Text: Brent Co / Photos: Brent Co | posted November 18, 2005 13:34
Irish invasion at final rounds of 2005 AF3
The final rounds of the 2005 Asian Formula 3 Championship returned to the Batangas Racing Circuit for season decider for the driver's championship. The series started in Batangas, Philippines and moved to China, Indonesia and back to the Philippines. The biggest AF3 season so far had 14 cars on the grid for the final race.
It was Irish driver John O'Hara of Shell Helix-PCSO-Kinetic F3 on pole position while fellow Irish driver Emmet Queenan of Speedtech Asia took pole in the Promotions Class, both drivers also won both rounds. It was clearly an Irish invasion at the track with two more drivers from Ireland running in the series as well. But the Indonesian fans still came in full support of their racing heroes Ananda Mikola and Moreno Soeprapto who were about to clinch their driver's championship titles in the International and Promotions class respectively.
In qualifying, O'Hara set the pace at 1m27.496s to take pole on his 11th qualifying lap on the now longer Batangas Racing Circuit, Fastron Racing with Threebond's Ananda Mikola took P2 with a time of 1m27.511s which he set on his 12th qualifying lap which was literally a hairline away from the pole time. Shell Helix-PCSO-Kinetic F3's James Winslow edged Tyson Sy of Speedtech Asia for P3 as the latter settled for P4 as the two shared second row with less than two-tenths of a second separating their qualifying times. The rest of the order was Rodolfo Avila (Christian Jones Motorsport), Dado Peña (Goddard-Minardi Team Asia), Pepon Marave (Shell Helix Kinetic F3 PCSO), Enzo Pastor and Joel Retuya.
In the Promotion Class, Emmet Queenan (Speedtech Asia) set a class pole time good enough for 7th overall grid position at 1m29.419s, Indonesian Moreno Soeprapto followed with a 1m29.784s, AF3 newcomer Jonathan Legris of Tuason Racing set a 1m30.125 to get ahead of Greg Murphy of Goddard-Minardi Team Asia who was then followed by Aviation Display Team Ireland's Lee Farrell, who is driving for the team's sneak preview race for the next season.
It was a clean start for race one as the cars sped away into an incident-free tighter first turn. It was John O'Hara who grabbed the lead at the first turn after a good start from pole. Following O'Hara was Mikola who virtually had to do nothing but finish the race as he had an almost unsurmountable lead in the driver's championship standings. But by turn three, it was a hard charging James Winslow who would capture second without realizing that he just made a jump start which would lead to his disqualification after disregarding the black flag. Following the pack was Sy, Avila and Peña.
However, a hard charging Avila would later find himself hustling for position with the leaders. Sy on the other hand did not have so good a race, as a miscalculation led to an overshoot costing valuable postitions which dropped him down the order. Mikola, who wanted to make sure he just won the driver's championship meanwhile eased back and watched the fireworks from Avila's flaming exhaust.
Midway through the race, O'Hara had built a wide enough margin already running with virtually no pressure behind him. The black flagged Winslow continued to run not realizing that he had just been disqualfied from the race, as Avila continued to chase on. Avila would finally manage to get ahead of Winslow. Still charging ahead with the Philppine flag was Dado Peña who made the best finish for a Filipino driver at 5th (later upgraded to 4th).
In the Promotions Class, it was clearly Queenan's race as he led from lights to flag as points leader Moreno Soeprapto decided to sit back and cruise along with Greg Murphy was back down the order. Lee Farrell on the other hand was struggling with engine problems but still managing to get within the top ten. A very unfortunate race debut for Jonathan Legris who was running within the top three, finally succumbing to electrical problems with his car.
As Winslow was adjudged to be disqualified due to his jump start and disregard of the stop-and-go penalty, positions were adjusted. The final top five order for the International Class is as follows, John O'Hara - Shell Helix-PCSO-Kinetic F3; Rodolfo Avila - Christian Jones Motorsport; Ananda Mikola - Fastron Racing with Threebond; Dado Peña - Goddard-Minardi Team Asia; and Tyson Sy - Speedtech Asia. In the Promotions Class the final order was, Emmet Queenan - Speedtech Asia; Moreno Soeprapto - Denso-Hanjin-Joson F3; Lee Farrell - Aviation Display Team Ireland; and Greg Murphy - Goddard-Minardi Team Asia.
After the results of the eleventh round, Indonesian brothers Ananda Mikola and Moreno Soeprapto have effectively secured themselves the 2005 Asian Formula 3 driver's championships for the International and Promotions Class respectively.
It was an exciting start for the twelfth and final round as a drag race to the first corner between O'Hara and Mikola, after a great start by Mikola. Avila on the other hand had a little catching up but still managed to slot into third at the first turn. Following them was Tyson Sy followed by Promotions Class runners Emmet Queenan and Moreno Soeprapto. A disappointing race however for Dado Peña who was forced to retire after Sy's car made contact with his causing damage to the suspension. Making a fantastic start was James Winslow from dead last on the grid, who managed to find himself midway through the order.
After a few laps, James Winslow finally lands himself into fourth position with Sy dropping down the order and finally crashing out on the 10th lap. A very disappointing race for the young driver who came into the weekend second in the championship.
It was Emmet Queenan who took top prize in the Promotion Class once again, making it a clean sweep for the Irishman. Already class champion Soeprapto had nothing much to worry about but still wanted to make a podium finish for the Indonesian fans in the grandstand. Jonathan Legris made his debut race weekend worthwhile with a third in class. Murphy then rounded up the fnishers for the Promotions Class. Lee Farrell unfortunately had a disappointing race as his engine problems eventually turned into a blown engine.
A sweep by Irish drivers John O'Hara and Emmet Queenan of both International and Promotions Classes, respectively concludes the 2005 Asian Formula 3 Championship. Taking second and third for the International Class respectively are Ananda Mikola and Rodolfo Avila. For the Promotions Class it was Moreno Soeprapto and Jonathan Legris take the final two podium spots.
For for the International Class driver's championship, Indonesian Ananda Mikola took home the top prize, while John O'Hara takes second, while James Winslow did an almost impossible as he edged Tyson Sy for the 3rd driver's championship. The team championship for the International Class was awarded to the Shell Helix-PCSO-Kinetic F3 Racing Team. The Promotions Class driver's championship on the other hand was won by Moreno Soeprapto, as Greg Murphy took second while Lee Murphy took third.