Thrill to the other races this F1 weekend

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

By Cheryl Tay

Mon, Sep 19, 2011
my paper


During Formula One race weekends, there are often support races that make up part of the entire event, giving drivers outside F1 the opportunity to try out some of the fastest and toughest tracks in the world.


For example, at this year’s F1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix, the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia (PCCA) and JK Racing Asia Series – formerly known as the Formula BMW Pacific Series – will have their respective rounds as part of the programme.


Returning this weekend to race on the Marina Bay street circuit for the second time is Duvashen Padayachee, who is competing in the JK Racing Asia Series.


The 21-year-old Australian first raced at the Singapore Grand Prix last year and has also raced at the Malaysian Grand Prix twice.


He said: “The feeling of driving on an F1 track and being part of the F1 atmosphere is just unreal. Knowing that you’re driving on the same tarmac as the world’s best drivers with all eyes on you, the feeling is fantastic as not many get to race on the same track as the F1 guys.”


Having started racing in karts since 2007, this is the second year that Padayachee is racing in single-seaters, as he puts his mechanical-engineering degree in university on hold to strike out on a career in racing.


He said: “It was phenomenal to race on the Singapore street circuit last year, under the lights in front of a massive crowd. I encountered some unfortunate incidents during the race and ended up hitting the wall.


“That’s the thing about street circuits – there is no room for error, with minimal run-off areas and no gravel traps like those at purpose-built circuits. In addition, we race at night so that makes it even tougher.”


Richard Bradley, last year’s Formula BMW Pacific champion, won one of the two races held as support to last year’s Singapore Grand Prix.


The 20-year-old said: “One mistake here, and you’re into the barrier. Also, in Singapore with this climate, it is easy for drivers who are not as fit to make mistakes as they get tired.”


Singaporean Yuey Tan, 29, will be racing on the Marina Bay circuit for the third time this year in the PCCA. Through the PCCA, he has also raced three times at the Shanghai International Circuit during the F1 Chinese Grand Prix.


He recalled: “The first time I drove on the Marina Bay circuit was in 2009. It was a pretty emotional moment as I teared a little. I’m just a regular guy on the street and getting to race on an F1 track in your home country is a dream come true.


“Motorsports has grown immensely in Singapore, but I hope people will be more aware of the different tiers of motorsports below F1, such as the support races in F1, like the PCCA.”


*This was first published in My Paper.

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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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