Two young Chinese racing stars of the future will add further international relevance to the final round of the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship - the F3 SuperPrix - at Sandown next week.
18-year-old Zhang Shan Qi and 16-year-old Li Zhi Cong will drive a pair of F304 Dallaras entered by R-Tek Motorsport, the Adelaide based team that this year has run cars for Jesse Wakeman and Roger I'Anson.
Both young drivers are part of the PTRS Racing Team, a well known Chinese-based operation that has run cars in Asian Formula Renault, Formula 3 and other series.
Members of the PTRS team will be present at Sandown to work with the R-Tek crew in assisting their young protégés adapt to the rigours of Formula 3 competition, as both drivers will be making their respective F3 debuts at Sandown.
“I am very excited as it's going to be my first F3 race,” Zhang Shan Qi said. “It is also going to be my first time visiting Australia so I'm very much looking forward to it! I am grateful to have this opportunity to take part in this great event in Australia and also the chance to be able to race with the other drivers from different parts of the world.
“I will definitely do my best and try to gain as much experience as I can for my future racing career.”
Both Shan Qi and Cong have recent experience in the Asian Formula Renault championship, giving them an ideal preparation for the step into a more powerful Formula 3 car.
“Both drivers have got wings and slicks experience which will make the transition easier for them at Sandown. From a team perspective we're really looking forward to having the two guys join the team,” R-Tek team owner and F3 chairman Ian Richards said.
“The Formula 3 Australian Drivers' Championship has been working hard this year to increase our penetration in the Asian market and the response we have had for Sandown is remarkable. People are seeing Australian Formula 3 as a cost-effective and competitive way to go Formula 3 racing and the Sandown grid will be proof of that.”
The Sandown F3 SuperPrix grid will now feature seven non-Australian drivers, hailing from the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Indonesia and China.