Dubai, UAE, 30 January 2021: Former F2 driver Guanyu Zhou of China joined the F3 Asian Championship this year for Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema (#33) and immediately made an impact, taking two wins in a row at Dubai Autodrome on Friday and Saturday (29-30 January) to open his championship campaign at the top of the 2021 driver standings.
Engine problems retired Zhou from the final race, which allowed rookie French driver Pierre-Louis Chovet to advance up and claim Race Three for Pinnacle Motorsport (#3).
The opening rounds of the 2021 F3 Asian Championship headlined a full weekend of race action at Dubai Autodrome which also featured rounds of the NGK UAE ProCar Championship, Waleed Alshemais National Sportsbike Championship and the Gulf Radical Cup.
F3 Asian Championship: First Two All Zhou
Zhou was the quickest qualifier of two sessions on the 4.29-kilometre International Circuit at Dubai Autodrome, topping the timing screens with best lap time of 1:34.430, just 0.045 seconds clear of Chovet.
The Chinese driver went on to dominate the first two races, taking the first chequered flag by almost seven seconds clear of Roy Nissany of Hitech Grand Prix (#14), and the next one by 2.108 seconds over fellow Abu Dhabi Racing by Prema driver Dino Beganovic (#16).
F3 Asian Championship: Chovet Best of the Rest
With a pair of P4 finishes in the first two races, Pierre-Louis Chovet was struggling to break into the top three. With Zhou retiring early in the final race, Chovet finally got his chance to shine.
Roy Nissany was a credible contender for Race One and the Hitech Grand Prix driver controlled the opening stages of Race Three. However, Chovet was never far behind, and the Pinnacle Motorsport pilot went wheel-to-wheel with Nissany on several corners before finally taking the lead.
Dino Beganovic took advantage of the skirmish to also move past Nissany into P2, while Chovet crossed the finish line 1.832 seconds ahead to claim the final race victory of the weekend.
Report & Photos: Aaron Meriwether