22 April 2015

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Asia Max Challenge
18-19 April 2015, Sepang International Kart Circuit

Jon returns to Malaysia after a one month break from round 1 of Asia Max Challenge (AMC). As usual, he was only able to arrive Sepang International Kart Circuit (Sepang) on Friday for his practice sessions due to his school commitments. Unlike most karters, they have been doing tests since Wednesday or Thursday. It was scorching hot on Friday afternoon with the temperature rising up to 40 degree C. In this round 2, the mechanic and Jon have decided to try a completely different set-up as compared to round 1. Based on the few practice sessions, the lap times were good but more important will be Saturday Qualifying.

In the Qualifying, Jon only managed 13th from 21 drivers as there was a miscommunication with the mechanics on the number of laps he should put on. Overall, he was satisfied with the kart handling and expect to have good races later in the afternoon. In Heat 1 and Heat 2, Jon finished at 9th and 11th respectively. This put him to start at 10th for the Pre-Final on the next day.

The weather forecasted that on Sunday, there will be some thunder storms. It was quite cloudy in the morning but soon it started to get hot again and the chances of thunder storms faded away. In the Pre-Final, Jon had a good race even though he dropped down a few positions in the start but was able to finish 10th eventually. The team anticipated a good race for the Final because Jon’s pace was good. Just some small adjustments were done to suit the ever changing track conditions and new set of tires.

In the Final, there was a pile up at turn one and unfortunately Jon was involved. By the time he recovered and drove out of the run-off grass area, he has dropped to position 19th. Unexpectedly, by the time he reached Turn 3, there was another pile up. This has resulted in Jon being able to climb up to position 11th. From there onwards, he started overtaking a few drivers to reach position 8th by lap 13th. It was not possible to catch the drivers in front as Jon lost too much time from the starting incident at turn 1. Eventually, Jon was able to finish the race with a respectable 8th position.

The team received many positives from the weekend in terms of set-up and strategy. This was just the second race in Senior for Jon and he was able to make big improvements, for sure he will be looking forward to the next race. Next round will be held at Elite Speedway circuit.

In between, Jon will be competing in the round 1 of Singapore Rok Cup 2015 (25 April) and X30 Challenge 2015 (2 May), both will be held in Singapore.

18 March 2015

Asia Max Challenge (Round 1)

Asia Max Challenge

After just three years in the Junior category, Jon is progressing to the Senior category this year as he turns 16 years old. He kick-starts his first Senior race in the Asia Max Challenge (AMC) held from 14 to 15 March at the Sepang International Kart Circuit (Sepang) with a brand new CRG chassis and race suit. Jon had to quickly get accustomed to his new chassis while his mechanic aka dad worked on tuning the kart to best suit the ever-changing track conditions. A total of 20 drivers from seven different countries competed in the Senior category. 

Jon arrived in Sepang on Thursday morning and promptly had his seating position set on the new CRG kart. Soon after that, he started making a few short runs on the track to get accustomed with the new kart and the two newly rebuilt senior engines converted from the junior engines. The mechanic did not do much race set-up on Thursday, just trying out some basic adjustments.

On Friday, various race set-up were conducted. New tires were used to gauge his pace which seems to be quite reasonable, fast enough to be in the top ten position. Late evening, a final set-up change was done to prepare for Saturday practice runs before Qualifying.

Saturday started with 2 practice sessions which ended with more data for the team to analyse. Just before Qualifying, changes were still being made to anticipate the ever changing track conditions. It turned out to be the wrong move as Jon’s lost his earlier pace by almost 8 tenths thus resulting him to qualify at position 19th. Nevertheless, Jon was able to finish both heats at 12th position.

Anticipating further track condition changes, the team decided to make more changes to be tested on Sun morning. Warm up session ended with a positive note considering the test was done on old tires. In the Pre-Final, the result turned out to be worse than expected. Jon lost his pace again thus dropping him to 16th position. The Final was held in the hot afternoon after lunch hour. The team discussed on the final set-up change and decided to go for the same direction as previous set-up. This proved to be the wrong direction again as Jon suffered severe under steer. Besides that, a bad start that dropped him to the back of the grid also make it difficult for him to chase the pack thus ending his race at 15th position. Not an ideal result but still proud that he came back top among the four experienced karters from Singapore.  

Round 2 of AMC will take place at Sepang again from 18-19 April 2015. With a better understanding of the CRG kart, for sure the team will be aiming for a better result.

17 March 2015

SMSA Annual Awards Night

SMSA Annual Awards Night
27 February 2015, Republic of Singapore Yacht Club

Invitation Letter - look carefully and you will notice the karter in the background is Jon.
Republic of Singapore Yacht Club.

Jon receiving his SKC 2014 overall championship award from Mr Kenneth Wong (VP, Karting Sport).

Jon and Kartmaster Drakar's team principal and members.