Dino Beganovic’s 2021 season has got off to a great start, as he came away from the first round of the Formula 3 Asian Series with a fifth place in yesterday’s Race-1 and two second places in today’s other two races, in the opening round at the Dubai Autodrome. The FIA certified series boasts several regular Formula 2 and Formula 3 drivers using the series to prepare for their main championships. This encouraging debut puts the Swedish Ferrari Driver Academy member third in the championship on 46 points, behind leader and team-mate Guanyu Zhou on 50 points and second placed Pierre-Louis Chovet, second on 49. The Asian Series is a useful winter training for Dino as it uses the same car as specified for the Formula Regional Championship which will be his main focus this year.
Off on the right foot. “We have got off to a good start,” said Dino. “It was my first time racing these cars in this series, but lap after lap, I gained confidence. Race-3 was a tougher fight and I’m pleased that I picked the right moment to attack and move up to second place. Now we will prepare for the next round in Abu Dhabi in just a few days. It helps to have started well as it’s a confidence boost and so at the moment, my next goal has to be to take a first win.”
Progress. Beganovic began his weekend qualifying seventh for the first starting grid of the season. At the start, he immediately made up a place and once he moved up to his eventual finishing place of fifth, he closed down the three second gap to the group ahead, made up of Chovet, Jehan Daruvala and Roy Nissany, all tailing the leader Zhou. All these drivers can boast far greater experience than the FDA one, as they have already raced in Formula 3 and Formula 2.
First podium. Dino then qualified a strong third for Race-2, behind Chovet and Kush Maini, which was the groundwork for his first podium finish. He got away well, tucking in behind Zhou and kept his pursuers behind him, even in the tricky situation of restarting after a Safety Car period. In the closing laps, Isack Hadjar tried to pressure Beganovic, but the Swede kept his cool, crossing the line two seconds behind Zhou to stand on a Formula 3 podium for the very first time.
Attack. Beganovic started the final race of the Dubai weekend from third again. The race was far livelier than the previous ones and in the early stages Dino found himself fourth behind Nissany, Chovet and Roman Stanek. On laps 8 and 9, Beganovic closed down the leading trio and on the next lap pulled off an attacking move which saw him pass Nissany and Stanek round the outside of Turn 6. Once in second place, Beganovic closed the gap to Chevet but never really got a chance to challenge for the lead.
Yas Marina. The Formula 3 Asian Series is back on track almost immediately, with practice beginning at the neighbouring Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina circuit in just a few days, with the second and third rounds of the season.