Archive for November, 2010

Singapore Nationals 2010 - Race 5

DATE: November 29, 2010

Singapore’s racing season drew to a close with Round 5 of the Nescafe Karting Championships. Intended for the 30-31 October, the dates were rescheduled to 13-14 November to facilitate the younger drivers who were schooling and would be in the midst of their examinations. As with the preceding events of the series, Round 5 was held at Kartright Speedway circuit.

Saturday, 13 November was a particular good day for karting. Sunny skies throughout the entire day keep the program firmly on schedule. In Qualifying, several drivers across the classes earned themselves time penalties of +3 seconds, for crossing the pit exit blend line. Given the number of penalties awarded and in some cases, repeatedly to the same driver, the grid positioning for the Heat race were a mixed bag of surprises. At the end of qualifying, Anderson Martono, from the Junior’s class was the person to set the standard, clocking in Saturday’s fastest qualifying time of 33.509. In the Heat races, there were not too many surprises as the class favourites began to establish themselves and any significant effects of the qualifying penalties were unwound.

Sunday 14 November. One could say that the prefinals, held in the morning for the various classes played according to a script. Apart from several DNFs and James Pull received a post-race +10 seconds penalty for jump starting, there were no significant surprises in the driver finishing positions. It was perhaps fateful that nature added a little additional drama to proceedings when in Singapore’s typical tropical fashion, the skies opened during the lunch time interval and soaked the track, leaving a greasy layer of rubber.

This was unfortunate news to the Cadets who were therefore the first class to race their Finals on the slippery track. In the treacherous conditions, the track claimed Ethan Wei, Glenn Chiam and James Pull who all failed to finish. To the credit of the driver-mechanic combination of John Lee and his father, James Lee that led to a determined drive through the race in which Lee finished 20 seconds ahead of second place, Tan De Shuen. Jordan Tay, a Drakar teamate to Jon Lee, finished third after being awarded a 10 seconds penalty for a jump start. The win also gave Lee the Overall Cadet Champion title for 2010.

In the Juniors finals, Saravanan Rajakumar, picked the timing for his first race win to perfection, and took first place honours in his class with a confident drive in the wet and the right chassis setup by his mechanic team from William’s Racing. Class favourites, Anderson Martono, fell to the wet conditions when his kart slowed down just 4 laps from the chequered flag and whilst in first place. Martono’s kart stalled just in front of the pits, with a fouled spark plug whilst Thaddeus Lee, who took second, was unable to hold back a charging Rajakumar. Amin Noorzilan, drove a safe race and finished in third place, a position which was enough to ensure that he took the Overall Junior Champion title.

Nasri Naufal, better known locally as “Opai” secured his Overall Senior Champion title in style by winning the Seniors Finals in commanding fashion. In wet weather mastery, Naufal lapped every other competitor in 24 laps of racing. Sean Hudspeth took second in the class followed by Ivan Lim in third. Alan Habin, who showed flashes of speed throughout the weekend ended a dismal weekend with a DNF in the Finals.

The Finals for the Masters and Veterans class involved a merging of both classes running in the same race. The Veterans showed that age was never a factor, by finishing in the top few positions of the merged class race. Benjamin Goh won the Master’s class followed by Danial Walker and in third was Lim Keong Liam. Paul Lee who finished outside of the podium, still won the Overall Master’s Champion title when his nearest title rival, Sheridan Thomas, did not compete in the final round of the SKC. In the Veteran’s class, Kenny Yip secured his Overall Veteran’s Champion title by beating everyone to the finish line. Finishing second in the race was Jerry Ibara followed in third by Richard Wee.

Plentong Open Oct & Nov’10

DATE: November 28, 2010

The tenth and the penultimate rounds of the Johor Open Karting Championships were held on the 17 October and 21 November respectively.

The improvements to the track over the last few months, in the form of better corner curbing, extended run off areas and a proper viewing grandstand have yielded results in the form of both lower lap times and better client satisfaction. Coming into the track over the last 2 months, it is noticeable that all the team pits have been taken up or are in the process of being occupied. Not all new customers are prepared to join the club races as yet and as such, both the October and November event saw a smaller field of 12-14 karts coming from the absence of a few club regulars. Fortunately, this was offset with new blood to be found as a few  Johor residents took up the sport in Plentong in addition to the  arrival of several karters who moved their karting activities from Kartright.

With the October event raced on Track H and the November event raced on Track E, both track configurations pushed the kart engines to their extremes of max horsepower - this was apparent hearing several engines leaning out and misfiring towards the end of the straights.

Racing was intense as the new club members sought to establish themselves in the driver rankings whilst the existing club members sought to secure the necessary points tally coming into the last 3 rounds of the 2010 season. This was best represented by the racing action taking place on the track (and perhaps once can say that the competitiveness extended off the track as well).

In the dry, drivers fought hard for their positions, driving to the limit of grip - in the wet, drivers pushed to their comfort limits all the while, fighting to keep the kart on the track.

In the end, the racing action took the form of the following results.

Plentong Open Oct 2010 trophy winners

1st - Allan Lange
2nd - Graeme Dowsett
3rd - Gary Koh
4th - Alan Smith
5th - Cydric Chang
6th - Jonathan Lai

Plentong Open Nov 2010 trophy winners

1st - Allan Lange
2nd - Dave Bondi
3rd - Gary Koh
Joint 4th - Ang Kok Wee & Alan Smith
Joint 6th - Louis Liew & Chang Sin Wei

Here are a few photos from the October event of the Johor Open Karting Championships.