Sepang, Malaysia (November 25, 2018) – Dragon HitechGP’s Raoul Hyman won the inaugural F3 Asian Championship Certified by FIA title at the Sepang International Circuit after a thrilling season finale where he crossed the line in fifth.
The Briton had to finish fifth or higher to clinch the title from season-long title chase leader and team mate Jake Hughes, and Hyman did not disappoint, taking the championship by two points despite high-drama in the closing stages of the 10 lap, rain-interrupted race.
Pinnacle Motorsport’s exciting 16-year-old New Zealand driver Liam Lawson took his third win in three starts on his Asian motorsport debut, continuing to impress with yet another wheel-perfect performance in Race 15. Second across the line was Super License driver Tomoki Takahashi taking his fifth podium of the season, with Absolute Racing’s Jaden Conwright third in the race and in the final championship standings.
Commented Davide De Gobbi, Managing Director of F3 Asian Championship organizer Top Speed: “The inaugural season of the F3 Asian Championship Certified by FIA has been a tremendous success, and a shining example of the bright future of the new era of Formula 3. Never before has the Asian region seen a junior single seater championship of this caliber develop so quickly.
“Our season finale featured 18 young drivers from 11 countries and territories across the globe, and the close, fair racing is testament to both the depth of talent, the success of the format and the performance and reliability of the superb Tatuus F.3 T-318.”
As Lawson led the field away from pole position for the third consecutive time, the race stopped almost as soon as it had begun as drizzle turned to rain on parts of the circuit, heavy enough for the safety car to be called and, soon after, a red flag. By this time though, Lawson had already pulled a gap from the pack ahead of Takahashi, Ye Yifei, Conwright and Hyman, who started from sixth on the grid and was up to fifth and in championship contention before the weather intervened.
The session resumed a little over 15-minutes later behind the safety car, and with all drivers opted to stay on slicks as the short-lived rain dissipated. By now the track has almost completely dried with some wet patches that caught a few drivers.
Hyman took this opportunity to begin his push on Conwright. Just as he closed in, up ahead Ye made a mistake that dropped him down to ninth on lap four, promoting Hyman to fourth. Hyman, who only needed to finish fifth to win the championship, set his sights instead on a podium finish.
After a third safety car period, Lawson had no problem charging ahead of the pack once again with Takahashi doing his best to give chase. Hyman closed the gap to Conwright by 0.2 of a second, making a charge down the long start straight, the pair two abreast into turn one with Hyman on the outside line. Dramatically, Hyman left the braking too late and went wide, allowing his Dragon HitechGP teammate, Harrison Scott to pass. Luckily though, Hyman recovered quickly enough to hold on to fifth, enough to see him crowned champion.
Masters champion Yin Hai Tao of Zen Motorsport claimed his second win of the weekend, and his sixth of the season. Yin,who did not have the best of starts, dropped down seven places off the line. A spirited fight back, aided by mistakes by his rivals on a slippery track, saw him recover and, and by the penultimate lap, he was right behind the battling Tairoku Yamaguchi of B-Max Racing Team and Super License’s Takashi Hata. When all eyes were on the battle for the championship further up the field, Yin found a way past the Japanese duo on the last lap to take the class win.
Raoul Hyman (Dragon HitechGP) – 2018 F3 Asian Championship Certified by FIA Champion
“I feel really good. First of all, a huge thanks to Dragon HitechGP. The whole year has been incredible. Throughout the year we’d arrive, the only team that has to commute from England, and the team just hit the ground running. The car has just been sublime the entire way through the championship. A huge thanks to them all. I have no words. I am really very excited about this.
“[At the end of the race] I thought it was the last lap and I really wanted to get onto the podium. I knew I was within the position I needed to be, so I really wanted to be on the podium. I looked behind and I saw that there was a really big gap to sixth. I didn’t really want to go on the outside at turn one but that looked to be one of the best opportunities. So, I went around the outside, it obviously didn’t come off but there wasn’t really a huge risk in taking it because I knew if I lost fourth to Harrison [Scott] behind, that would be fine for what I needed. It was just one last go really and unfortunately it didn’t come off, but I’m really happy to come away with the championship and I am happy that it wasn’t as nail-biting as it could have been, especially in those conditions because I was within top five from lap two so I was happy with that.”
Liam Lawson (Pinnacle Motorsport) – Race 15 winner
“[The changeable weather conditions] were certainly interesting. The start wasn’t so good this time. We were close in turn one but I managed to hold the lead. I knew we had a fast race car, we’ve had it all weekend since qualifying so it’s been fantastic. Massive thanks to Pinnacle Motorsport for giving me a car capable of winning like this. That was certainly a tricky race from when it started raining. A few safety cars made it interesting but lots of fun.”
Tomoki Takahashi(Super License) – Race 15 2nd
“The race today was better than the one yesterday, the car was very nice to drive but I am a little bit disappointed because I couldn’t catch up to the cars in front. I gave it all I’d got. I put everything on the table but I am just disappointed I didn’t win the race.”
Jaden Conwright(Absolute Racing) – Race 15 3rd
“The race was quite good. I had a good start and went from P4 to P3 by turn one but Yifei got me back. The conditions definitely made it tricky. Just staying in focus was a bit difficult because it was always green and then the safety car, and then we had a red flag, so it was just managing the conditions, managing your mindset. In the end it was a good race and we were finally able to show the pace that we had all weekend.”
Yin Hai Tao (Zen Motorsport) – Race 15 Masters winner
“Today’s race, it was my best start position but the worst start for myself so no, it was not really good at the beginning. After the rain I tried to take some advantage but I fell back to last. It was a dramatic race and it was a good race, good to remember.”
F3 Asian Championship Certified by FIA
Race 15 Results
Pos # Name Nat Team Results
- 1 10 Liam LAWSON NZL Pinnacle Motorsport 25:43.006
- 2 7 Tomoki TAKAHASHI JPN Super License +4.101
- 3 80 Jaden CONWRIGHT USA Absolute Racing +6.489
- 4 34 Harrison SCOTT GBR Dragon HitechGP +7.187
- 5 27 Raoul HYMAN GBR Dragon HitechGP +7.919
- 6 5 YU Kuai CHN ZEN Motorsport +10.222
- 7 4 Louis PRETTE HKG BlackArts Racing +12.225
- 8 16 YE Yifei CHN Absolute Racing +12.358
- 9 11 Charles LEONG MAC Dragon HitechGP +13.559
- 10 33 Akash GOWDA IND M-Sport Asia +16.084
- 11 3 YIN Hai Tao (M) CHN ZEN Motorsport +17.855
- 12 28 Tairoku YAMAGUCHI (M) JPN B-Max Racing Team +17.970
- 13 2 Takashi HATA (M) JPN Super License +22.224
- 14 95 Tom BECKHÄUSER CZE BlackArts Racing +26.758
- 15 30 DRAGON (M) JPN B-Max Racing Team +27.310
- DNF 29 Akash NANDY MAL Absolute Racing 6 laps
- DNF 8 Jeremy WAHOME KEN SVC Asia 4 laps
- DNF 9 Thomas LUEDI (M) HKG BlackArts Racing 3 laps
Fastest Lap: Liam Lawson/Pinnacle Motorsport/2:06.460/Lap 9
Championship 2018 Final Drivers Classification
Pos # Driver Team Points
- 1 27 Raoul HYMAN Dragon HitechGP 227
- 2 34 Jake HUGHES Dragon HitechGP 225
- 3 80 Jaden CONWRIGHT Absolute Racing 173
- 4 11 Charles LEONG Dragon HitechGP 145
- 5 7 Tomoki TAKAHASHI Super License 142
- 6 29 Akash NANDY Absolute Racing 125
- 7 5 YU Kuai ZEN Motorsport 84
- 8 10 Liam LAWSON Pinnacle Motorsport 75
- 9 4 Louis PRETTE BlackArts Racing 70
- 10 34 Ben HINGELEY Dragon HitechGP 43
- 11 16 YE Yifei Absolute Racing 37
- 12 8 Jeremy WAHOME SVC Asia 32
- 13 33 Akash GOWDA M-Sport Asia 28
- 14 34 Harrison SCOTT Dragon HitechGP 26
- 15 0 Chase OWEN Chase Owen Racing 24
- 16 3 YIN Hai Tao ZEN Motorsport 15
- 17 6 LIU Ze Xuan Emc2 Racing 14
- 18 5 Kang Ling ZEN Motorsport 12
- 19 55 Daniel CAO Pinnacle Motorsport 7
- 20 32 Presley MARTONO BlackArts Racing 6
- 21 2 Takashi HATA Super License 2
- 22 95 Tom BECKHAUSEER BlackArts Racing 1
F3 Asian Championship 2018 Final Masters Classification
Pos # Driver Team Points
- 1 3 YIN Hai Tao ZEN Motorsport 276
- 2 2 Takashi HATA Super License 193
- 3 6 LIU Ze Xuan Emc2 Racing 192
- 4 30 DRAGON B-Max Racing Team 96
- 5 9 Thomas LUEDI BlackArts Racing 62
- 6 28 Tairoku YAMAGUCHI B-Max Racing Team 61
MSA Publishes media releases from a host of different sources on our website as a service to the sport. It is not practically possible to vet/approve every release that is published. Some news items and articles are written by correspondents and do not necessarily represent MSA’s views.