Archive for December, 2011

WSK Singapore Race ‘2011

DATE: December 1, 2011

The 26th and 27th November 2011 marked the dates that the WSK established its inaugural footing into Asia.

The WSK Singapore Race was held to publicise a WSK-titled regional series that would start from 2012.

Taking place at the end of the 2011 racing season and early enough before teams and drivers begin their preparations for the 2012 racing season, the WSK Singapore Race was organised to introduce WSK to the Asian region.

The formation of the Asian series originated as a project initiated over a year and a half before to take the high profile branding of the WSK in the karting world, and bring its branding directly to the world’s fastest growing market.

Working together with its Asia-zone partners, the Asian regional series will take WSK across circuits in several South-East Asian countries as well as established circuits in Macau and Japan. As a sporting event, the series aims to host the best young racing talents from around the Asian region with plans to develop a reward structure for the best juniors in their category to participate through a wildcard entry, into a WSK season ending event.

Taking place as a national event at Kartright Speedway, the WSK Singapore race brought back many of the drivers who had raced a week earlier in the Singapore Karting Championships (SKC).

The class structures were localised for the event, and consisted of a KF3 Juniors, KF2 Seniors and a KF2 Masters. A supporting class event – the BMS Mini ROK Cup - was also organised by the local promoters to be held during the same event for the cadet drivers.

As soon as practice started, one thing was noticeable – the track surface at Kartright Speedway was being layered faster than on a usual SKC weekend – this was the work of the Vega’s CIK-FIA homologated XM and XH tyres that were introduced into Singapore’s karting scene just for the WSK Singapore Race.

With slight reductions to minimum weights practiced in the SKC as well as the Vega tyres with improved grip – qualifying times began to drop across all classes which began registering over half-a-second improvements in the dry and about a second of improvement in the wet.

The pole for qualifying was 36.579 (Jon Lee), 33.182 (Amin Noorzilan), 32.864 (Thaddeus Lee) and 40.848 in the wet (Paul Lee) respectively in the Cadets, Juniors, Seniors and Masters.

Free Practice, Qualifying Practice, and 2 Heat race events completed the first day of racing. An eventful qualifying session in the Seniors saw Randall Ng crash into the barriers in the back straight but fortunately Randall was confirmed to have no major internal injuries after being checked at one of the local hospitals. Conditions also proved tricky for the remaining competitors as the local November weather proceeded to play havoc with tyre choices – raining hard for short periods of time in the afternoon whilst a hot tropical sun shone onto the track. Nowhere was this most apparent that in the Juniors class where 2011 SKC Champion Amin Noorzilan and Manon Maistre made a decision to take the grid with slicks whilst everyone else picked the wet tyres – the wet tyres ultimately proving to be the right choice when it rained mid-race.

Fortunately, the local weather proved to be much better on Sunday and there was no longer any rain throughout the remainder of the event. In the dry conditions, the front runners stamped their authority on proceedings winning their Prefinals and Finals convincingly.

In the Cadets class, Jon Lee took his first WSK win 4.8 seconds ahead of Javier Chng and brother Josh Lee. In the Juniors class, Yeo Hong Yang won the event beating his close rival Gabriella Teo and Amin Noorzilan by a comfortable lead. In the Seniors race, 2011 SKC Champion Thaddeus Lee was commanding in his victory and even clocked the fastest lap of the tournament – a 32.638. Thaddeus’s win was mirrored by his father, Paul Lee who took the race win in the Master’s class.

Albeit a relatively small grid, however the enthusiasm of the drivers, teams and parents to embrace the arrival of the WSK series was extremely supportive – from those that attended as well as many who could not be there but sent greetings, congratulations and promises of support for the 2012 season.