Photos courtesy of Adrian Wong for Driftpac, PerfectEdge Motorsports and Concept35mm
It was an exciting week for Singapore-based Team Westlake Tyres as the team went out in full force with all five drivers competing at Formula Drift Singapore, Round 2 of the 2012 Formula Drift Asia Series. Only confirming his entry a few days before the event, rookie Alvin Tay took up the fifth spot on the team.
(L-R) Winston Ang, Lim Kim Wan, Rocker Loh, Geoveen Hi and Alvin Tay
After the shakedown on 17 June at the Team Westlake Tyres Drift Clinic held at the same venue, the team worked hard on getting the car ready for the showdown.
Pre-event activities for Formula Drift Singapore this year were aplenty, including an official movie premiere of MOTORWAY. Team Westlake Tyres driver Geoveen Hi was selected to make an appearance on the driver panel for the autograph session at the movie premiere on Thursday and also at the press conference on Friday, just before the event.
The weekend started off well for the team, with all five drivers making it to the top 30 – D-Wan in 17th, rookie Alvin in 22nd, Rocker in 23rd, rookie Geoveen in 26th and Winston in 29th.
The signature Team Westlake Tyre lion mascot was a popular feature, highly sought-after by fans during the autograph sessions especially.
“Drifting to Perfection” posters were also signed on and given out, as fans went down the row collecting various driver memorabilia.
Moving onto the tandem battles on Sunday, D-Wan was up against Bullzai of Malaysia, Winston against Japanese Robbie Nishida, Geoveen against American-Japanese Ken Gushi, Rocker against Singapore’s Jansen Tan and Alvin against Dika CH of Indonesia.
Unfortunately, the journey for Team Westlake Tyres ended there.
“We were hoping that at least two of our drivers – in particular D-Wan and Rocker – could progress to the Top 16 and we won’t deny that we are disappointed. Nonetheless, it was still a good event being held in Singapore where our company is headquartered and having the whole team in full force,” said Alex Chua, marketing manager of Lam Seng Hang, the regional distributor for Westlake tyres.
Commenting on his weekend, Winston said, “It is a great opportunity to show that motorsports in Singapore is well and alive. Despite the lack of facilities, it is evident that our passion continues to burn bright. Imagine how much better we can be if sponsors and authorities come out to support us just that little bit more.”
About his performance, he said, “Overall, I’m feeling pretty ok with my performance. I did well during practice right off the line, however, I screwed up my first qualifying b9 trying too hard so was ultra safe during second qualifying. I certainly felt I could have scored much higher if I didn’t screw up the first run. Then in the Top 32 battles, I was up against Robbie which was a huge plus for me as I always wanted a chance to go up against a world class drifter. On hindsight I think I could have been more aggressive but I drove my line especially during the lead run and it was good and clean. There were no major screw-ups like spins or crashes and it was good and proper drifting up against a world class drifter, so yes I am happy about that.”
Rookie Geoveen did not share the same sentiments though.
On his Formula Drift debut, he said, “I love the track layout, but I’m very disappointed with my performance. The car is new to me and it was my first time trying out the car. My S15 was running some ignition problem and to add oil to fire, I was also encountering clutch problems. It was a pity my debut didn’t go as smoothly as I had hoped for.”
Alvin, who also made his Formula Drift debut, thoroughly enjoyed himself but will be aiming higher at the next round.
He said, “I was aiming for at least Top 16 actually. I felt my debut was a bit rushed as I wasn’t able to do any testing with the car but am really pleased I managed to at least qualify.”
Despite the disappointing performance at Formula Drift Singapore, Team Westlake Tyres will continue working hard and hopefully achieve better results at the next o5ting.
The next round of Formula Drift Asia will be held in Thailand in November, before the finale in Indonesia in December.
Videos of their qualifying runs and tandem battles can be watched here.