei Chengdu Racing +15.537s
6 Chengru Hu Champ Motorsport +15.998s
7 Man Hei Cheong Blackjack Racing +16.481s
8 Sixiang Lu LEO Geeke +19.522s
9 Jun Fei LEO Geeke +24.610s
10 Wei Jiang Pointer Racing +36.258s
Pole: Rodrigues, 1m18.724s
Fastest lap: Rodrigues, 1m18.945s

Race 2 (13 laps)
1 Rodrigues 37m15.739s
2 K Liu +0.226s
3 Zefeng +1.587s
4 Fei +4.759s
5 Shengwei +6.045s
6 Ka Kham Chui Henmax Motorsport +9.874s
7 Cheong +10.001s
8 Jiang +11.771s
9 Yingfu Han Henmax Motorsport +15.498s
10 Marco Lau Champ Motorsport +21.160s
FL: Liu, 1m19.166s

Race 3 (16 laps)
1 K Liu 30m08.745s
2 R Liu +1.511s
3 Rodrigues +2.911s
4 Zefeng +4.198s
5 Hu +5.378s
6 Weibo Huang Pointer Racing +6.671s
7 Lu +8.667s
8 Patrick Tsang Champ Motorsport +10.687s
9 Shengwei +13.375s
10 Fei +15.317s
P: R Liu, 1m18.356s
FL: K Liu, 1m19.533s

Race 4 (17 laps)
1 R Liu 22m45.295s
2 K Liu +1.182s
3 Rodrigues +5.074s
4 Zefeng +16.336s
5 Huang +27.138s
6 Shengwei +27.951s
7 Hu +28.426s
8 Fei +40.514s
9 Lau +42.988s
10 Chui +47.473s
FL: K Liu, 1m19.001s

Championship standings
1 Rodrigues 205   2 K Liu 188   3 Zefeng 168   4 R Liu 151   5 Hongyu Zhang 98   6 Shengwei 88   7 Fukang Jiang 64   8 Lu 36   9 Jiang 26   10 Hu 24