Home Formula RegionalFRegional Asian Championship Ukyo Sasahara continues Hitech’s Asian F3 domination at Buriram

Ukyo Sasahara continues Hitech’s Asian F3 domination at Buriram

by Steve Whitfield

Photo: F3 Asian Championship

Ukyo Sasahara extended his Asian Formula 3 lead by winning two of the races at Thailand’s Buriram circuit, as Hitech GP scored one-two finishes in all three races.

Jack Doohan won the other race for the team, beating Sasahara, and finished immediately behind his title-leading team-mate in the other two.

Sasahara started from pole position in all three races, but had to defend against his Australian team-mate at the beginning of the first two races. In race one, Sasahara stayed in front to win by 4.068 seconds from Doohan, but in race two Doohan got by on the second lap and dominated thereon.

In race three Sasahara led away again and took an even more commanding win, this time by 10.566s. This was helped by Doohan losing second place to BlackArts Racing’s Brendon Leitch early on, and only regaining the place on lap 12 of 15. After six races, 13 points separate Sasahara and Doohan at the top of the standings.

Absolute Racing finished best of the rest behind Hitech in the first two races, with reigning Asian Formula Renault champion Daniel Cao beating team-mate Eshan Pieris on both occasions. Pieris again finished fourth in race three, but Cao finished in ninth after a bad start dropped him to tenth early on and, despite recovering to sixth, lost three places on the last lap.

Leitch scored his second podium of the season with third in race three. The Kiwi finished fifth in race one, but failed to finish race two after going off track while battling with Pinnacle Motorsport?s debutant Ayrton Simmons.

The second BlackArts car of Tom Beckhauser finished in seventh and eighth in races two and three, having finished in 11th in the first race after an early spin.

BRDC British F3 driver Simmons had a consistent debut weekend, finishing in the top six in all three races.

Paul Wong won the Masters Class in races one and two, with Thomas Luedi – who failed to finish the first two races – winning the third race.

Results round-up
Race 1 (19 laps)
1 Ukyo Sasahara Hitech GP 30m13.219s
2 Jack Doohan Hitech GP +4.068s
3 Daniel Cao Absolute Racing +14.124s
4 Eshan Pieris Absolute Racing +17.885s
5 Brendon Leitch BlackArts Racing +28.389s
6 Ayrton Simmons Pinnacle Motorsport +29.308s
7 Yu Kanamaru Super Licence +37.521s
8 Akash Gowda M-Sport Asia +38.422s
9 Miki Koyama B-MAX Racing +44.211s
10 James Yu Zen Motorsport +46.802s
Pole: Sasahara, 1m33.999s
Fastest lap: Sasahara, 1m34.869s

Race 2 (20 laps)
1 Doohan 31m32.604s
2 Sasahara +9.260s
3 Cao +13.790s
4 Pieris +20.084s
5 Simmons +20.540s
6 Yu +25.760s
7 Tom Beckhauser BlackArts Racing +34.557s
8 Koyama +34.565s
9 Kanamaru +35.571s
10 Gowda +39.832s
FL: Doohan, 1m34.322s

Race 3 (15 laps)
1 Sasahara 31m32.259s
2 Doohan +10.566s
3 Leitch +22.494ss
4 Pieris +32.477s
5 Yu +33.637s
6 Simmons +41.434s
7 Kanamaru +42.055s
8 Beckhauser +42.508s
9 Cao+43.772s
10 Thomas Smith Pinnacle Motorsport +46.962s
P: Sasahara, 1m33.434s
FL: Leitch, 1m34.193s

Championship standings
1 Sasahara 136 ??2 Doohan 123? ?3 Cao 65 ??4 Leitch 64? ?5 Pieris 64 ??6 Kanamaru 30? ?7 Takahashi 27 ??8 Simmons 26? ?9 Yu 19? ?10 Jamie Chadwick 18