|Challenging Seven Way Battle for ATCS Season Finale in Bira|
The Asian Touring Car Series season finale will be held this weekend at the Bira International Circuit in Pattaya, Thailand during one of the biggest Thai touring car weekends. Rounds 8, 9 and 10 of the season will be held at the 2.4km circuit as part of the Chonburi SuperCar Thailand race.
Man Ting Yu heads to Bira as the ATCS Championship leader, for the first time, with a six point lead over compatriot Cheung Chi Sing. The duo, from Team IMSP-S&D, both began competing in the Asian Touring Car Series in 2006 and are chasing their first Championship win, but the duo will have to fight hard as seven drivers are still able to grab the Championship title in the closing stages of the Series.
The two Hong Kong natives have always adopted very different approaches to racing. Man maintains a cool steady pace over the race weekend and consistently places himself in the points. So far he has climbed on the podium in five out of the seven rounds and finished every race this year in the points. His win at the Sentul International Circuit last month pushed him to the lead that he holds entering the final race weekend.
Meanwhile, Cheung has always been fast, running at the head of the pack in most races and he equals Man’s tally of five podiums in the seven races held so far. Cheung’s three wins and two second places have kept him ahead in the Championship until his DNF in Sentul, which relegated him to second with a six point deficit.
Third on the Championship points table is Frank Yee from S&D Motorsports, who has collected a total of 50 points. Early in the season, Yee seized the Championship lead at the Sepang International Circuit, when he took the round 2 win ahead of Man and Gary Sham, coming away from the weekend with 23 points.
Behind Yee is Malaysian driver Adrian Henry D’Silva of JPM Nexus Racing. D’Silva has collected a total of 46 points, after three third places and two fourth placed finishes. D’Silva is upbeat coming into this weekend after a mixed weekend in Sentul, but steady driving has given him an edge and pushed him up the table into fourth from sixth.
The Asian Festival Of Speed in Sepang saw the emergence of a new championship competitor when Malaysian youngster Chin Tzer Jinn participated and dominated the weekend claiming both wins which immediately propelled him into the limelight. Currently, Chin lies fifth on the points table, just one point behind his JPM Nexus Racing teammate.
Hong Kong race legend Danny Stacy Chau is also in contention for the Championship win. The Team IMSP-S&D driver will be looking to chalk up another achievement on his belt. His outings so far have produced varying results including two second placed finishes that puts him in sixth with 43 points.
The seventh driver on the Championship ladder that can claim the Championship win this weekend is Gary Sham. Sham has also had very mixed results so far with two third placed finishes, but he has consistently placed himself in the points and is trailing Danny Chau by only one point.
With a total of 45 points being given out this weekend, these seven drivers will have a chance to chase for the Title but there are those that look stronger in the recent races than others.
Man Ting Yu is the only driver in the mix that has completed every race this season and his consistency can play a very important role in allowing him the win. But Man is confident that although he will do well this weekend, he thinks his teammate, Cheung, will have the best chance at winning the Championship.
“I will definitely try my best but I know that it will be Cheung that will take the Championship trophy this weekend. He has the speed and the skill to do it” he said after the untimed practice session today.
Cheung will be a strong competitor this weekend but he will have to keep an eye on the young Malaysian driver who has proven to be quite strong in his outings so far. But Cheung will be at an advantage as he knows the Bira Circuit while this will be Chin’s first outing at the Pattaya circuit.
Qualifying for the Asian Touring Car Series will be held on Saturday, 12 September 2009 at 12.20pm local time while Round 9 will be held at 4.45pm on the same day. Rounds 9 & 10 will be held on Sunday, 13 September 2009 at 12.05pm and 4.45pm respectively.