AFR EVENT 4 POST RACE RECAP: JOEY AND STEPHEN AWARDED TO GO EUROCUP ROOKIE TEST

Source:   Post:2019-09-29

         Joey Alders and Stephen Hong secure the seat of Eurocup Rookie Test in Abu Dhabi

         Elias storm to Podium

         Joey Alders scores the highest points in every single race / Joey had a dominant race weekend in Sepang circuit

 

With the new race format, teams had to work out a strategy how to arrange 2 sets of tires for 1 qualifying and 3 races.

 

Qualifying

Friday afternoon qualifying session started with the oil flag, drivers driving very carefully which made 2-3 seconds slower than the morning practice session. Joey Alders continued on his quick pace and set the fastest time, placing at the head of the grid. Struggling a bit to find the ultimate pace, Elias Niskanen qualified P3 for race 1 and race 2. Neric Wei qualified first in the Master Class.

 

Race 1

Saturday began with Joey lining up from first and Bruno Carneiro from second. Due to heavy rain last night at night the starting lights were damaged, requiring a safety car start. 


Elias Niskanen moved quickly to second, managed his race well and built a gap out in front. He continued to extend his gap with a controlled drive until crossing the finish line with more than four seconds of advantage.





The Singaporean driver Ni Weiliang was aggressive in this race and overtook Neric Wei in the second lap. Stephen Hong was forced and overtaken by Ni Weiliang, Stephen immediately returned to his position at the corner.


Ni Weiliang and Neric Wei were battling to begin an emphatic defence, eventually both drivers not being able to see the chequered flag, which in turn enabled Erwin Boon and the new Macanese driver Nicholas Lai to close in and challenge for the first place of the master class.



Race 2

Bruno Carneiro very quickly settled into a rhythm in the afternoon race, clocking laps that were regularly over two seconds faster than his competitors and building a gap ahead.



 

Ni Weiliang and Neric Wei were battling closely again and on the third lap, Ni overtook Neric and finished sixth.



Sandro Tavartkiladze was pushed by Stephen Hong but then he took advantage in lap 8 to overtake Elias and create gap to the cars behind, crossing the finish line more than two seconds ahead of the third-place finisher.




Race 3

The weekend ended with race three placing Joey Alders in first and Bruno Carneiro in second. The race was interrupted by yellow flag and safety car left the track for remaining 16 mins to go.





Sandro Tavartkiladze was moving quickly to the third place and pushing hard towards Bruno, Bruno kept the pace and took the flag in second position.



Neric Wei and Nicholas Lai was battling closely at the back and Neric overtook and finished sixth.




The weekend ended in huge disappointment with #3 experiencing a puncture early in the race whilst #62 being left without a possible finish in the last 5 mins.



Overall

Joey Alders managed to hold the lead in Sepang circuit while he got five wins in two events with six races.


With the highest championship points, overall winner Joey Alders and Chinese winner Stephen Hong are awarded the Formula Renault Eurocup Rookie Test. Both of them will attend the Rookie Test in Abu Dhabi on 28 October 2019.


Champion Standings

With the title showdown set for the season’s finale at Zhuhai in December, Joey Alders secures his first positon in the drivers’ standings. Sandro Tavartkiladze, who managed to score points in every single race this season, finished third. Now four drivers remain in the overall championship contention, all separated by 80 points: championship leader Joey (254 points); Bruno (217 points); Sandro (203 points) and Elias (174 points).


In the race to the Best Chinese driver title, Stephen Hong retains the lead on 123 points. Second in the standings lies Neric Wei on 74 points.

 

Drivers Quote

Joey Alder: I could not wish for a better weekend than this one. It all came together. Starting of the weekend on Friday with the first official practice setting a new track record at Sepang in the Formule Renault 2.0 This also gave mental strength going into the qualifying and it did pay off with a double pole position.


Race 2 again a safety car start, because it went well in the first race this was in my favor. After the start it was luckily a copy from race 1, getting a good start and managing the pace throughout the race and finishing it off by another win. But this wasn't just a win, it was an important one, because this win gave me enough points to secure the ticket to go to the Formua Renault Eurocup Rookie Test in Abu Dhabi which I was super excited about and was our main goal for this championship.


Throughout the race I knew my improvement points and needed to keep my focus on the job. It all paid off in the end with 3 out of 3 wins. The best weekend of my career with hopefully more to come, but I couldn't have done it if BlackArts Racing hadn't given me this incredible beast of a car.


See you all again for the championship final on 6-8 December. But first trying to impress Renault in Abu Dhabi October 28th.



Stephen Hong: Getting the chance to be an AFR Chinese Winner and get to test the new Formula Renault car for a day in Abu Dhabi is really exciting. I’ve maintained composure the whole season, although there were two issues with DNF but have maintained collectiveness following up races. With points collection leading up to a Chinese Winner title, wasn’t an easy task.