Singapore Nationals 2011 - Race 1

POSTED ON: May 11, 2011

The Singapore Karting Championship returned for a second season with Round 1 races held over the April 23rd and 24th weekend. Organised by McElrea Racing Pte. Ltd, karters will compete for the top place over 5 race weekends from April to November 2011 at Kartright Speedway in Jurong.

Sanctioned by the Singapore Motor Sports Association (SMSA), officiated by Singapore GP, and supported by the Singapore Sports Council, karters compete over a 750-metre-long technically-challenging circuit, where the results of each race are combined to determine the overall winners for the championship.

Luxury automobile broker AutoIncSports has come in as the title sponsor for this year’s championship, and new sponsors that have also come onboard to support the championship include Xinya Media, Kartright Speedway, Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen, Wimobilize Singapore Pte Ltd and Eurohaus, and prizes include trophies to the top 3 drivers of each category for each round, as well as cash prizes for the overall AutoInc SKC 2011 champions.

As a competitive sport, the AutoInc Singapore Karting Championship is still at its infancy stage compared to other more established series in Asia, but the turnout for competition days at Singapore’s only National Motorsport Championship proved to be very encouraging where paddocks were abuzz with family and friends rooting for their favourite teams and drivers. The races were made even more exciting with live commentary by Singapore’s motorsport personalities: Yuey Tan, the championship’s ambassador and a professional racing driver competing in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Series, Arj Kulasegaram, Porsche Club Singapore team boss & Porsche Carrera Cup Singapore GP Commentator, and Benjamin Potter, another popular GP Commentator.

The 2011 season started off on a high note with many familiar faces like veteran karting champion Kenny Yip, super-speed racer Vincent Nathan, and last year’s Cadet champion Jon Lee.
With 38 racers participating in 5 different racing classes: Cadet (8 to 12 years), Junior (13 to 15 years), Senior (15 to 35 years), Senior Master (30 to 45 years) and Senior Veteran (45 years and up), the national level karters displayed impressive driving skills.

Despite having fewer participants this year, competition was even more intense with drivers more familiarized with the race track. Reigning “Cadet” Champion Jon Lee kept his number one status by coming in with a complete score of 5/5. His closest competitor, Javier Chng, also managed to retain 2nd place despite having dropped from P2 to P6 during the qualifying rounds and getting a 10-second penalty for a jump starting in Heat 2. Lee’s younger brother, Josh Lee, clinched the third spot on the podium on his racing debut.

Standing out from the rest of the competitors in “Junior” class was 12 year old Gabriella Teo. Teo’s participation in the SKC makes her one of the two female athletes to race competitively in the championships this year. In the opening race of Heat 1, Teo manage to get ahead of the rest of everyone with Amin Noorzilan, the reigning junior champion close behind.

However, her anxiety to maintain pole resulted in a three-kart crash in her first lap. Race marshals halted the race and sent it a medical team and surprisingly, the resilient Teo was back for Heat 2 later in the day.

Second day proved to be trickier for Teo where the experienced Noorzilan showed his skill on the track during the final and managed to overtake Teo who was ahead of him, and went on to keep his title as “Junior” Champion for the 1st round. Yeo Hong Yang came in third place after Teo who placed second.

In the ‘Senior’ class races, the fastest karter for the championship to date, Vincent Nathan held pole positions for both Heat 1 and Heat 2, with Saravanan Rajukumar and Ted Linn coming close behind. However, Nathan was unable to maintain his lead in the final and at the end of Round 1, Rajukumar, Linn and Jack McGregor finished on the podium in first, second and third place respectively.

For “Masters” class, Eric Ho managed to maintain his lead throughout the two days. His consistency helped him replace Ben Goh as the reigning champion in his class. Despite an unfortunate collision with Yap Kheng Weng in the pre-final, both Goh and Yap managed to come in second and third respectively in the final.

For “Veteran” class, reigning champion Kenny Yip, displayed his consistency and maintained his position ahead of other racers, and placed first on the podium for Round 1, with Anthony Seow placing second and Leon Khoo in third.

The championship will be broadcast worldwide on Xinya TV and is available in Singapore on SingTel mio TV Channel 72. There will also be an SKC IPTV Video-On-Demand Channel featuring full races at the official website

Round 2 of AutoInc Singapore Karting Championship 2011 will be held on Saturday, May 14th and Sunday, May 15th.

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