Asian Formula Renault title winner unveiled: Day clinches championship; SA SILVA 1 st runner-up

Source:AFR Series   Post:2009-11-15

The 11 th round of the Asian Formula Renault championship (AFR) started at 11:25 Sunday morning under cloudy and cold weather. According to Saturday's qualifying results, Alon Day and Luis SA SILVA started on the front row, with Shanqi Zhang and Zhiqiang Zhang on the 2 nd . As the red lights went off, Day started well and led the race into T1 followed by Shanqi Zhang and Zhiqiang Zhang. After all the cars left the grid, fans saw SA SILVA's car had stalled on the grid, unable to restart. Marshals rushed out to assist, but when SA SILVA rejoined the race he was already 20 seconds behind the fleet. After one lap, car No.30 ran into the wall at T14 and retired from the race. In lap 3, Luca Ferigutti ran off the track and also retired. In the mid-stage of the race, Samin Briceno, Rainey He and SA SILVA started a close fight with SA SILVA managing to overtake them in the end. In lap 9, Terence Chan's front suspension experienced problems and he ran off the track on the main straight, while SA SILVA took aim at Leopold Ringbom and managed to overtake Ringbom in the last lap to finish 5 th . In the end, Alon Day won the race by almost 11 seconds with Zhang Shanqi and Zhang Zhiqiang 2 nd and 3 rd , respectively. Li Zhicong, the young driver from PTRS racing team, finished 4 th . Alon Day said after the race:”I was surprised to find that Luis failed to start his car at the beginning of the race. For me, the race went very well and I am happy that I managed to preserve my tires for the upcoming afternoon race. I am very confident to give a good performance in the final round.”

 

The final round started at 2:55 in the afternoon. During the warm up lap M3 driver Zhiqiang Zhang ran into a gravel trap and failed to join the competition. Alon Day and Zhang Shanqi started from the 1 st row while Li Zhicong was on the 2 nd and SA SILVA and Leopold Ringbom on the 3 rd . As the race started, Day ran to the lead followed by Zhang Shanqi. SA SILVA got off to a good start and moved immediately to 3 rd , following Zhang Shanqi very aggressively. Li Zhicong and Ringbom were 4 th and 5 th . After 2 laps, SA SILVA overtook Zhang Shanqi and started to move closer to Day while Luca Ferigutti was following Briceno very closely, waiting for his chance to overtake. After 6 laps of an aggressive chase, SA SILVA successfully passed Day at T1 and managed to lead the race to the end. Alon Day finished 2 nd with Zhang Shanqi 3 rd . Li Zhicong and Ringbom finished the race 4 th and 5 th , respectively.

The 2009 AFR season is now concluded. In the International category, the top 3 drivers are all teenagers: Alon Day from Top Speed Racing team grabbed the championship title with Luis SA SILVA (Asia Racing team) capturing 1 st runner-up and Zhang Zhiqiang (March 3 racing team) 2 nd runner-up. Asia Racing Team won the team title with March 3 racing team 2 nd and Top Speed racing team 3 rd . In the Asia category, Zhang Zhiqiang won the drivers' championship title. Li Zhicong from PTRS racing team was the 1 st runner-up and Jiang Tengyi from FRD racing team was the 2 nd runner-up. PTRS racing team won the team championship in the Asia category, with FRD racing team grabbing 1 st runner-up and March 3 racing team taking 2 nd runner-up.

Alon Day, the newly-crowned 2009 AFR champion, said after the race:”I am very happy to win the title. It was indeed a mission accomplished and I feel very confident for the next season. I will go to Macau to race in F-BMW in the coming week and hope I can get some good results. For next season, I would like to race in F3 if the sponsorship is good.” Luis SA SILVA said:”Today's 1 st round was a disaster but that is auto sport, it was just a lack of luck. The good thing is my sponsors are happy with my performance in 2009 and if everything goes well, I will join German F3 in 2010.”

The 2009 championship brought some good surprises to China motorsport as several drivers took turns leading the series, creating great suspense as to who would take the championship up until the very final round. FRD will soon start the preparations for 2010's AFR and continue sending promising young drivers to the next level. Let's count on another exciting AFR season in 2010!