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Munro Prepares to Defend Series Lead in China

MEDIA RELEASE

20 MAY 2014

Munro Prepares to Defend Series Lead in China

Christchurch driver James Munro returns to Shanghai this weekend to contest Round 2 of the Formula Masters China Series at the Shanghai International Circuit, the venue for the Chinese Formula 1 Grand Prix each year.

Driving for the Cebu Pacific Air by KCMG team Munro leads the series after the first round at Zhuhai where he qualified second fastest and won both races in mixed conditions before the third race of the round was postponed until a later date due to concerns over driver safety in the extremely wet weather. Munro has 33 points in the series, eight ahead of Japanese driver Yuya Motojima while one of his team mates, Dan Wells of Great Britain lies third.

"To win in both wet and dry conditions at Zhuhai is a real credit to the team and the hard work they've put in to make the car as good as it is at the moment," said James after his successful debut. "Hopefully we can carry this momentum forward to the next round in Shanghai and continue to fight for wins."

While it was a good start to the series the 17-year-old Christs College student is under no illusions as to the task ahead. Shanghai is a fast circuit and Munro is hoping for another good, strong weekend. Already he has discovered that the tracks used for this series are quite different to New Zealand circuits in respect of the fact they are considerably longer and wider. That requires an adjustment in technique and a requirement to push harder.

While the food and culture are very different in China Munro has found that many of the driver coaches, managers and engineers associated with the Formula Masters China Series are European. At Zhuhai Gerard Rooney, one of the engineers from Neale Motorsport the team that ran James in the Toyota Racing Series over the last New Zealand summer, was based in the tent next to the Cebu Pacific Air by KCMG operation.

The series features state of the art Tatuus FA010 carbon composite chassis' powered by 2.0 litre engines providing 180 hp. The series is organised by Volkswagen Group China and TopSpeed Limited and takes in six rounds in China, Korea and Malaysia. Each round features testing on Thursday followed by free practice and two fifteen minute qualifying sessions on Friday. Two races are held on Saturday of each race weekend, the first of 25 minutes duration and the second of 15 minutes with the third and final 25 minute race of each round on Sunday. Eighteen drivers from nine different nations contested the opening round.

Munro was the 2013 New Zealand Formula Ford Champion in his rookie motor racing season while he also made a big impact in his Toyota Racing Series debut this year where he finished seventh in the highly competitive series after a string of good results including a race win and a pole position.

CALENDAR -- 2014 FORMULA MASTERS CHINA SERIES

Round 1: 9-11 May 2014 - Zhuhai International Circuit, China

Round 2: 23-25 May 2014 - Shanghai International Circuit, China

Round 3: 18-20 July 2014 - Inje Auto Theme Park, Korea

Round 4: 15-17 August 2014 - Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia

Round 5: 19-21 September 2014 - Zhuhai International Circuit, China

Round 6: 17-19 October 2014 - Shanghai International Circuit, China

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