Asia Max Challenge
14-15 March 2015, Sepang International Kart Circuit
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.