The Buriram International Circuit is the newest venue on this year’s Formula Masters China Series (FMCS) calendar and the maiden race happened over the weekend. One of the teams that lined up on the grid was Cebu Pacific Air by PRT who managed to snatch up a podium finish.
Deviating from their regular 3-car lineup, the Philippine-based team arrived in Thailand a man short. Nicholas Rowe sadly had to sit this race out due to scheduling conflicts. Kim Jeong Tae and Thomas Swift, however, were both present to fly the team’s colors.
Kim was the faster of the 2 during qualifying, setting a fastest lap of 1:39.797 around the 4.55 km circuit in Q1 to score P3. He would improve in Q2 but only managed P4. As for his teammate, Swift started from P8 and P5, respectively.
Race 7 saw Kim make a good start and quickly move up a spot to P2. But the Korean driver made a mistake dropping him down the field. Still, he managed to fight his way back up to cross the finish line in 4th. Thomas Swift kept it clean during the 12-lap race to end in 8th.
Racing under the scorching sun, Kim fought his way through the field in Race 8 to earn 3rd and give the team a spot on the podium. Swift though wasn’t as lucky. While making good progress in the 7-lap sprint, he made contact with another driver and crossed the line in 8th.
To cap off the last race of the weekend, Kim was on attack mode throughout Race 9 in the hopes for yet another podium finish. His efforts though would only get him 4th after a quick mid-race spin. Sadly, Swift failed to finish after spinning out on the last lap.
Kim Jeong Tae: “It was a good experience racing in Buriram for the first time. I was battling with the frontrunners all weekend and was able to finish on the podium. If I had more pace I could have challenged for a win, but I’m still very happy with our results.”
Thomas Swift: “I managed to quickly improve my lap times with help from the team. This allowed me to have some good races in Thailand. Although it was a bit disappointing to not finish in race 9, I’m definitely looking forward to our next Formula Masters outing.”
Accompanying Cebu Pacific Air by PRT on their FMCS campaign are partners Cebu Pacific Air, Teng Tools, and P1 Racewear.
FMCS now moves to the second half of the 2016 season. After the cancellation of the KL Street Grand Prix, the fourth event will be held at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia on August 13 – 14.