It was a great season finale for many drivers as they competed in their last race of 2011 at the Asian Karting Open Championship (AKOC) in Macau over the weekend. There were quite a few Singaporeans and here is full update of how our little nation did:
Qualifying: P5 – Jon Lee / P9 – Javier Chng / P20 – Jayden Jinde
Combined Heats Results: P8 – Jon Lee / P9 – Javier Chng / P19 – Jayden Jinde
Pre-Final (10 laps): P9 – Jon Lee / P10 – Javier Chng / P19 – Jayden Jinde
Final (15 laps): P7- Jon Lee / P10 – Javier Chng / P18 – Jayden Jinde
Jon Lee, Drakar Racing: “This is my first time racing in Macau and also my first AKOC race of the season. (My first time in AKOC was at last year’s Thailand round.) I wanted to get into the top 10 at least, as I didn’t want to set too high expectations for myself at a track that I’m not familiar with. I can say that I’m pretty satisfied with my overall performance here in Macau.”
As for Javier Chng and Jayden Jinde of Williams Racing, both of them took part in the 2011 AKOC season opener at Macau earlier this year in June, so this is their second outing to this particular track.
Both of them are only in their first year in racing, having just started karting end of last year. Javier did get on the podium at AKOC Round 1 in Macau in June, when he came in fifth.
FORMULA 125 JUNIOR OPEN
Qualifying: P8 – Daim Hishammudin / P12 – Amin Noorzilan
Combined Heats Results: P5 – Daim Hishammudin / P12 – Amin Noorzilan
Pre-Final (15 laps): P4 – Daim Hishammudin / P11 – Amin Noorzilan
Final (18 laps): P3 – Daim Hishammudin / P11 – Amin Noorzilan
Daim Hishammudin, BHPetrol Racing: “I was aiming for a podium finish for this round. My kart wasn’t as fast as the others and it has been a tough weekend for me just trying to get into the top five. After experiencing a bad spell in the previous four rounds with disqualifications, penalties and kart failures, I am glad I ended my debut Junior karting season with a hard-fought third place finish in my last race of the year.”
Amin Noorzilan, Simon Racing, also Singapore’s two-time Junior karting champion: “I’ve only been racing in Singapore and in Malaysia, so this is my first time racing in the AKOC and in Macau! I’m feeling disappointed as my result didn’t meet my expectations – I was aiming to get into at least the top 8, but I only finished 11th after a tough battle. Still, it was a good first regional race experience where the drivers are more aggressive and more experienced.”
FORMULA 125 SENIOR OPEN
(46 drivers incl. Veteran, Rotax Senior and Rok Senior)
Qualifying: P2 – Opai Naufal / P14 – Julien Fong / P17 – Thaddeus Lee / P25 – Sean Hudspeth /
P29 – Yohanes Clinton Suryabara / P46 – Randall Ng
Combined Heats Results: P2 – Opai Naufal / P14 – Julien Fong / P19 – Thaddeus Lee /
P20 – Sean Hudspeth / P37 - Yohanes Clinton Suryabara / P41 – Randall Ng
Pre-Final (18 laps): P1 – Opai Naufal / P5 – Julien Fong / P6 – Sean Hudspeth / P8 – Thaddeus Lee
Final (24 laps): P2 – Opai Naufal / P6 – Sean Hudspeth /P12 – Thaddeus Lee / DNF – Julien Fong
Opai Naufal, Drakar Racing: “I just turned 23 years old on the 8th of December and I wanted to give myself a birthday gift by winning this race. I almost won it and it was a very close race, but I was facing a tyre disadvantage – due to some miscommunication I ran the race on used tyres while everyone else was on new tyres. I first raced in Macau in 2006, also in the AKOC, and I won that race. Last year I raced in Round 5 of the AKOC at Macau too, coming in 4th. This weekend I had a feeling of winning and I was aiming to, but that’s racing!”
Julien Fong, Simon Racing: “I am definitely feeling disappointed as I could have gotten on the podium. I was up to P3 in the final when my kart encountered an electrical problem and I had to retire from the race in the opening lap. This is my third time at this track, as I did the whole AKOC series last year. This year I raced in the Singapore Karting Championship, 2 rounds of the AKOC (in Round 4I almost got on the podium but my engine died, and Round 5 here in Macau) and Round 2 of the WSK Euro Series in Portugal. I’m going for National Service in 2012 so my plans for racing have to be halted.”
Our 2011 national Senior karting champion Thaddeus Lee, representing Williams Racing in Macau, has raced on this track before – in last year’s AKOC Rounds 1 and 5 in the Junior category. He hasn’t had much luck at this track though – the first time in 2010 he got smashed into at Turn 1 during the final and the second time his radiator got bashed. Better luck next time dude!
Sean Hudspeth of CRG Junior Team Asia is still quite new to karting. He made his debut in racing with two rounds of the Singapore Karting Championship last year and was racing in Malaysia this year in the Rotax Max Challenge Malaysia and Rotax Asia Zone Challenge. Sean’s first time in the AKOC was at Round 4 in The Philippines and this is his second AKOC race, as well as his first time racing in Macau. A decent finish he achieved, with 6th place in the final! He said: ”What an awesome circuit! Spark plug problems resulted in a bad qualifying of 17th and then the engine wouldn’t start in the pit lane so I started last for first heat in 30th and fought to 13th. Then I had a crash in the second heat but managed to finish in the top 15. I started 20th for the pre-final and had jetting problems in the final but finished 6th eventually! Thanks to the team and engine supplier for the interesting package – probably one of the only CRG Vortex karts in the world!”
A consolation final – called the Macau Cup – was held for the drivers who did not make it to the 36 places in the final. Both representing Williams Racing at this Macau Race, Yohanes Clinton Suryabara started the 15-lap race in pole position with Randall Ng in 5th on the grid.
It is Clinton’s second AKOC race and first time racing in Macau, but Randall’s second time at this track – like Javier and Jayden, he came for the AKOC season opener in June. While Clinton finished 2nd, Randall unfortunately suffered a DNF due to engine problems that plagued him all weekend!
Daim Hishammudin, 3rd, Formula 125 Junior Open
Opai Naufal, 2nd, Formula 125 Senior Open
Yohanes Clinton Suryabara, 2nd, Macau Cup
Andrew Tang, Overall Champion, 2011 Formula 125 Senior Open
(He didn’t race this round as he is suffering from a broken right collar bone after a horrible incident in the previous AKOC round.)
MY PHOTO ALBUMS FROM THE WEEKEND: For your viewing pleasure…