Slippin’ & Slidin’ at Singapore Karting Championship 2011 Round 5

Written by Cheryl Tay on . Posted in Cheryl Tay Blog | Blog Post of Cheryl Tay

Text and photos by Cheryl Tay, www.cheryl-tay.com

 

The Heavens showed no mercy on the drivers during the closing hours of the fifth and final round of the 2011 Singapore Karting Championship (SKC) held on 19 and 20 November at Kartright Speedway. Heavy rain plummeted and the extreme wet conditions caused disruptions in the final race of the weekend for the Senior, Masters and Veteran categories.

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There was no real cause for panic though, as the championship contenders already had the titles in the bag by then. Prior to the weekend, Anthony Seow secured the Veteran title but the other four categories still had room for title-grabbing action.

 

Reigning Cadet champion Jon Lee had no threat defending his title – qualifying in pole position, finishing fastest in the heats and the pre-final before taking the chequered flag first for the final race. Jon’s closest competitor Javier Chng finished second on Sunday and also overall second in the championship – a commendable effort from his first karting season after trying karting for the first time last September.

303197_291206094246968_131620790205500_911351_306370657_nThe Junior category held the biggest controversy of the weekend when female karters Gabriella Teo and Manon Maistre collided in the pre-final, sending Manon flipping and landing on her head.

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skc_rd5_4Thankfully Manon escaped unscathed from the accident but her chances for her first podium finish were ruined as she had to start at the back for final. Nonetheless, her form has improved by leaps and bounds and she might well be a regular feature on the podium next season!

 

Throughout the season, the same faces of Gabriella, defending Junior champion Amin Noorzilan and Yeo Hong Yang dominated the Junior podium. Gabriella gave the boys a good run for their money, winning Round 2 and even leading the championship at some point during the season.

312788_291194624248115_131620790205500_911053_754957723_nHowever, the title fight was down to Amin and Hong Yang, who were neck to neck throughout the weekend. Hong Yang was leading the final race but was forced to retire early because of a mechanical fault of his kart caused by an incident with Amin. Amin then took over the race lead and finished it first with Gabriella on his tail, clinching the overall Junior title a second time. The Junior podium also received a new face for the season as Santosh Bala Kerishnan mounted it in third place.

374112_291206720913572_131620790205500_911373_280711731_nDefending Senior champion Mohammad Nasri Naufal (Opai) has not had much luck on his side this season and it was Thaddeus Lee who stormed to the top of the Senior tables instead, taking the 2011 Senior title. Thaddeus’ strategy for the weekend was to score maximum points so there will be no pressure on him in the final race. Indeed, Thaddeus qualified in pole position, finished first in both heats and the pre-final. Thus, Thaddeus secured the Senior title before the final race.

379079_291197007581210_131620790205500_911123_1286396151_nThe rain came down in torrents halfway through the Senior final race and Thaddeus lost his lead after colliding with Opai and Vincent Nathan. The race was then red-flagged and officially called a wet race so drivers came in to switch tyres. When the race restarted, Thaddeus had to cope with a bent steering column in the increasing rain and only finished in fifth place.

392749_291197984247779_131620790205500_911159_1984362403_nIt made no difference to his overall standings though. Thaddeus also took the Fastest Lap award – his third consecutive one from Rounds 3, 4 and 5. Saravanan Rajakumar crossed the finish line in second place behind Opai, followed by Ben Chen and Julien Fong. However, Saravanan’s 10-second penalty for unsportsmanship relegated him to sixth place and cost him the podium finish.

380032_291207274246850_131620790205500_911393_1553178870_nThe weather cleared up momentarily for the Masters final race to start, only for the rain to come down even harder than before. The poor drivers of the Masters category had to struggle with the flooded track conditions and eventually the chequered flag was given after 11 laps of the initial 25-lap race.

306472_291203874247190_131620790205500_911261_779856504_nBy then, Ong Kian Leong and Benjamin Goh had overtaken race leader Paul Lee – defending Masters champion – who was facing engine problems due to the rain. Kian Leong achieved his first race win at SKC, while Eric Ho took the overall championship title despite not finishing on the podium this time.

383121_291204980913746_131620790205500_911300_974577243_nThe Veteran title was already secured by Anthony Seow prior to the last round of the SKC but that did not stop Anthony from returning to participate and win again, while Kenny Yip – defending Veteran champion – and Jann Yap finished second and third respectively.

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This concludes the 2011 national karting season for Singapore, amid controversies, penalties, protests, surprise wins and unexpected achievements.

 

Singapore Karting Championship 2011

Round 5 Results

 

CADET

1st – Jon Lee

2nd – Javier Chng

3rd – Josh Lee

 

JUNIOR

1st – Amin Noorzilan

2nd – Gabriella Teo

3rd – Santosh Bala Kerishnan

 

SENIOR

1st – Mohammad Nasri Naufal (Opai)

2nd – Ben Chen

3rd – Julien Fong

 

MASTERS

1st – Ong Kian Leong

2nd – Benjamin Goh

3rd – Paul Lee

 

VETERAN

1st – Anthony Seow

2nd – Kenny Yip

3rd – Jann Yap

 

Overall Championship Results

CADET – Jon Lee

JUNIOR – Amin Noorzilan

SENIOR – Thaddeus Lee

MASTERS – Eric Ho

VETERAN – Anthony Seow

 

*This was first published on SingaporeSports.sg’s STAR BLOGGER column.

 

 

Cheryl Tay

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Singapore’s only female full-time motoring and motorsports photojournalist. Independent automotive consultant and prominent local motorsports personality Cheryl Tay is uniquely passionate about all things cars and motorsports. She also has a strong passion to share her interest and knowledge, hence having a dream to become the ‘Oprah Winfrey of cars and motorsports’ and create a multimedia platform for her sharing. - A female in a male-dominated world, Cheryl Tay is Singapore’s only female full-time motoring journalist and motorsports blogger and she regularly writes for prominent titles in Singapore, Asia and internationally. (See full list of titles that Cheryl Tay writes for here.)

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