Formula Masters China kicks off successfully in Zhuhai
Date posted on May 11, 2013 · Published by Mark Goddard
Eurasia’s Matt Solomon and Pu Jun Jin had a good first day in the new VW powered Formula Masters China Series held at Zhuhai Circuit today, May 11th. Matt Solomon belied his lack of experience, this was his first car racing event, by finishing fourth in rounds one and two held today whilst Pu Jun Jin ended the day with a fifth and seventh place. The F3 engine powered Tatuus cars produced great racing throughout the 15 car field and the series has cemented its place as the only credible international junior formula series in the region.Qualifying was held on Friday of race week in changeable conditions. The first of two 15 minute sessions, which determine the starting positions for races one and three of the event, saw a wet but drying track. Most drivers started on wets but some decided to gamble on the circuit drying out and pitted to fit slicks, Solomon being one of them. The session was interrupted by a red flag stoppage to recover cars from the gravel traps and Solomon ran out of time to make best use of the slicks, consigning himself to 10th place. Pu Jun Jin stayed on wets, for some time running in the top four fastest times before dropping to 7th. The rains returned in the 5 minute break between sessions and all cars were shod with wets. Solomon shot to the top of the time sheets after one lap and then dropped the car at turn nine burying the car in the gravel trap. It was only at the end of the session that anyone managed to go faster but it was fantastic lap from Matt that would see him start on the front row for race three. Pu Jun Jin was equally impressive, belying his lack of racing experience by taking third spot.
Race one was dry throughout and Pu Jun Jin made a good start which saw him up to fourth place by mid-race. Solomon had also been on the move, clawing his way to fifth place from tenth in the grid when the safety car was called. At the re-start Solomon was able to draft by his team mate before turn three but both then ran out of laps to move up further.
Race two started with slight drizzle but it soon dried up and produced an exciting race. The grid was determined on race one’s fastest lap times which saw Solomon start 5th and Pu Jun Jin 7th. Solomon was quickly up to fourth place and the top four opened a gap to the following group which featured a great race between Pu Jun Jin and Raj Barath, the latter just beating the Eurasia driver to the flag. Solomon finished the race in fourth just 2.7 seconds behind the leader.
“Kevin (Pu Jun Jin) confirmed our opinion that he is a real talent and proved to be the best China driver today. He is improving every time he gets in the car and I am sure he has a very good chance of winning the China Driver Class Championship” reports Eurasia’s Mark Goddard. “As for Matt he missed the first three days of testing this week due to school exams and went into qualifying with only three sessions under his belt. To start on the front row in his first car event is a real achievement and I am sure he will be a factor in the championship this season”
The third race of the event takes place on Sunday, May 12th.