Afiq Ikhwan claimed an uncontested win today during the JK Racing Asia Series Round 15 race at Sepang International Circuit.
Ikhwan from Meritus.GP got off to a great start and immediately pulled away from second placed starter, Nabil Jeffri and opened the gap to five seconds midway through the race. Ikhwan held on to the lead and he was never in any danger.
“First of all I would like to thank my team and my sponsor Petronas. They did a very good job and they gave a perfect car for today.
“I had a good start and I pushed hard towards the end to the chequered flag. I need to keep winning every race” said a smiling Ikhwan.
Behind Ikhwan, Jeffri had to defend from Lucas Auer, the current Championship leader, who gained one spot at the start from third place starter, Irfan Ilyas.
Ilyas was then left to defend his position from guest driver, Daniel Cammish in a heated battle for fourth. The Petronas Mofaz Racing driver managed to defend his position for two laps before Cammish found a way past on lap 3.
From there, Ilyas pushed the Eurasia Motorsport driver, driving nose to tail all the way, until the second last lap when Jeffri suffered a gearbox failure, and had to retire from the race.
As Jeffri slowed down, Auer passed him for second and Jeffri was left in the path of the battling duo of Cammish and Ilyas. The slowing Jeffri caught Cammish out slightly, allowing Ilyas to make a move on the Briton. Cammish then fought all the way to the chequered flag to try and regain the position but was unable to. He crossed the line just milliseconds behind.
For Auer, second place was an improvement, he still looked disappointed at not being able to find the pace he had here in May. “I had a pretty good start, Irfan didn’t really get off well, so I immediately managed the extra place and was behind Nabil.
“I didn’t really have the best pace but I managed to get into the slipstream. After a few laps, I could feel him getting slower then after the hairpin he nearly stopped and I could overtake him.
“I am happy with second place, we managed to get two positions and we will have to keep that for the next race” ended Auer.
Ilyas was surprised with his podium finish but was happy to have had an interesting battle with Cammish. “I had a good start but I had some trouble trying to get to the front of the pack and that’s where Lucas and Nabil managed to pull away. Then I had a moment at turn four and that’s where Daniel took me.
When Daniel was in front of me I just kept the pressure on him and kept my focus to overtake him so I can keep my tyres for the next round. It was a surprising result for me. In the last three laps, I saw Nabil slowing down and I thought this is a good chance for me to get on the podium, so pushed for third” he ended with a smile.
Cammish “it was really good, the car was better than yesterday and we had the pace. It all seemed quite good.
Akash Nandy crossed the line in fifth, just a four tenth of a second behind Cammish.
For Tan Wei Ron, it was a good first race, finishing sixth. “It’s my first experience in the JK car and I had a really interesting first race, it wasn’t too bad, I started ninth and finished sixth” said the Malaysian who is a guest driver for Eurointernational.
Freddie Ang who had a shunt at the end of the qualifying session yesterday, finished Round 15 in seventh after starting from twelfth ahead of the Eurasia Motorsport duo of Natasha Seatter and Aaron Chang.
Hiqmar Danial dropped down the order when he seemed to be having mechanical issues. “I don’t know, everyone just overtook me in the straight line. We will check the data later and see what happened”. Danial crossed the line in tenth ahead of Indian Raj Bharath and Malaysian Calvin Seibl.
For Jeffri, the team will have to repair his gearbox before the next race. “I had a good start. I was ahead of Lucas until the second last lap. Coming to turn nine, my gear just couldn’t change. I was stuck in second throughout the rest of the race. So it was quite disappointing for me” said Jeffri.
Round 16 of the JK Racing Asia Series is scheduled for 11.30am, Round 17 at 2.30pm and the final race of the season at 5.30pm on Sunday, 4th December 2011.
JK Tyre & Industries, the leading tyre manufacturer in India, is the title partner for the JK Racing Asia Series. The Series is also supported by AirAsia, Asia’s leading low-cost carrier.
The JK Racing Asia Series is currently the only Junior Formula that provides a unique opportunity where the drivers are given a platform to compete in front of the Formula One fraternity. On three occasions the JK Racing Asia Series will support Formula One Grand Prix, in Malaysia, Singapore and the newly built circuit in India.
The JK Racing Asia Series is organised by Motorsport Asia Ltd.