Finally, after four rounds of washout, the RaceWorks Elite Racing Series got to run an entire day of uninterrupted racing in sunny weather. Compared to previous rounds, the atmosphere felt a lot different as competitors furiously worked on their cars between the races, with some trying to resolve issues with their cars.
There were only nine drivers for the Elite Racing Series this round, as Wee EC of Team Xray Singapore had work commitments and a replacement was not found. With a new track layout and two months since the last round, drivers had their work cut out for them.
Kicking off Sunday’s action was the first qualifying session for the Elite Racing Series. Favourite Nicholas Lee of Team Tamiya SG set the pace early in the day, clocking the fastest time of 16.885 seconds. His team-mate Alvin Koh was second fastest with a time of 17.174 seconds. Nelson Lee of Team ARC Singapore was third fastest. These three fastest drivers of Q1 kept up their performance and finished in the same order for Q2.
Allister Lim of Team HB / HPI Racing was missing from Q1 due to an issue with his car; a broken arm he said.
Qualifying is not based on the single fastest lap time from both sessions, but rather, it is based on the fastest total time and the most number of laps from either session. Here are the overall qualifying results:
PY Tang of Team Xray Singapore, currently overall second in the driver championship standings, seemed to be facing some problems. He was fourth fastest in Q1, but was second last in Q2. Speaking to him after qualifying, PY admitted that he is a little rusty, having only had two practice sessions since the last round in May. He did participate in a race in JB and won though.
FINAL LEG 1
With the qualifying results as the starting grid for the first final, Nicholas flew off from pole and settled comfortably into the lead. He had Alvin chasing him but he remained strong up front until the last 30 seconds of the race when his car ran into a problem and slowed him down, eventually finishing seventh. That gave Alvin the win, with Nelson for second and PY in third.
Leonard Sim of Team ARC Singapore was facing problems with his car. The electronics were just changed the day before, hence the car was experiencing overheating problems and interrupting his racing, coming in last at the end of the field.
FINAL LEG 2
Some raindrops were felt after the first final of the Elite Racing Series and there were some dark clouds in the distance, but thankfully, the sunny weather held up to the end of the day. The grid of the second final followed the finishing order of the first final and Alvin shot off into the lead as Nelson and PY gave chase, eventually crossing the line in this order.
Behind them, Allister was steadily climbing the order, from eighth on the grid to fourth place. Nicholas started at the back and he was trying to catch up, but his car was still experiencing problems and it rolled to a stop after two laps, while the rest of the field raced ahead.
FINAL LEG 3
The random reverse draw was used for the third final. Basically, the number ‘10’ was picked, hence finishers 1st to 9th of the second final were reversed, with the 10th place finisher in Leg 2 starting on pole. Since there were only nine drivers, the grid was reversed for the 1st to 8th finishers of Leg 2. That meant Nicholas, who was last in Leg 2, started in pole for Leg 3.
This was an advantage to him, so he need not have to work his way up the field. He pulled away from pole quickly but the lead was short-lived as his car slowed to a stop on the second lap and he could only watch the rest of the field pass him.
Alvin, who won Leg 2 (and also Leg 1), started in last because of the reverse grid and managed to work his way to the front. Following him to the front was PY and Allister, finishing second and third respectively. Nelson was fourth.
FINAL LEG 4
The grid for the fourth final was a random reverse grid again and Nicholas started in pole once more. He was still trying to find the problem with his car, which has been troubling him since the first final leg. The last race of the day saw Nicholas in the front for about six laps, before his car died on him again.
Alvin made his way from the back to the front to take the win again, making it a perfect four wins out of four races. Coming in second for Leg 4 was Leonard, who seemed to have fixed his car’s overheating issues. PY came in third with Nelson in fourth.
Taking overall victory for Round 5 was indisputably Alvin, with his four wins.
The overall results are calculated by the best three of four final legs. That put PY in second place and Nelson in third.
With just two more rounds to go, Alvin is looking good to take the overall driver title for the inaugural RaceWorks Elite Racing Series. Nicholas hasn’t been having much luck with this series, but is more than happy to see his team-mate win. On the bright side, he didn’t go home empty-handed as he took the Top Qualifier prize.
Second in the driver standings is still PY, just 3.75 points away from Alvin. Previously tied on third, Nelson is now four points ahead of Alan Leung of Team Yokomo. Allister has moved up to fifth, with Leonard in sixth. EC’s no-show at this round has caused him to drop down three places to eighth.
With only one driver representing Team Xray Singapore for this round, their team championship points could have been affected, but Nicholas’ bout of bad luck meant minimal scoring for the team, so team standings remain unchanged. Team Tamiya SG are still leading with 79.5 points, 7.5 points ahead of Team Xray Singapore. Team ARC Singapore in third have closed in a little, now 3.5 points from Team Xray Singapore.
Round 6 of the RaceWorks Elite Racing Series will be held on 4 August.
More photos of the RaceWorks Elite Racing Series Round 5 can be viewed here.