Forty cars. Seven venues. Fourteen races. Now the RF2 Asia 2018 GP3 Championship turns to its final venue at the amazing Singapore Marina Bay Street Circuit this weekend for the championship showdown.
Two drivers have a chance of taking the championship this weekend; ANBU Racing’s Alexis Clapano and Team RSI’s Daniele Vidimari. Both have shown extraordinary pace through parts of the championship and they find themselves well clear of the chasing pack, despite having missed races during the season. When we spoke to Vidimari he said that he felt confident in the car, even though he’s suffered from brake failures at the track in the past. The favourite is surely Clapano, who enjoys a 35-point lead over Vidimari, However, Vidimari’s recent form suggests that he will have formidable pace and Clapano will be racing off the back of a DNF in the RF2 Asia World Tour series he would rather forget. When asked about the potential of rain in the race, Vidimari described the track and rain as a “perfect combo”, so he will not be phased in the wet. Both drivers showed their respect for the track, with Vidimari warning about avoiding risky manoeuvres and Clapano talking about the ever-present dangers of the walls. Certainly, Vidimari’s strategy will be clear; he needs to go for wins this weekend if he wants the championship title. However, Clapano was keen to stress that he was taking no chances and looking for a win also.
Back in third, mention must be made of Hong Kong Sim Racing’s Edmund Wong. Despite having led the championship in parts, unfortunately Wong has missed two events due to other commitments. However, several dominant events have put him in touching distance of securing the last podium spot in the championship from Chris Shire and Mark Robinson – the only two who can mathematically challenge him for it.
Moving down the order there will be other battles to look out for as FRT’s Paul Holt, buoyed by a recent victory at Sentul, will be taking the fight to his team mate Tonnie Jansen and Merapi Motorsport’s Mada Andhika. The other half of Hong Kong Sim Racing, Kelvin Wong, will be in close pursuit. All will be wondering if the fast-but-unlucky Michal Nizio will be in attendance who leads them on 91 points, despite suffering five non-finishes this season, as well as a missed event.
Lastly, the season-long battle between Jason Back and Chris Payne looks to be going the distance as the pair are separated by just three points. With a combined ten retirements between them, it will be as much about running clean and trouble-free races as about points finishes.
After a hard-fought championship, it comes down to the final race. Vidimari or Clapano?
RF2 Asia GP3 Series at Singapore Marina Bay Circuit – July 22 @ 10:00am UTC+0