19 May 2015

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Asia Max Challenge
16-17 May 2015, Elite Speedway Malaysia

After two rounds of AMC in Sepang, the third round was held at Elite Speedway Plus Circuit. The team arrived at the track on Thursday late morning. It was a hectic day of testing and data gathering. The last time Jon drove on this track was March 2014. Since then, the team discovered that the track has changed a lot. It is bumpier and the track tarmac surface has become rougher thus previous set-up data is redundant. After Thursday and Friday practice runs, the team has managed to find reasonably good race pace.

Qualifying as usual was held on Saturday afternoon after lunch time. As the track is less than 1km, traffic proved to be a factor during qualifying and Jon was impeded, thus he only managed to qualify at 9th position. Since Jon started racing in the Senior class, his qualifying position has continued to progress, from 19th in Rd1, 13th in Rd2 and now at position 9th.

In Heat 1 and 2, Jon did not have good starts and dropped to the back only to chase back and finished at position 11th and 12th respectively. Nevertheless, in the Pre-Final, Jon started from 13th and managed to climb back a few spots to position 10th.

Before the start of the Final, the team discovered some issues with the engine flywheel. The mechanic contemplated on repairing the flywheel or making an engine change. Eventually deciding for the first option. The Final started with Jon making a few passes after three laps. He was already in 7th position and gaining on the front pack. To the team dismay, disaster struck when the engine flywheel came loose while Jon was going high speed downhill resulting in a DNF.

It was a disappointing end for Jon even though he has really good pace.

Next round it will be Elite again. For sure, the team will be more prepared to prevent mechanical issues again.

3 May 2015

X30 Challenge 2015 (Round 1)

X30 Challenge 2015
2 May 2015, KF1 Circuit

After participating in three Senior Category races this year, Jon is adapting well in the new category.

If you are wondering why Jon is racing in the Junior category in the X30 Challenge 2015, it’s because we chose to. Starting this year, the Singapore Motor Sports Association has decided not to state the category in the racing license. This makes it easier and gives flexibility to a karter to decide on the preferred race category during his transition period.

Racing in Round 1 of Rok Cup 2015 a week ago, Jon and his mechanic encountered many problems with the ROK DVS engine which they are using for the first time. This week, they are trying out the Iame X30 engine which they have never used before.

So why are they taking so much risks with those engines? It’s all done with the good intention to support new local races. Furthermore, they will use an old Kosmic kart to race in the X30 Challenge, which can’t fit front brakes as required in the Senior Category

Race results
                                                                         Qualifying:     1st
                                                                         Race 1:          1st
                                                                         Race 2:          1st
                                                                         Overall:          1st 

This is the first time that Jon has competed in three different races held back-to-back over three weekends. With eight more days of examination papers to clear, Jon would have to shift his focus from the track to his textbooks. Hope he passes with flying colours!

More pictures of the race can be viewed here (facebook of X30 Challenge Singapore)

29 April 2015

Rok Cup 2015 (Round 1)

Rok Cup 2015
25 April 2015, KF1 Circuit

Thanks to Uncle Rick (on extreme left), who was
Jon's mechanic on Friday.
Uncle Peter (on extreme left) was helping
Jon on his kart seat setting.

It was a whole new experience for Jon to kart and race for the first time in a MS Kart mated to a ROK DVS engine. And we are glad to announce that Jon will be racing under the Senior DVS as a sponsored driver with Element Motorsports Team. Many thanks to Uncle Peter for this fantastic opportunity.

After classes in school ended on Friday afternoon, Jon headed straight to the KF1 circuit for the kart seat setting. With only half a day left, setting up his ‘new’ kart proved to be very challenging. In addition, he had to quickly get accustomed to the unfamiliar track. Unfortunately it was raining the whole afternoon and Jon was not able to run-in his engine till late evening. There is almost no dry setting data as the track was still wet till the last session which ended at 10pm.

Unlike most races that start early in the morning, the ROK Cup kick-starts at 12.35pm with a drivers briefing followed by the first and only 8-minute official practice session for drivers in the Senior DVS category.

The early afternoon practise session was conducted in the dry with very worn tires. Anticipating better times with new tires, no further adjustment was done on the kart. Nevertheless, come Qualifying in the afternoon, a sudden thunderstorm resulted in a declaration of Wet Race.

Qualifying did not end well for Jon as he only managed to secure position 6. It was discovered that the team has got the gearing all wrong even from yesterday. Jon’s kart was losing out too much when coming out of corners. With that, a much bigger sprocket was changed and the team waited anxiously for Final 1.

Picture courtesy of Mr Bernard Seah

Final 1 was a wet race too as the track has not dried yet. It was a straight forward race without much incident and Jon was able to secure position 4 soon. He tried to catch the driver in front but was unable to do so as he was unfamiliar with the carburetion setting. As the laps went by, it seems that the kart is getting slower and eventually he had to settle for 4th.

Picture courtesy of Mr Bernard Seah

Picture courtesy of Mr Bernard Seah

In Final 2, the track has dried up and everyone changed back to slicks. Jon had a good start and was able to move up two positions. Subsequently, a tussle with three other karts ensued and Jon dropped to 4th position. For the next few laps, Jon was trading 3rd and 4th but eventually broke away. Unfortunately, later part of the race, the same issue that made his kart slowed down happened again. He was losing pace due to carburetion and even though he tried to tune the carburettor but to no avail. Eventually Jon had to settle for 4th, just missing out on the podium.

This is the first time Jon raced the ROK DVS engine and there are still so much that he need to learn, especially on the carburettor tuning while racing.

The MS Kart was quite good to drive and I didn't have to adjust much. However, the ROK DVS engine was much harder to set because the carburettor was very erratic which I had to adjust much more than the KF engine," said Jon, who was rather frustrated throughout the race.

As he prepares for his upcoming mid-year examination, Jon would have to, once again, juggle his time between sports and studies because he will return to the KF1 Circuit a week later to compete in the X30 Challenge 2015 on 2 May.