Formula Pilota China
JENZER WELCH DRIVER WINS CHINA TITLEJenzer Welch Asia Racing is celebrating its title success with Matteo Tuscher in the inaugural Formula Pilota China series.In the World Touring Car Championship support round at Shanghai’s Tianma circuit, Swiss racer Tuscher, just 15 years of age, made it seven wins from 10 races. He has therefore wrapped up the title with a round to spare, with the finale to come on the Malaysian Grand Prix circuit at Sepang on November 25-27.Jenzer Welch Asia Racing is a collaboration between Switzerland’s Jenzer Motorsport, which carried Patric Niederhauser to this year’s Italian Formula Abarth title (using the same Tatuus/Abarth chassis/engine combination as Formula Pilota China), and British engineer Andy Welch, a long-time associate of the Jenzer team.Welch is highly impressed with Tuscher, who is now setting his sights on racing in Europe after taking advantage of Formula Pilota China’s lower minimum-age limit to cut his teeth in car racing.“He was 14 at the beginning of the season, and the whole reason he was out there was to prepare himself for a season in Europe next year,” said Welch.“The whole series has been a great experience and a great success for the organisers. To have 17 cars out towards the end of the first season is very good going.”All the Formula Pilota China cars will now remain at the Sepang circuit until next February, first for the final championship round, then for a non-championship race weekend on December 2-4, and finally for an intensive pre-season testing schedule.The series, which is supported by the Ferrari Driver Academy, looks set to include two race weekends on the Chinese GP circuit at Shanghai in 2012, as well as Sepang and a potential round on the Korean GP Yeongam track.Welch, who has also run Romanian Robert Visoiu and Venezuelan girl Samin Gomez in selected rounds this year, is delighted with the 2011 season and looking ahead to 2012. “It’s been a dream season,” he said. “Matheo won both races at the first round so we always knew he had a chance of the title, but then just as impressively he’s had front-runners from European Formula Abarth coming over to challenge him during the season and he’s beaten them all. We’re now really looking forward to trying to repeat the success of 2011 next season.”ANDY WELCH IN MOTORSPORTAfter competing in Formula Ford 1600, Andy set up Andy Welch Racing. The team found most success in the British Formula Ford Championship Zetec era, running many drivers including Mario Haberfeld, Michael Vergers, Darren Malkin, the late Dan Wheldon, Fairuz Fauzy and Danica Patrick.Since 2001, Welch has worked in the European, Italian, German and North European Cup Formula Renault championships with highly-successful Swiss team Jenzer Motorsport, and in Formula Renault UK with Team Firstair and John Village Automotive. He also engineered at Jenzer Motorsport’s Formula Master team.