22 April 2015

Asia Max Challenge (Round 2)

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.

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