Malaysia


Recap of this Past Weekends Asia Racing Action

While most in the US were enjoying their Memorial Day Weekend, we were busy following all of the racing action in Asia.  As it turned out, this was probably the biggest weekend ever for the collective group of AMN members as they took home more than dozen podium finishes.

MSS R2 Winners

Starting with the Malaysian Super Series (MSS) held at Sepang International Circuit, Natasha Seatter and father Stewart finished 2nd in the GT Open class, which was enough for her to take the overall MSS lead from Angus Kirkwood who unfortunately ended his day early with a DNF.  The Seatter team was supported by Race Engineer Martin Hope of GulfSport Racing.  Singaporean Gerald Tan of LTM 9tro coming off his victory last weekend at the Time Attack qualified 4th, but he also ended his day with a DNF.  Everyone will be back in action at the end of June for the 3rd round of the MSS.

Tin Sritrai

The MSS also played host to several other series including the Thailand Super Series Rd1 (follow the link to read the full recap) and the Touring Car Series in Asia by IMSP.  2012 TCSA Champion Tin Sritrai started 2013 with double 1st place finishes and China Dragon Racing dominated the N2000 Class finishing 1, 2 in both races.  In R1 Alex Hui took home the victory followed by teammate Sunny Wong and in R2 they reversed their finishing order.  Billy Lo also ended his weekend on a high note with a 3rd and 4th place finish respectively.

TCSA R1 Winners

In the TCSA Road Sport Challenge Class, AMN members James Tang of TRC and Samuel Hsieh both scored double podium finishes going 2, 3 respectively in both races.  This made Samuel’s first trip to Sepang extremely memorable.  The TCSA will be back in action June 28-30th at the Sepang International Circuit before heading to Korea’s Inje Auto Theme Park for 2 rounds.  Several of our members were at Inje this past weekend to watch the opening round of the Super Taikyu Series, including Mark Thomas who was representing the Asian Le Mans Series which opens their 2013 season there on August 4th.  You can find additional information on the Asian Le Mans Series by visiting their Facebook Page: Asian Le Mans Series – Official.

FRD CTCC R2

There was also racing action at Shanghai International Circuit this past weekend as the China Touring Car Championship and Formula Masters China Series (follow link to see full recap) were both back in action.   FRD could not repeat the 2012 stunning performance at SIC where they completed dominated the field by going 1, 2, 3, 4, but 2012 winner Andy Yan was fast enough to claim both the pole and the race making it 3 straight years for the FRD driver to dominate the Shanghai Circuit Round.  CTCC Rd 1 winner Wang Rui of VW 333 finished 2nd to maintain his driver points lead, but the biggest surprise of the day came from long time friend Pascal’s ASR Da Marco’s team with their first ever podium finish!  First year driver Zhang Shenjun managed to qualify 2nd on Saturday and then pilot the 1.6T Chevy Cruze to a 3rd place finish on Sunday.  The CTCC heads to Tianma Circuit June 8th and 9th.

In closing we also want to mention AMN member Jason Tan of Team Driftmasters and Singapore Stunt Driving successfully completed their Stunt Driving Clinic in Singapore this past weekend.  For those interested there will be another clinic on July 7th. You can find more information on their Facebook Page: Singapore Stunt Driving.

Thailand Super Series hits the road to Malaysia

Finally, the most talked about close season in Thai racing history is drawing to
a climax and the new era on track is just about to dawn. In fact, it will dawn
in almost exactly 100 hours time as the cars, teams and drivers contesting the
2013 Thailand Super Series will roar into action on Sepang International Circuit
for the first official practice sessions against the clock.

But that is for Friday morning. Over the weekend
the trip to Sepang got underway. While some cars are already in Malaysia, such
as reigning champion Khun Vuttikorn Inthraphuvasak’s brand new MY2013 Porsche
997 GT3-R and Khun Chonsawat Asavahame’s equally-new MY2013 Lamborghini Gallardo
GT3 FL2, both of which tested on the circuit last week, the bulk of the cars are
now being shipped down from Bangkok to Sepang.

That’s a long, 1,500 km trip. The racecars and the
teams’ equipment, including spare engines, transmissions, wheels, tyres and
tools, is travelling in a mix of containers (which can house up to 2 cars plus
equipment) and full-size vehicle transporters (which can hold up to 8
cars).

Almost all the Super Cars have been stored away in
containers. There are 17 containers making the journey in total, with the
remainder filled with equipment. Accompanying the 17 containers are 7 car
transporters, which can each load up to 8 cars. In total there are 50 cars,
drawn from Super 2000, Super 1500 and Super Production, plus 9 Lotus Elise one
make racers, all lashed down on the fleet of transporters for the trip
south.

The major convoy rolled out of Soopanava Port,
which nestles in the sharp sweep of the river, in the darkness late last night
and is expected to arrive at Sepang Circuit by Wednesday afternoon. The teams
will immediately start unpacking and first track running for the cars will be on
Thursday during several free circuit promoter sessions.

Taking Thailand’s biggest and most glamorous
motorsport championship across the border into Malaysia is a major undertaking.
Packing the containers and loading up the transporters took nearly three days of
non-stop activity, starting last Friday, with a hard working team from TSS
managing the operation in conjunction with the port’s own trained staff as the
cars arrived drip-drip on the back of sliders all weekend.

There were a few drivers in evidence at the port
overseeing the loading of their cars over the weekend and one was Khun Kittipol
Pramoj Na Ayudhya (‘Tre’). He’s had a rapid rise up the racing ranks, from
running gentlemanly BMW and Alfa Romeo classic racecars to a Honda Civic FD in
Super 2000 via an EK9.

Last year was an excellent season for his
Singha-Cosmo team. He finished third in Super 2000 Junior with a car that was
essentially still in ‘One Make Race’ trim and with his team mate finishing
second, that gave Singha-Cosmo the Junior teams’ title.

That sets Khun Tre up nicely for the new season.
“The car hasn’t really changed much, I’ve just changed the gearbox to a ‘dog’
box so that should be a little bit faster in the ratios,” he said as the two
white-with-blue-stripes Singha-Cosmo cars were loaded up.

One tweak that TSS has made to the show, he
believes, will play into his hands. “I’m glad that this year Thailand Super
Series has increased the laps so that means you have to be more tactical on how
you preserve the car during the race and how you preserve the engine. So I’m
looking forward to the races this year,” he says. But he notes that his success
last year jettisons him into more competitive territory. “Now we have gone up to
class B.”

Khun Tre is also happy to be part of the TSS
programme and looking forward to the championship’s future. “I think at the end
of last year with no one too sure about the series and too sure about Bira, I
think with the Thailand Super Series now on its way and we’re going to Sepang,
the racing in Thailand is going up and I’m glad to be part of it in the first
year.”

He’s also ready for the long trip south. “We’ve
learnt from last year,” says Khun Tre. “I’ve looked at the videos and seen some
areas where maybe we could improve and better gearing so I think the car should
be quite competitive.”

For the second year racing in Sepang, and the
first for TSS, there will be 73 cars split across four categories: Super Car,
Super 2000, Super 1500 and Super Production. Joining them will be nine Lotus
Elise ‘one-make’ racecars taking part in the Lotus Cup Thailand 2013 that is
supporting TSS at all four rounds.

Copyright © 2013 Racing Spirit, All rights reserved

Reposted from Thailand Super Series News

A Ray of Sunshine for Singaporean Motorsports Enthusiasts?

121204-Motorsports-City-Presentation-Press-Kit_Page_202Singaporean’s saw their dreams of a permanent circuit officially crushed back in May when the government announced they were formally taking back the land for proposed Changi Motorsports Hub from SG Changi.  I don’t think this was a great surprise to anyone as the project faced plenty of obstacles in the 5 years since it was first rumored back in 2007.   Construction actually began at the site back in 2010 but was brought to an abrupt halt when investors became nervous about an investigation into the tendering process that eventually ended with SG Changi winning the $370 million project.

This week brought a little life back to the dream when it was announced that billionaire Peter Lim would be developing a Motorsports City and FIA compliant circuit in neighboring Iskandar, Malaysia.  Mr. Lim, once described as “press shy”, has made major international sporting news over the past several years after a failed attempt to buy the Liverpool Football Club in 2010 and last year’s announcement of him making a major investment in McLaren Automotive.  Now Singapore motorsports enthusiast see him as their best hope for an accessible circuit for them to enjoy.  While not truly a Singapore based permanent circuit, its planned proximity to the border will likely suffice most enthusiasts as long as they have some open track days.  Although this seems very promising, waiting until 2016 for racing events makes for a long time to hold your breathe.