Asia Racing Team

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Asia Racing Team
Industry Motor Racing
Founded Macau, China, (2003 (2003))
Headquarters Zhuhai International Circuit, Guangdong Province, People's Republic of China
Key people
  • Philippe Descombes
    (Team Manager)
  • Yannick Mazier
    (Chief Mechanic)
Website ART-Motorsports.com

Asia Racing Team (ART Motorsports) is a Chinese / Macanese motor racing team that was formed in 2003. Its main operational headquarters is located within the Zhuhai International Circuit complex, in Southern China, with a second workshop in Chaoqing’s Guangdong International Circuit.

The organization business operation includes a competitive Asian series racing team, the organization of a racing school, corporate track days and promotional events.

The racing team has competed in a number of high-profile championships including Asian Formula Renault/AFR Series, Formula Asia 2.0, Formula Pilota China Series, Formula BMW Pacific, Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, Malaysian Super Series and GT Asia Series, and more recently TCR Asia Series.

Team Management[edit]

ART management with racing driver Sandy Stuvik.

Philippe Descombes (Team Manager) The overall operation of the company is managed by motor racing multi-titlist Frenchman, Philippe Descombes. He, who is fluent in Mandarin, was the man to help the launch single seaters careers of several successful Asian drivers, including Cheng Congfu, Ma Qinghua, Rodolfo Ávila, Mathias Beche, Alexandre Imperatori, Jazeman Jaafar, or Rio Haryanto.

Yannick Mazier (Chief Mechanic) Frenchman Yannick Mazier is with ART since the first day and leads a 12-man mechanics in the workshop based at Zhuhai International Circuit.

History[edit]

Kazuki Nakajima former F1 driver racing with ART in Macau Grand Prix 2003.

The Asia Racing Team, Ltd. (ART Motorsports) is a company registered in China and in Macau with assets amounting to more than RMB 10 million. Its main operational headquarters is located within the Zhuhai International Circuit complex, in southern China.

Team Highlights:

2003: A group of successful Macau entrepreneurs creates ART to compete in Asian Formula Renault Challenge – the first race of the team was the 50th Macau Grand Prix.

2004: First full season of racing in Asian Formula Renault, finishing 2nd (Rodolfo Ávila).

2005: ART wins Asian Formula Renault Macau Grand Prix (Hiroyuki Matsumura).

2006: ART conquers Asian Formula Renault’s Teams title for the first time and finishes 2nd (Alexandre Imperatori).

2007: ART finished 2nd (Alexandre Imperatori) again in Asian Formula Renault Challenge.

2008: The team was 2nd (Mathias Beche) in Formula Asia 2.0 and wins Asian Drivers Trophy (Rio Haryanto). ART returns to Macau Grand Prix, making the first appearance in Formula BMW Pacific.

2009: The team entered a new era, giving the first steps into GT racing, participating in Porsche Carrera Cup Asia with two overall victories and best rookie (Rodolfo Ávila). ART took AFR Championship Teams title and drivers’ classification first runner up (Luis Sa Silva). Contested the Formula BMW Pacific Macau Grand Prix and Singapore Grand Prix rounds.

2010: Asia Racing Team clinched the AFR Series’ team championship while Sandy Stuvik[1] clinched the Driver points championship, followed by his teammate Tin Sritrai, and the “Asian Drivers Category”.

2011: The team run for the first time two Porsche GT3 Cup-R in GT Asia Series and was in competition for the drivers' championship until the last round at Macau. At the same time the red and black squad embarked in another Porsche Carrera Cup Asia season with a line up of three drivers. The year was also marked by the withdrawn of the team from AFR Series at full-time to primarily focus in Formula Pilota China. Asia Racing Team’s Luis Sa Silva was vice-champion.

2012: China’s Li Zhi Cong is promoted to ART’s GT Asia Series squad and manages to be GT Asia Series vice-champion and AAMC GT Challenge Trophy winner at first try. Thomas Chow has sweated to secure the second place in AFR Series - IFC Class.

2013: Li Zhi Cong seals GT Asia Series championship title and repeats AAMC GT Challenge Trophy win. Leo Wong wins AFR Series IFC Class Trophy.

2014: The team repeats the full season participation in Porsche Carrera Cup Asia and AFR Series, winning the first edition of the 2-hour “Circuit Hero – Formula Enduro” and the four rounds of GT series BOSS GP (Li Chao).

2015: The team joins the newly founded TCR Asia Series, conquering the Teams’ Championship and Drivers’ Vice-championship (Rodolfo Avila) and second runner up (Philippe Descombes). At same time the team keeps collecting race wins in AFR Series and FIA Chinese F4, where Liu Kai finished third overall.

Racing School[edit]

ART Racing School.

The Racing School is the only formal driver training course recognized by both the Hong Kong Automobile Association (HKAA) and the Associação Geral Automóvel Macau-China (AAMC). The organization of a monthly course continues to be popular among the young and elder alike from students to corporate decision-makers.[2]

In 2008 the Racing School introduced the "One-Day Intensive Course", which were designed for racecar beginners and hobbyists, making it possible for both younger and older generations.

In 2016 a low-cost "4-lap Driving Experience" was introduced giving the opportunity to those willing to drive a real single seater racecar at the Zhuhai International Circuit.

ART Motorsports Racing School also owns the only 2-seater single seater in Southeast Asia for promotional activities and racing experiences.

Formula Pilota China[edit]

In 2011 Asia Racing Team turned their heads from AFR Series to the newly established single seater championship in the region - the "Formula Pilota China Series" - with an impressive four car line up: China’s Chi Cong Li, Naomi Zhang Ran raced alongside with Angola’s Luis Sá Silva and Thailand’s Tin Sritrai. Sá Silva was vice-champion but the team highlight was the podium swap in Race 1 at Ordos.[3] In 2012 Guangzhou native rookie driver Zou Si Rui was team’s only racer in the championship, claiming two podium finishes at Guangzhou International Circuit.

Team Drivers[edit]

ART dominated in Ordos finishing P1, P2 & P3
ART Formula Pilota China
Year Drivers D.C.
2011 China Chi Cong Li 6th
Angola Luis Sa Silva 2nd
Thailand Tin Sritrai 5th
China Naomi Zhang 23rd
Argentina Eric Lichtenstein 16th
China Zou Si Rui 26th
2012 China Zou Si Rui 10th

D.C - Driver Classification,

Asian Formula Renault[edit]

Throughout its history the team primarily competed in Asian Formula Renault Challenge, with past drivers including F1 Championship drivers such as Kamui Kobayashi or Kazuki Nakajima. After several tries, and five vice-champions, including Macau’s Rodolfo Avila, Switzerland’s Alexandre Imperatori, Mathias Beche and Angola’s Luís Sá Silva, Thailand’s Sandy Stuvik won the championship for Asia Racing Team in 2010.

In 2011, 2012 and 2013 Asia Racing Team confined its participation to the races in Zhuhai.

In 2015 AFR Series introduced the Formula Renault 2.0/13, and Asia Racing Team assisted Canada's Maxx Ebenal on his way to a double win at the inaugural races at Zhuhai Circuit. In the end of the year the team's best classified driver overall was Indonesia's Darma Hutomo. Teammate James Runacres secured the Class B vice-championship title.

Team Drivers[edit]

Rodolfo Avila in Pole Position in Shanghai 2004
Sandy Stuvik Championship winning car 2010
ART Formula Renault Drivers
Year Drivers D.C. T.C.
2003 Japan Kazuki Nakajima
D.N.F
Japan Kamui Kobayashi
D.N.F
Japan Motohiko Isozaki
11th
2004 Macau Rodolfo Ávila
2nd
2nd
Hong Kong Henry Lee Junior
6th
Hong Kong Kenneth Lau
30th
Hong Kong Michael Choi
16th
2005 China Michael Ting
8th
3rd
China Zhang Jin
9th
2006 Switzerland Alexandre Imperatori
2nd
1st
Malaysia Jazeman Jaafar
3rd
Finland Henri Karjalainen
4th
China Zhang Jin
15th
2007 Switzerland Alexandre Imperatori
2nd
1st
France Benjamin Rouget
13th
Switzerland Mathias Beche
5th
China Zhang Zhen Dong
17th
Japan Sujino Hajime
18th
2008 Switzerland Mathias Beche
2nd
2nd
Japan Yoshitaka Kuroda
5th
Indonesia Rio Haryanto
3rd
United States Ryan Booth
7th
2009 Indonesia Rio Haryanto
11th
1st
France Benjamin Rouget
4th
Hong Kong Luca Ferigutti
7th
Angola Luis Sá Silva
2nd
Singapore Suriya Bala Kerisnan Thevar
20th
2010 Thailand Sandy Stuvik
1st
1st
Thailand Tin Sritrai
2nd
Singapore Suriya Bala Kerisnan Thevar
6th
China Zhang Ran
11th
China Chi Cong Li
5th
2011 China Chi Cong Li
8th
4th
Singapore Timothy Teo
6th
Hong Kong Thomas Chow
19th
2012 China Chi Cong Li
5th
1st
Hong Kong Thomas Chow
2nd IFC
Spain Guille Pintanel
21st
China Yang Xi
13th
Switzerland Thomas Luedi
6th IFC
Hong Kong Leo Wong
4th IFC
Singapore Timothy Teo
13th IFC
2013 China Chi Cong Li
...
...
Hong Kong Thomas Chow
...
Singapore Kenneth Low
...
China Yang Xi
...
China Li Chao
...
Switzerland Thomas Luedi
...
Hong Kong Leo Wong
...
Singapore Timothy Teo
...
Singapore Ni Weiliang
...
France Guillaume Cunnington
...
Hong Kong Karl Yip
...
Israel Eitan Zidkilov
...
2014 China Chi Cong Li
...
...
Hong Kong Thomas Chow
...
China Pu Jun Jin
...
China Li Chao
...
Switzerland Thomas Luedi
...
Hong Kong Leo Wong
...
Malaysia Mitchell Cheah
...
Singapore Ni Weiliang
...
Indonesia Darma Hutomo
...
Indonesia Senna Iriawan
...
2015 Singapore Ni Weiliang
5th
2nd
China Pu Jun Jin
6th
Thailand James Runacres
2nd (Class B)
Indonesia Darma Hutomo
4th
Switzerland Thomas Luedi
...
China Liu Kai
...
Canada Maxx Ebenal
...

D.C - Driver Classification, T.C - Team Classification, † - Only one race (Macau Grand Prix)

Formula BMW Asia Pacific[edit]

Asia Racing Team’s involvement in Formula BMW Pacific was never at full-time. After taking part in Macau Grand Prix 2008, the team would repeat the single event appearances in Singapore and Macau in the following year. In 2010 Asia Racing Team embarked in a half season adventure with Singaporean driver Suriya Bala and decided to enter Toyota Racing Academy drivers Yuichi Nakayama and Ryo Hirakawa in Okayama and Macau rounds. In Japan Nakayama earned the first and only Pole-Position and podium position for the team.[4]

Due to the commitments with the Formula Pilota China in 2011, Asia Racing Team decided to pull out of the series.

Yuichi Nakayama on the streets of Macau
Yuichi Nakayama (Right) at the podium

Team Drivers[edit]

ART Formula BMW Drivers
Year Drivers D.C. T.C.
2008 Israel Alon Day
D.N.F
Japan Yuji Kunimoto
5th
2009 Israel Alon Day
D.N.F
Singapore Suriya Bala Kerisnan Thevar†,††
7th
2010 Singapore Suriya Bala Kerisnan Thevar
18th
9th
Hong Kong Paul Lau††
19th
Japan Yuichi Nakayama††† --
Japan Ryo Hirakawa ††† --
China Chi Cong Li † --

† - Only one race (Macau Grand Prix)

†† - Only one race (Singapore Grand Prix)

††† - Only two races (Japan & Macau)

Porsche Carerra Cup[edit]

The team, which has participated in Porsche Carrera Cup Asia in 2009 winning two races, has been keeping an eye on Porsche Carrera Cup Asia in 2010. Following discussions with various drivers, the team has decided to re-enter in the most prestigious series of Southeast Asia as a technical service provider for car owners. Bringing with them a strong racing background as well as a surplus of enthusiasm and excitement, Holland's Marcel Tjia and Hong Kong's Dr Chi Min Ma joined up with Macanese driver Keith Vong to round out the three-car effort. In 2012 Asia Racing Team entered in the series a five-car lineup. Beijing Porsche dealership Betterlife driver Wang Jian Wei third place at Ordos was the team’s best result of the season. China’s Huang Chu Han won “Class B” races at Sepang and Shanghai.

ART driver Keith Wong at the Pitlane during the F1 weekend in Shanghai

Team Drivers[edit]

ART Porsche Carerra Cup Drivers
Year Drivers D.C.
2009 Macau Rodolfo Ávila
4th
2011 Hong Kong Dr.Ma Chi Min
27th
Macau Keith Wong
21st
Netherlands Marcel Tjia
23rd
2012 Netherlands Marcel Tjia
30th
Canada Christian Tjia
20th
China Wang Jian Wei
9th
China Li Chao
23rd
China Huang Chu Han
14th
France Philippe Descombes
...
Chinese Taipei Kevin Chen
30th
2013 Hong Kong Jacky Yeung
16th
Macau Kevin Tse
...
China Wang Jian Wei
9th
China Li Chao
23rd
Germany Mario Farnbacher
14th
England Ben Barker
...
Macau Rodolfo Ávila
...
2014 China Li Chao
15th
China Zhang Da Sheng
5th
2015 China Li Chao
14th

D.C - Driver Classification

GT Asia[edit]

Asia Racing Team expanded to GT series in 2011. The Macau born and Zhuhai based team entered a couple of Porsche 997 GT3 Cup R in the GT3 class of the GT Asia series for the Hong Kong racers Eddie Yau and Sasha Chu. Yau won in Fuji and was a title contender until the last race of the season at Macau where he got involved in a massive crash without injuries for the driver. In 2012 the team returned to the series with a Porsche 911 GT3 R for the young Chinese racer Li Zhi Cong (aka Chi Cong Li). Although Li Zhi Cong was racing GT cars for the first time, he fought for the championship title until the final race and ended the season in second place, winning three races, including GT Asia Series last round at Macau’s Circuito da Guia. Hong Kong racer Sasha Chu took part of Fuji and Autopolis events. Li Zhi Cong returned in 2013, taking the championship by storm by winning GT Asia Series season finale at Macau.

ART crew and drivers

Team Drivers[edit]

ART GT Asia Drivers
Year Drivers D.C. T.C.
2011 Hong Kong Eddie Yau
3rd
2nd
Hong Kong Sasha Chu
7th
2012 China Chi Cong Li
2nd
3rd
Hong Kong Sasha Chu
33rd
Macau Rodolfo Ávila
....
Hong Kong Keith Chan
....
2013 China Chi Cong Li
1st
2nd
2014 China Li Chao
...
...
China Zhang Da Zheng
...
Macau Rodolfo Ávila
...

D.C - Driver Classification, T.C - Team Classification

TCR Asia Series[edit]

Asia Racing Team won the inaugural TCR Asia Series teams’ title and capped a winning year with a triple win at the opening round at Sepang and double victory at the season-ending Macau Grand Prix Guia Race.

In nine rounds of series competition, Asia Racing Team’s SEAT Léon TCR drivers scored an impressive eleven podium results - including three overall wins for Rodolfo Avila, two for one-time race-returnee Philippe Descombes and one for Thai touring car star Tin Sritrai.

Avila finished second in championship standings and Descombes was third.

Team Drivers[edit]

ART TCR Asia Series
Year Drivers D.C. T.C.
2015 Macau Liu Lic Ka
15th
1st
Macau Rodolfo Ávila
2nd
France Philippe Descombes
3rd
China Pu Jun Jin
13th
Thailand Tin Sritrai
7th
Hong Kong Sam Lok
19th

FIA Chinese F4[edit]

Asia Racing Team entered in the opening season of the five round FIA Formula 4 China Championship. Beijing’s Liu Kai went to the podium for six times, rounding out his campaign with a much deserved race win in the last race of the year at Zhuhai.

Asia Racing Team entered a second car for two occasions: in the first event at Beijing for Hua Miao and in the season finale at Zhuhai for the 15-year old Guangzhou native Charles Lin.

Team Drivers[edit]

ART FIA Chinese F4
Year Drivers D.C. T.C.
2015 China Liu Kai
3rd
3rd
China Hua Miao
....
China Charles Lin Tai An
....

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sandy officially takes the 2010 Asian Formula Renault Championship". Thailand: thaipr.net. 2010-10-30. Sandy Stuvik finally and officially becomes the Champion of Asian Formula Renault 2010 
  2. ^ "ART Confirms to Enter Formula Pacific Series 2011". Malaysia: afos.com. 2010-10-08. Asia Racing Team is the most successful Racing Team and Racing School of Southeast China 
  3. ^ "Asia Racing Team …1…2…3!". Italy: pakelonews.com. 2011-09-07. Asia Racing Team drivers Luis Sa Silva, Tin Sritrai and Chi Cong Li stole the show at the opening race of the Ordos’ weekend. 
  4. ^ "Strong performance of Asia Racing Team in Okayama". Canada: motorsport.com. 2010-10-04. In Japan Nakayama earned the first and only Pole-Position and podium position for the team.