Archive for January, 2010

Karting Singapore Rental Kart Series 2009 - Race 3

DATE: January 17, 2010

So we finally come to the end of the 2009 Rental Kart Championship in which we saw drivers battling across several experimental formats.

Going into the final race, the outcome of the championship was finally determined in the 24 kart finals.

And the Champion of the 2009 series, through consistent point scoring across all 3 events is Charles Teo.

Congratulations to Charles and all our day’s medalist as well as to all the participants who have graced the three events of the series.

We hope you join us for the 2010 series!

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The Morning After: An Email Interview Of The 4 Hour Endurance Race

DATE: January 13, 2010

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Saturday, 9th of January. Today marked the official opening of Kartright Speedway, Singapore’s newest karting track that opened its doors to business in October last year.

The festive occasion began with activities in the morning cumulating with a 4 hour endurance race held in the late afternoon. At the stroke of 6pm, a total of eight teams took to the grid, and began proceedings to the 4 hour physical ordeal. Perhaps it was appropriate that in a vaguely familiar way, drivers in the barest of open-wheel motorsport racing could share a parallel to their esteemed colleagues of the F1 circuit in experiencing a race set through a period of dwindling sunlight into twilight and the bright glare of floodlights in the night.

When the dust had settled and all had been said and done, the podium finishers were:
(1st) Team Kartmaster II
(2nd) Team Drakar
(3rd) Team Arrow

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In KartingSingapore’s first email interview, we took the opportunity to communicate with 3 of our fellow drivers a day after their marathon event.

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JONATHAN TAY
TEAM DRAKAR

[KS] Its a day after a gruelling 4 hour 125cc endurance race held at Kartright track. How is your body feeling after the workout yesterday?
[JT] I don’t think that it is listening to me anymore. Really tired. We had a two months break from our last season race and after all the Christmas and New Year bashes, this is really a major challenge.

[KS] I saw over a hundred spectators and participants spread across the entire area for the event. Did you notice how many people were around and what were your thoughts just before the start?
[JT] Not really bothered. I like crowd. The more the merrier.

[KS] What was the strategy of the team going into this race? Did the team change strategy throughout the race?
[JT] We did a minor change during the race when one of our driver sprained his back. So three other drivers have to do most of the races and Opai is tasked with completing most of it. Well, we did burst the clutch of one of our kart and have to complete the last 40min on 1 kart.

[KS] During the course of the race, did you have any notable 1-on-1 battles with any driver in particular?
[JT] I caught up with Hafiz Koh at some point of the race. Our karts are pretty much sticking to each other for more than ten laps. I was pressurizing him like crazy and he defended really well.

[KS] Which other team were you all battling against for position through the course of the race? Was there any objective in mind before the race i.e. aiming for a podium position?
[JT] We were very confident with a podium placing as we really have a great mechanic team and our pro driver Opai has been in super form. We were setting our karts for the last two days and were really happy with their performance. We were aiming for first position but the other team is really strong too and with many young drivers.

[KS] What karts and engines did the team run? How did the engines compare to the KFs being run by the other teams?
[JT] We were using all CRG karts with rear brakes only and Rotax Max engine. Well, we do race mainly on the rotax engine. So far it is still doing well for us at kartright against the KFs.

[KS] After the middle and towards the end of the race, what was the state of the tires and engine?
[JT] Tires were still good but the engine is not taking it very well after 3 hours. I think that 4 hours is pretty much max for these engine.

[KS] How exhausting was the race? Did you encounter physical challenges as the race wore on?
[JT] Definitely. We were not as well prepared physically for this race. We are focusing mainly for the main Series in Singapore, AMC and RMC.

[KS] Did you enjoy the format of a day-into-twilight-into-night format? Were there any challenges as the sky darkened? Did the drivers wear clear visors throughout the race?
[JT] Clear visor should be a must. Day to night seems to work well. With our climate, it will be crazy for us and the engine to be on endurance in a hot afternoon.

[KS] Would you do another 4 hour marathon 125cc race again?
[JT] Certainly.

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DARREN OOI
TEAM ARROW

More than happy to oblige. i guess i speak on behalf of the team too. first n foremost we must thank our pit support guys lionel and ricky for doing such an excellent job of making sure that our karts stayed reliable, keeping our driver timings and of course valuable advice on how to prepare for the race. Of the 4 drivers that we have in our team team, 3 would be 1st timers in a race. not too bad for our 1st outing i must say. oki back to ur questions….

[KS] Its a day after a gruelling 4 hour 125cc endurance race held at Kartright track. How is your body feeling after the workout yesterday?
[DO] it was indeed a gruelling outing for us all with arms n neck a little sore the morning after.

[KS] I saw over a hundred spectators and participants spread across the entire area for the event. Did you notice how many people were around and what were your thoughts just before the start?
[DO] yes we did see a lot of ppl ard during the event , family , friends , curious spectators and of course some “fans” of certain drivers holding it up banners of ‘daddy’ their favorite driver.

[KS] What was the strategy of the team going into this race? Did the team change strategy throughout the race?
[DO] b4 the race, all drivers agreed to just go out there n have a agr8 time n gain some experience. take no unnecessary chances and just stay consistent. half way thru the race it was all abt having fun and keeping pace with the team in forth place making sure we maintain the gap between us as well making sure we last to the checkered flag.

[KS] What karts and engines did the team run? How did the engines compare to the KFs being run by the other teams?
[DO] we were running the arrows x1 chasis with rotax max engines. they were both very realiable and i must say an excellent drive. tires were only abt half worn at the end of the race. it was exhausting for the drivers but we agreed to pace ourselves n all agreed to save the best for last.

[KS] How exhausting was the race? Did you encounter physical challenges as the race wore on?
[DO] as usual, neck, arms n ribs took the usual beating.

[KS] Did you enjoy the format of a day-into-twilight-into-night format? Were there any challenges as the sky darkened? Did the drivers wear clear visors throughout the race?
[DO] tot the format was good as we did not have to worry too much abt the heat. n we all wore clear visors for the race.

[KS] Would you do another 4 hour marathon 125cc race again?
[DO] see u at the next race !!!!!!!

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ERIC HO
TEAM ARROW

[KS] Its a day after a gruelling 4 hour 125cc endurance race held at Kartright track. How is your body feeling after the workout yesterday?
[EH] Frankly, think my body is too old for this as it’s aching everywhere especially my neck. It was a workout indeed and I had the confirmation that I’m old when I saw the other faces at the podium being half my age.

[KS] I saw over a hundred spectators and participants spread across the entire area for the event. Did you notice how many people were around and what were your thoughts just before the start?
[EH] Yes, I think there were hundreds easily as spectators come and go and there were eight teams in total with mechanics and drivers already making up almost half a hundred. Didn’t have much to think about before the start of the race as I was so tired after coming back from China only the evening before and I wanted to have a short nap in my car which I didn’t manage to. At the start of the race, my concern was the drivers starting with me in the starting line up as I was the first driver in my team and knowing the characters of each of them starting with me was crucial to the start of the race if I wanted to have a clean start avoiding incidents yet maintaining a certain pace.

[KS] What was the strategy of the team going into this race? Did the team change strategy throughout the race?
[EH] The team strategy was to be on the conversative end of things as it’s a 4 hour event and we went for reliability and consistency over power. We chose the Rotax and used conservative jet settings as well, not going for speed but consistency and reliability were what we were sticking to from start to finish you can say. The truth is if you make a simple calculation, each driver would need to drive more than 30 laps at one go and if we are to push from start to finish, we could very well been too exhausted after just 15laps. Although we chose to be conservative for the race, we adjusted slightly during the course of the race when needed to when it comes to race management.

[KS] During the course of the race, did you have any notable 1-on-1 battles with any driver in particular?
[EH] I wouldnt really call it 1 on 1 battles but there were drivers which I wanted to over-take during the start of the race as during the second half of the race, things were pretty much more on managing the race when there’s a bigger gap between most teams. At the start of the race, there was a driver infront of me which I wanted to over take and it was not easy as he had good straight line speed. I kept pilling pressure on him and make him know of my existense right at his bumper for quite a few laps until he oversteered into turn 3 down the slope at the far end where I over-took him without risking too much contact as there were still 3 drivers who have yet to drive.

[KS] Which other team were you all battling against for position through the course of the race? Was there any objective in mind before the race i.e. aiming for a podium position?
[EH] From the start, it was hard to make a call as positions kept switching and it was too early to tell. It’s only about approaching the half way mark of the 4 hour race where we were clearer on who we were competing against. At that point, we kept switching between 2nd and 3rd positions depending on who’s going into the pit stops and we need to maintain our gap against one of the two Kartmaster team with Hafiz Koh running 4th (until they got DQ for weight issues at the end) chasing behind us. In short, we need to watch our backs as well as keep our pace to maintain the podium position. From the beginning, our objective was to finish the race and if podium finish was possible, we would push for it. Frankly, if you look at the years of experience and age of the other teams participating, we are not on the younger side of things and also 3 out of our 4 karters never participated in any karting competitions before this. It was their first for all 3 drivers and one of our karters only had 3 months karting experience although he was an experienced car park rally driver before. The team picked me to start the race as I was the only one with competition experience in karting. In short, we were the rookie team actually.

[KS] What karts and engines did the team run? How did the engines compare to the KFs being run by the other teams?
[EH] We were running on the Arrow karts and thus Team Arrow was the name of the team. Rotax was our choice although I have the TM KF2 engine with me being a choice, like I said we chose reliability over power for the endurance race. The KFs were fast but we ran at our own pace and managed along the way as it’s 4 hours, not 40mins.

[KS] After the middle and towards the end of the race, what was the state of the tires and engine?
[EH] I would say that the state of the harder compound tires used for the endurance race was pretty much alright (Surprisingly) and the engines were running fine too as we checked water level everytime we came back. The drivers were more worn out than the equipments if you have to make a comparison.

[KS] How exhausting was the race? Did you encounter physical challenges as the race wore on?
[EH] It was exhausting indeed despite the adrenalin pumping and on my last time out which I think it should be my fourth, I couldnt turn my head anymore after the 27th lap out as I was simply struggling to keep my head from swaying side to side. At that point, I knew I have no more energy to go out another round and fortunately it was less than 20 mins to go almost till the end. My lap times also dropped after 27th/28th laps out and couldnt maintain the same pace for the remaining 4-5 laps being 0.5/0.8 seconds off but I needed to hold on to avoid an additional driver change which would cost us more time. Although we had a gap with the team behind us, we wanted to be sure and not throw away the race at the crucial end as anything could happen in motor racing.

[KS] Did you enjoy the format of a day-into-twilight-into-night format? Were there any challenges as the sky darkened? Did the drivers wear clear visors throughout the race?
[EH] On normal practise days, we drove both during the day and in the night so there were no problems for us and it was not much of a challenge on the twilight format. Maybe I have very good eyesight so it was not an issue at all, we all had clear visors and my other team mates had a deflector at the top part of the visor for fear of glare from the lightings at night. However, I chose not to use that and just drove as it is.

[KS] Would you do another 4 hour marathon 125cc race again?
[EH] Well, I wouldn’t say I wouldn’t do another one again but running on 125cc engines for a 4 hours marathon race is really not easy as everyone’s lap times start to drop no matter how fast they could run on 10 laps. As far as I could recall on the timing board, all the fastest timings for all teams were clocked in the first half of the race and it’s really physically demanding. It’s not about who can go fast, it’s about who being able to last.

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