30 April 2012

Singapore Karting Championship 2012 - Round 1

Singapore Karting Championship 2012
28-29 April 2012, Kartright Speedway

Goodbye Cadet, hello Junior!

Round One of the
Singapore Karting Championship 2012 (SKC) kicks off on 28 April. Two-time SKC Cadet champion, Jon Lee, has parted with his beloved Cadet kart and hopped into a Junior kart, which he will drive to compete in his first race in Singapore.

The Junior category, which is opened to karters between the age of 13-15, has attracted the most entries among the five different categories. A total of 11 entries were received and it included the two-time SKC Junior champion, two fearless female racers (the only category with female participants) and four karters (including Jon) who have progressed to Junior this year. This is Jon's third year racing in the SKC, and his third
consecutive year to be sponsored by Drakar Racing Team and Motul. It was nerve-wrecking to watch Jon race in such a competitive and challenging category, especially when the kart is slightly oversized for his relatively small built. But with a newly merged team, Kartmaster Drakar Racing Team, Jon is all set to race in a Junior kart that comes with a more powerful 125cc KF3 engine. Besides changes to the kart, Jon also dons a new stunning Kartmaster Drakar Racing Team suit.

Saturday Qualifying saw Jon only managed fourth spot as he was just 2 hundredths of a second off the third driver. As two front drivers were penalized for crossing the blend line, this has promoted Jon up to second. Starting from second for both heats, Jon managed to finish third and this will be his starting grid position for the Pre-final.

On Sunday, at the 1st corner of the Pre-final start, the second position kart stalled as he tried to charge in and brake too hard. This has caused Jon to take an avoiding move and loose one spot. He tried overtaking numerous times but the driver in front was taking a very defensive line throughout the race and eventually has to settle for fourth.

In the Finals, Jon had a good start and managed to make an overtaking pass at turn 2. From there, he was able to break away with the front two drivers. With about five laps to go, the front two drivers were involved in a minor collision. This has given Jon the opportunity to jump up to second. Just as he was about to take the last turn towards the beginning of the last lap, Jon was bumped out but he still manages to cross the finishing line in third. Nevertheless, due to the bumping incident, the driver responsible was penalized 10 seconds thus promoting Jon back up to second.

"It was a challenging and tough race but I had fun racing with the older boys. This is the first time and a great achievement for me to race at Kartright Speedway for continuous 25 laps. Although I was very fatigued, I continued to push myself and endured until I crossed the chequered flag," said Jon.

We would like to thank Kartmaster Drakar Racing Team, Motul, CooperVision and Eagle Eye Centre for their sponsorship and great support.

Round Two of the SKC will take place 30 June to 1 July at a new venue, F1 Village. However, the dates coincide with Round 1 of the Asian Karting Open Championship 2012 (AKOC) which will kick off in Macau. Although Jon is committed to race in SKC and AKOC, however, he can only race in either one.

more pictures of the race can be viewed here (Jon's Photo Gallery) and here (Drakar Racing Team's Facebook)

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