Hitech GP furthered their success in Suzuka, Japan over the weekend, taking home a sensational three wins, extending their championship lead. The Silverstone-based team contested the third round of the Asian F3 Championship, continuing their clean-sweep of wins so far this season. Australian F4 Driver Jackson Walls joined the team at Suzuka and will contest the final two rounds with Hitech.
Sixteen-year-old Jack Doohan swept to victory in the first race of the weekend, closing the points gap to championship leader Sasahara.
Starting from pole, Sasahara fought to retain the lead at his home track. With astonishing speed, Doohan had a superb launch from the grid, rocketing off from pole-sitter and team mate Sasahara.
Despite an extended safety car period, Doohan controlled the restart with sheer determination keeping Sasahara at arms length to claim the top spot. Sasahara finished in P2, just over half a second behind Doohan. Team mate Walls was able to pressure the 17-strong field, crossing the line in P7.
The second race of the Suzuka weekend saw Sasahara secure the win after team mate and race leader Doohan inadvertently triggered the throttle fail safe algorithm, a move which cost him victory.
Starting from pole, Doohan came under fire from Sasahara in the early stages of the third race. The Japanese driver dived up the inside and into the lead, however he was forced to run wide, which allowed Doohan to reclaim his pole advantage. Following a safety car, and a few minutes remaining on the clock, Doohan inadvertently triggered the car’s throttle fail safe algorithm. The Australian managed to get the car going again, to cross the line in 10th. Sasahara nabbed the win, whilst Walls took a podium finish on his debut weekend in the Asian F3 Championship, finishing the second race in P3.
Challenging for the lead as the lights went out, Sasahara dived down the inside of the front-runner in P1. Despite sheer determination and pace, Sasahara unfortunately received a penalty for contact with another driver during the early stages of the race, resulting in a P9 finish. Starting from the second row in P3, Doohan encountered several wheel-to-wheel battles, and despite a tough start, he was able to climb into the race lead for his second win of the weekend. The Australian Red Bull Junior driver remains 2nd in the championship standings but has closed the gap to Sasahara to 8 points. Walls finished the final race in P5.
The F3 Asian Championship continues with Round 4 on September 7-8 at Shanghai International Speedway.