KRS-KKS Rotax Max Challenge 2010 (RMC), Round 5
2-3 October 2010, Malaysia, Sepang Kart Circuit
It was a sweet completion for Jon to finish off round 5 (which is the last for the year 2010) of RMC in 5th podium position. Despite only his second time (this year) driving on the revised anti-clockwise direction of Sepang Kart Circuit, Jon tried his best to race on this unfamiliar circuit with a total of 22 racers competing in the Micromax category.
On 1st Oct, Friday - During the practise sessions, Jon spent two sessions to run in his rebuilt Micromax engine. With just four sessions to test out the different engine parameters and not much time left to do kart setting. He was almost a second off the pace from the front-runners. Nevertheless, Jon's mechanic (his father) managed to put in the best qualifying set up.
On 2nd Oct - Jon clinched a 4th position during Qualifying. However, this best qualifying set-up will also be the downfall to his heat 1 result. As Heat 1 was scheduled very close to Qualifying, the mechanic did not adjust the kart back to normal race condition causing him to drop back after just three laps and ended up in 9th by Lap 10. Not to be disappointed, Jon had a debriefing with his dad to make the necessary adjustments for tomorrow's races.
There was a heavy downpour on Saturday night which created some uncertainties on the track condition and kart setting for the race next day. This is something which most racers and mechanics fear and worried most. A wrong judgment and decision made by the mechanic on the kart could change the destiny of a race winner into a struggling backmarker.
Luckily, it was bright and sunny day on 3rd October. Heat 2 started and ended with no major incident and Jon came back where he started, 4th. Based on the points garnered, he will start from 4th in the Pre-Finals. Seems like everything was almost according to plan as Jon finished 3rd for the Pre-Finals. It was a tough field of strong contenders from all over the region at the front. Started from 3rd in the finals, Jon dropped back to 4th as the pole guy did not start well. After some tussling for positions, at one point, he dropped to 6th. With sheer determination, Jon fought his way back to the podium but only managed 5th spot finally.
Jon arrived home on Monday morning, slightly past midnight and headed straight to school after less than seven hours of sleep. Although overly exhausted but Jon was very happy, he said "It is one of the most "fulfilling" races so far, as my mechanic (father) was also taking part in the Senior race, I have to be very independent. From pushing my own kart to the Parc Femme and fixing up the tyres. I have also started carrying the kart down from the stand. Most important, our "father & son" team work has paid off. We returned home with two trophies as my dad was 3rd in position for the overall results."
As Jon will be sitting for his PSLE (Primary School Leaving Exam) exam next year, he will most likely give RMC a miss in 2011 and focus mainly in the Singapore Karting Championship.
Jon is looking forward to the round 5 (which is the last) of Singapore Karting Championship which will be held 13-14 November 2010 (new dates). Meanwhile, it's study time for him, his first SA2 exam will start on 5 Oct and last paper will end 29 Oct. Wish him all the best in his studies.
More pictures of the race can be viewed here...