China


Voice of America’s Article on PS Racing Promoting ChildFund International

Sunny Wong in the PS Racing car, with ChildFund International decals behind, Sept. 15, 2013.

Marianne Brown
September 24, 2013
ZHUHAI, CHINA — In China’s auto racing circuit, drivers can spend thousands of dollars for just one day of competition on the track. It is an unlikely place to find a children’s charity, but in the southern Chinese city of Zhuhai, one driver is making an effort to raise support for disadvantaged kids.

 

Driver and coach Pete Olson suggested the idea of advertising the ChildFund International logo on helmets and cars to the owners of his team, PS Racing, after supporting the charity in the United States. The team donates money, and so far Olson has persuaded three so-called “gentlemen drivers,” for whom racing is just a hobby, to sponsor a child through ChildFund International. “I just wrote them directly I said ‘hey, why don’t you guys sign up, come on, I know you guys spend thousands of dollars every time you smash your cars and laugh it off and stuff. I said it’s like 25 bucks a month, come on that’s nothing,” said Olson, describing his efforts to recruit other drivers.

 

The professional racing circuit in China has been slow to take off. The Chinese Grand Prix opened in 2004, but so far it has struggled to attract spectators, a problem critics blame on high ticket prices.

 

However, China is home to exponential growth in the automobile market, says Jim Moore, general manager of Quandarium, specialists in the automotive aftermarket. Moore travels to China regularly to represent U.S. brands and says the Chinese market is changing rapidly. “This is a culture that 15 years ago nobody dreamed of owning a car, and in that time period everybody has a car so it’s come that far that fast. Now that everyone has one they want it to be different from everybody else’s,” said Moore.

 

With accelerating private car ownership in China, auto industry sponsors are trying to promote their brands and products through the racing series. As the sport grows, Moore explains, it is still funded in part from second generation Chinese business people. “Their parents built factories and sold products all over the world and made lots of money, and now their kids are off spending that money. Motorsports has become a pretty popular hobby for a select few of that group,” Moore said.

 

Olson admits that it is difficult to sell the idea of sponsoring a child to drivers from mainland China because, he says, the concept of donating money to charity is still very new. Sunny Wong says he thinks promoting the cause through racing will attract more attention from wealthy businessmen like himself. He works in real estate in Hong Kong and started racing four years ago. He is part of the team that now sponsors a child through ChildFund International. “I think it’s always good to have good exposure [to] such an audience, and… racing is a different audience for normal organizations like ChildFund International… I think it’s a new niche that they are being exposed to,” said Wong.The positive exposure that ChildFund International receives through the team is reciprocal. Olson says he thinks PS Racing has received more coverage on national television and newspapers because of the connection to the charity. “They will post more pictures of my car and in all the media they mention ChildFund International car. The promoter thinks it looks nice for the series… it adds more of an angle to the racing,” said Olson.

 

Race car drivers Sunny Wong and Pete Olson promote the charity the Child Fund in Zhuhai, China, Sept. 15, 2013. (Marianne Brown for VOA)
Race car drivers Sunny Wong and Pete Olson promote the charity the Child Fund in Zhuhai, China, Sept. 15, 2013. (Marianne Brown for VOA)

 

Olson says he was drawn to ChildFund International because his mother could not afford to raise him and gave him up for adoption when he was a child. “I got adopted by a Harvard lawyer so I lucked out. So there are many, many times in my life that I thought I’m very lucky to have had my education, private schools and everything and the racing, especially when I was just getting started,” said Olson. He says if he had not been adopted he would not be living the life he is now. He says he wants to encourage privileged people like himself to give something back.

Read the full article on Voice of America’s website.

2013 Pan Delta Summer Race a Resounding Success

At 16:00 on 16 June 2013, when the last Asian Pan Delta AFR race car passes the finishing line and in front of the main grandstand, the Pan Delta Super Racing Festival draws to a close. The entire event, filled with exciting races and interesting commercial activites, combine to make Pan Delta one of the most influential and successful regional motorsport event in China.

Improved standards

Due to the changing weather, the event was packed with incidents. But overall the races were successful. Apart from the weather, all the participating teams and drivers showed improved professionalism in all aspects such as technical preparation and race craft. At the same time, these teams and drivers all demonstrated more self-promotion and awareness. For example, in the Circuit Hero races, the race cars are now much better painted and decorated with models on the grid to better attract media and public attention. They are now very aware of the 20,000 people watching them race, which is not common in other races.

Expert operations

Looking at Pan Delta from another angle and you will discover that the commercial developments have reached every corner of the track facilities. Merchandize sales, goods demonstration, auto and motorsport related products, interactive activities, performance stage… etc are all buzzing with people. In the paddock, the guest area and VIP area are also full of people and is indeed very atmospheric.

Pan Delta has been nurturing and educating fans ever since. Nowadays, the 20,000 average fans who attend Pan Delta has made the event a very good platform for promotion. Take the VIP pass for example, the 500 VIP passes available were snapped up long ago. This is a clear sign that the fans do not mind paying more for better hospitality at the race. For just RMB 500, a fan can enjoy a closer look at the cars and the race queens plus a sumptuous buffet lunch by Sheraton Zhongshan Hotel, it is a real bargain.

There is another bright spot from the race and that is the modified car exhibition and sales area. These modified parts sales compaines have teams and drivers in the Circuit Hero races working for or with them, thus they are able to utilise their performance on track to promote their products. The fans can check out and compare the products and services available. The interactivity among parts sales, race teams, drivers and fans have never been this close before.

For the Pan Delta organizers, this has been another great success story. An event packed with activities and commercial partners that fans truly enjoy meeting at  a race track.

  Published:                               2013-06-25

Courtesy of http://www.zic.com.cn/en/news_info.php?id=411&kind=01

Red Hot Motorsports Weekend is Imminent! – 2013 Pan Delta Super Racing Festival (Summer Race) About to Begin

Pan Delta Super Racing Festival is in its 9th year and has already established itself as the local motorsport fans’ gathering place. The 2013 Summer Race is about to be held on 15-16 June at Zhuhai International Circuit. Exciting races, interesting activites and top exhibits will help the fans enjoy an unforgetable weekend.

Easygoing and Expanding

Since the beginning of Pan Delta, it has been defined as the motorsport events for the public. The races belongs to the average men and women. During those days when few fans took part in motorsports and there were few national races, Pan Delta held up its flag to draw the crowds in and nurture their developments, by creating the Circuit Hero races.

Today, Pan Delta’s hard work has been approved. The current Circuit Hero One (Advanced class) race routinely receives more than 25 entries. The more grassroot Circuit Hero Two race can attract over 40 entries, for this race an amazing 49 cars entered the competition. With cars lined up as far back as the last corner, this is truly a sight to behold. Similar races are now happening all over the other Chinese circuits.

Circuit Hero has created miracles and Pan Delta is getting ready to create another new race and concept. The new for 2013 Red Bull Drift Challenge already ignited a lot of sparks in the March Pan Delta race. The 10 machinese drifted against each other one-on-one and showed off their race crafts in front of 20,000 people. For this race there will be 13 cars, 3 more than the last, and two highly capable Japanese drifters, Suenaga Naoto and Saito Daigo, will take part, too.

Endless innovation

Pan Delta has never changed its core qualities. For this race, Red Bull has set up a game known as the “Red Bull Kart Castle Defence Battle”. Red Bull has created a 206m long and 4m wide kart track. Just buy two cans of Red Bull on the spot and you may experience the thrill of driving a kart around this special track.

The vintage cars on display in the March Pan Delta will be here once again. This is a part of the themed event “Whole Family together for Father’s Day”. These historic machines, product of technology and wisdom from more than 100 years ago, are the best father-son activity tool. Apart from the vintage cars, there are also many other great modern cars on display, including the brand new Toyota 86, BMW, Audi and Yamaha motorcycles. Other Pan Delta favourites such as nice food, ZIC stage performances etc will of course be there again. Where better to go on Father’s Day than ZIC?

Q-Team, a large motorsport concern created by Zhang Shan-Qi, the first Chinese driver to tackled the Le Mans Series, will hold their own opening ceremony during Pan Delta. Renowned musician Hei Nan will also be present, while famous artist Roy Chiu will race for Q-Team in the Pan Delta AFR Series. Are the Roy Chiu fans ready?

Tuned car fans cannot miss this weekend’s Pan Delta. Option parts outlets will be at the back of the grandstands for the very first time! For this weekend, the Pan Delta organizers has arranged for 12 car tuning shops to show their products during the event. The participating merchants will sell their wares below market price. Buy, change and pay on the spot! The 12 merchants specializes in different goods and they are well stocked to serve you!

Pan Delta in June, with so much happening at ZIC on and off the track, how can you sit at home?

Source: http://www.zic.com.cn/en/news_info.php?kind=01&id=398

Recap of this Past Weekends Asia Racing Action

While most in the US were enjoying their Memorial Day Weekend, we were busy following all of the racing action in Asia.  As it turned out, this was probably the biggest weekend ever for the collective group of AMN members as they took home more than dozen podium finishes.

MSS R2 Winners

Starting with the Malaysian Super Series (MSS) held at Sepang International Circuit, Natasha Seatter and father Stewart finished 2nd in the GT Open class, which was enough for her to take the overall MSS lead from Angus Kirkwood who unfortunately ended his day early with a DNF.  The Seatter team was supported by Race Engineer Martin Hope of GulfSport Racing.  Singaporean Gerald Tan of LTM 9tro coming off his victory last weekend at the Time Attack qualified 4th, but he also ended his day with a DNF.  Everyone will be back in action at the end of June for the 3rd round of the MSS.

Tin Sritrai

The MSS also played host to several other series including the Thailand Super Series Rd1 (follow the link to read the full recap) and the Touring Car Series in Asia by IMSP.  2012 TCSA Champion Tin Sritrai started 2013 with double 1st place finishes and China Dragon Racing dominated the N2000 Class finishing 1, 2 in both races.  In R1 Alex Hui took home the victory followed by teammate Sunny Wong and in R2 they reversed their finishing order.  Billy Lo also ended his weekend on a high note with a 3rd and 4th place finish respectively.

TCSA R1 Winners

In the TCSA Road Sport Challenge Class, AMN members James Tang of TRC and Samuel Hsieh both scored double podium finishes going 2, 3 respectively in both races.  This made Samuel’s first trip to Sepang extremely memorable.  The TCSA will be back in action June 28-30th at the Sepang International Circuit before heading to Korea’s Inje Auto Theme Park for 2 rounds.  Several of our members were at Inje this past weekend to watch the opening round of the Super Taikyu Series, including Mark Thomas who was representing the Asian Le Mans Series which opens their 2013 season there on August 4th.  You can find additional information on the Asian Le Mans Series by visiting their Facebook Page: Asian Le Mans Series – Official.

FRD CTCC R2

There was also racing action at Shanghai International Circuit this past weekend as the China Touring Car Championship and Formula Masters China Series (follow link to see full recap) were both back in action.   FRD could not repeat the 2012 stunning performance at SIC where they completed dominated the field by going 1, 2, 3, 4, but 2012 winner Andy Yan was fast enough to claim both the pole and the race making it 3 straight years for the FRD driver to dominate the Shanghai Circuit Round.  CTCC Rd 1 winner Wang Rui of VW 333 finished 2nd to maintain his driver points lead, but the biggest surprise of the day came from long time friend Pascal’s ASR Da Marco’s team with their first ever podium finish!  First year driver Zhang Shenjun managed to qualify 2nd on Saturday and then pilot the 1.6T Chevy Cruze to a 3rd place finish on Sunday.  The CTCC heads to Tianma Circuit June 8th and 9th.

In closing we also want to mention AMN member Jason Tan of Team Driftmasters and Singapore Stunt Driving successfully completed their Stunt Driving Clinic in Singapore this past weekend.  For those interested there will be another clinic on July 7th. You can find more information on their Facebook Page: Singapore Stunt Driving.

The 2013 China Touring Car Championship Gets Off to a Rough Start

2013 CTCC Rd 1

The long anticipated start to the 2013 CTCC season faced an abundant amount of obstacles this weekend at Zhuhai International Circuit.  An untested tire supplier, planned introduction of a “spec” car and weather all contributed to a rather bumpy first weekend.  Expectations were for 15 cars from 5 teams with the possibility of Honda adding a car as well, but on qualifying day private team ASR de Marco and Honda were both no shows.  Kia K2 had not provided all their document requirements and private team G Racing only had one of their Cruzes ready to go.

That left a field on 4 333 VW’s, 4 FRD Fords and a G Racing Chevy to challenge for position during qualifying.  FRD’s newly signed driver Martin Xie captured the pole position followed by VW’s Wang Rue and Gao Hau Wang.  2012 Drivers Champion and fan favorite Han Han of 333 suffered a mechanical issue and could not finish the qualifying session so he was forced to start Sunday in 9th position.

Sunday brought even more surprises as two of the K2 Kia’s and an additional G Racing Cruze were allowed to enter the race despite not participating in the qualifying session bringing the field up to 12 cars.  Unfortunately Han Han’s day ended before it even started as 333 did not have the necessary parts to fix his mechanical issue from the day before.

Just before race time the Zhuhai area was hit by a massive rain storm, but after a 10 minute delay for a tire change organizers decided to proceed with the race.  In the very first turn VW’s Gao Hau Wang spun off the track and by the end of the 3rd lap 3 more drivers joined him including front-runner Martin Xie from FRD.   The safety car was deployed with VW 333’s Wang Rue in the lead.  The bulk of the remainder of the race proceeded under caution and was finally stopped after only 12 laps.  Following Wang Rue to the premature checkered flag were FRD’s Rainey He and Kia’s Lin Le Feng who took 3rd despite not participating in qualifying.

Despite the rough start, I believe the 10 anniversary season will end up being a great one.  Next stop for CTCC is in Shanghai at the International circuit on May 26th.

A Thank You goes to www.touringcartimes.com, www.ctcc.com.cn and www.frdsports.com for providing the coverage of this event.

2013 Pan Delta Super Racing Festival Recap

A huge crowd on hand for the Spring Festival

A huge crowd on hand for the Spring Festival

The Spring edition of the 2013 Pan Delta Super Racing Festival at Zhuhai International Circuit drew a huge crowd on this slightly overcast day.  This year brought a few more changes to the format with the edition of a 1 hour “Drag Battle” on both Saturday and Sunday with televised racing also occurring on both days.  We attended Sunday’s attaction and are extremely greatful to the ZIC management team for providing us with VIP access.  Over the years they have been extremely accomendating to us and this year being the first we attended as QA / AMN was no exception.

Not the scene you want to see hours before the race

Not the scene you want to see hours before the race

Our first stop was the pit house of our good customer VPower to find a rather chaotic scene as they scrambled to try to fix a head gasket issue.  They got things back together and made it onto the track, but their day ended with a DNF.  Unfortunately this would be an ongoing trend for all of our Circuit Hero II racers.

The Drift Battle was a huge hit with the crowd

The Drift Battle was a huge hit with the crowd

Domestic Sales Manager Wu talks things over with D2 Boss

Domestic Sales Manager Wu talks things over with D2 Boss

Not a lot of smiles in Bald Guy's pit house

Not a lot of smiles in Bald Guy’s pit house

The first event of the afternoon session was the Red Bull Drift Battle and I admit I had some reservations when I heard they were going to put on a Drift Battle this year, but if the crowd reaction was any indication it was a HUGE success.  James Tang from TRC didn’t make the podium, but Saori Ishikawa, Tommy Chan and Harry Tung left the crowd on their feet.

After taking in some of the Drift Battle action, we continued our walk down the pit lane. Things looked good in the D2 pit house as they were relaxed and ready to race.  Unfortunately they narrowly missed a podium finish in Circuit Hero II Class A finishing 4th.

In the Falcon Racing (aka “Bald Guy”) pit house we received a some what frosty reception, which is not surprising as our previous efforts with them ended in 4 straight DNF’s.  It didn’t help matters that this day again ended with a DNF, but both of us are equally committed to getting back on top.

Dan Kruger relaxed and enjoying himself 30 minutes before dominating R2

Dan Kruger relaxed and enjoying himself 30 minutes before dominating R2

The day wasn’t without some bright spots though as Canadian Dan Kruger completely dominated R2 of the Superbike race after getting edge out on the final lap the day before in R1.

ZIC Media and Control Room

ZIC Media and Control Room

Hawk Performance getting some good exposure

Hawk Performance getting some good exposure