The thing about competition is that in the end it can benefit all parties. Two similar businesses operating in the same location can together attract more customers. Go searching for a new car and you will find dealerships on both sides of the same road. Motels are generally in the same area of town, and so on.
This weekend we have the 2019 Castrol Toyota Racing Series and the 2019 Asian Winter Series both underway in their respective countries.
One can argue that two series competing on the same weekend, albeit in two different countries, can dilute the talent pool that turns up on the grid. It can work the other way as well. Arguably there has never been more international print space given to both series as there has been this year and the heightened interest in racing in a ‘winter (Northern Hemishere) series’.
Taking up most of the headlines has been double Macau Grand Prix winner Dan Ticktum. The controversial Brit was always going to race in one of these two competitions in a bid to collect the final points he needs for a Formula 1 Super Licence. In the end he chose to join the Silverstone-based Hitech GP for the Asian series, which kicks off this weekend at Buriram in Thailand.
Ticktum is a young man on a mission to get into F1. He is expected this season to race in the 2019 Japanese Super Formula rather than in Formula 2. Super Formula is not necessarily a straight forward category for a rookie to succeed in and this year they have a brand new chassis. Hence Ticktum is on a mission to get those Super Licence points over the ‘winter’ period.
Has Ticktum chosen the easy route to get the FIA points that he requires?
TRS offers seven Super Licence points for the winner of the five round (15 races) championship while the F3 Asian Winter Series offers 10 over a three round (nine races) championship. Obviously the Asian series offers Ticktum more opportunity for less effort to get him over the line to race in Formula One. Even a place in the top three will give him the required points.
On paper the competition will be less in Asia than if he came to New Zealand. More points are on offer competing in similar machinery to the F3 Euro Champs he finished runner up in 2018. It is an easier option for Ticktum, easier than getting the points from Super Formula later in the season.
As for the competition between the TRS and the Asian series, the heightened interest this season can only be positive and will continue to draw down-under the emerging talent from the Northern Hemisphere.
2019 Asian Winter Series Provisional Entry list
1 Alessandro GHIRETTI, FRA, Hitech Grand Prix
2 Pavan RAVISHANKAR, GBR, Hitech Grand Prix
7 Vivien KESZTHELYI, HUN, BlackArts Racing
15 Eshan PIERIS, LKA, Absolute Racing
16 YE Yifei, CHN, Absolute Racing
17 Jack DOOHAN, AUS, Hitech Grand Prix
21 Rinus VEEKAY, NLD, Hitech Grand Prix
27 Dan TICKTUM GBR Hitech Grand Prix
28 Tairoku YAMAGUCHI, (M) JPN. B-Max Racing Team
29 Akash NANDY, MAL, Pinnacle Motorsport
30 DRAGON (M), JPN, B-Max Racing Team
65 David SCHUMACHER, GER, Pinnacle Motorsport
81 Tomoki TAKAHASHI, JPN, Super License
88 Amaury CORDEEL, BEL, Pinnacle Motorsport
2019 ASIAN WINTER SERIES PROVISIONAL CALENDAR
Date Venue Event
Jan 11-13 Buriram International Circuit, Thailand Round 1 (Races 1-3)
Jan 18-20 Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia Round 2 (Races 4-6)
Feb 22-24 Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia Round 3 (Races 7-9)