Archive for July, 2010

Singapore Nationals 2010 - Race 3

DATE: July 19, 2010

Rain was the challenge confronting drivers in Round 3 of the 2010 Nescafe Singapore Karting Championships. Although practice and qualifying on Saturday were relatively dry affairs, the sky opened late on Sunday morning, leaving drivers and their crew to scurry around with adjustments for their wet weather setups.

In the Cadet class, a wet track kept drivers very cautious over the first couple of laps. However, it was Maximilian Fewtrell, who salvaged a dismal performance in qualifying by coming from behind to win the Cadet class by a margin of 2.077 seconds from Jon Lee Xuan Hao who had started on pole in the finals. Through sheer determination, Maximilian Fewtrell hunted down the leader who had broken away from the chasing pack and overtook him with four laps to go. Glenn Chiam rounded off the podium in third place. “I was very happy to have qualified in pole position and I tried my best to pull away as much as I can from the pack in the final. The track was wet from the rain and it was a new experience for us to race under such conditions. It was a pity that I lost my lead, but I will continue to work hard,” said Lee.

In the Junior class, championship leader Anderson Martono jumped Chen Sze Ming and took the lead into the first turn. However, a win was not to be as a spin left him to rue the weather as Chen Sze Ming drove to victory followed by Andersen Martono and Amin Noorzilan. We leave a footnote for Thaddeus Lee who could not fight for the win this weekend as he had a disaster, when on pole during the prefinal, he stalled his engine on the warm-up lap.

In the Senior class, Mohammed Nasri Naufal provided a clinical display of dominance as he raced across the finish line 26.4 seconds ahead of Sean Hudspeth and Julien Fong. However, during post race scrutineering, both Mohammed Nasri Naufal and Sean Hudspeth karts were deemed to have infringed technical regulations and the pair were disqualified, leading to Julien Fong and Lim Zi Yang Ivan taking the first and runner-up places on the podium. “It is most regrettable that this had to happen but nonetheless, they are still winners in my heart. Opai [Nasri Naufal] displayed a fantastic result and he finished way ahead of everyone else. This is part of racing and we will ensure such things will not happen again,” said Jonathan Tay, team principal of Drakar Racing.

It was a slightly drier track when the Master’s class final was run. Round 1 winner, Sheridan Thomas, was eager to reestablish his winning form and he did so, comfortably taking a win from his championship rival Lee Kok Khiang. Lim Keong Liam, ever a consistent performer, took third place. Run in the same race, the Rotax Max sub-category, was won by Kenneth John Smith, followed by Rashid Bin Ramli and Raymond Low.

The Veteran class for drivers above 45 years old seemed to provide all the excitement for the day in both the prefinal and final races. Jerry Ibara, had an eye-catching flip on the first corner of lap one during the prefinal race. “I slotted into fourth behind Leon Khoo at the start. Going into turn 1, I saw that Pascal Delmotte was going around and I took an outside line into the corner to avoid. I thought I gave plenty of room but assume Pascal’s momentum caused his kart to roll backwards towards the outside of the turn. Whether he was stationary or still rolling I can’t confirm, but I hit his right rear wheel with my right front and side pod.” said Ibara.

However, the excitement was not to end there. As the last race of the day, and in semi wet-dry condition, whilst the majority of the grid took to the track on wet weather tires, Richard Wee opted to take a gamble by choosing to come out on slicks. Perhaps fittingly, Lady Luck was smiling on Richard Wee who was the driver that stopped to help Jerry Ibara from under his kart in the prefinal. Kenny Yip, the pole-sitter led the first half of the race, but as the track began to dry very quickly in the afternoon sun and track conditions improved, a dry line allowed Richard Wee to pick his competition off one-by-one for his first race win of the season. Leon Khoo Beng Koon and Pascal Delmotte took runner-up and third place respectively.

It is perhaps best left to William Hong of William Racing, who summed up a long but satisfying weekend for him and his crew of mechanics and support staff – “We had 3 wins out of 5 classes, the other 2 we had no entry. We had first, second, third in the Juniors, all engines sponsored by us. We are first and third for the Masters and first and third for the Veterans.”

Round 4 of the Championship will be held once again at Kartright Speedway on August 28 and 29.