29 June 2015

Rok Cup 2015 (Round 3)

Rok Cup 2015 (Round 3)
27 June 2015, KF1 Circuit

picture courtesy of Mr Bernard Seah

After racing in round 2 of the Rok Cup, Jon experienced great pain on his right ribs. A visit to the doctor concluded that there was nothing to be alarmed about. The doctor said the pain was most likely caused by a muscle pull and that a good rest should heal it.

Our own evaluation is that Jon had probably been practicing too hard. His pre-race practices had lasted from 10am to 10pm, so it’s no wonder that the intensive training has taken a toll on both Jon and his race engine. Therefore, we decided to go easy during his preparation for round 3.

The first practice was carried out on Wednesday night (three days before race day) with the help of Mr. Imran Zaharias. Many people were shocked to see Jon, the CRG driver from Singapore, driving another new chassis (again)! Well, the reason is because the team sold the "one race chassis" which put him on the podium in round 2. The buyer had insisted on the chassis which Jon has driven instead of a brand new one.

This round 3 was raced for the first time in the clockwise configuration and it was interesting to see who performed well and who faltered. It was sunny skies throughout the whole Saturday making it easy for the mechanics to concentrate on dry settings only. The Senior DVS Qualifying was done in two sessions as it was stopped after a driver crashed at the last turn and then it was restarted again. During the first session, Jon was able to secure a provisional 2nd position. Unfortunately, in the next session, while he was just about to do his hot lap, the engine seized as he was about to take turn 2. As other drivers managed to better their times before the red flag came out again, Jon had to settle for 4th.

The team frantically removed the seized engine and exchanged it with another drawn engine. After that, the engine was briefly being run-in on the kart stand. At the same time, the carburettor settings were tuned slightly richer to allow a race cum run-in procedure for Pre-final.

In Pre-Final, Jon had a good start and was already in 3rd after turn 2. Subsequently he was able to pass the driver in front and started chasing the first position kart. As the carburettor setting is not ideal for hard racing, Jon was not able to follow the pole kart but he was still able to keep the third driver at bay. In lap 13, the driver behind tried to make a pass at turn 11 even though he was not close enough. The ambitious move resulted in Jon’s rear left being entangled with the kart from behind causing both karts to be passed by the forth driver. Luckily, Jon still managed to get the kart going and defended 3rd position till the end of the 16 lap race.

Final was held in the night with the track lights illuminating the whole circuit. Starting from 3rd, Jon was able to overtake into 2nd after the first lap but in lap 3, he lost the position back to the same driver. Even though Jon and the second position driver were tussling for positions, they were still able to close in on the pole driver. In Lap 8, the second position driver made a move on the pole driver but it did not go well as his kart stalled and ended his race. While this was happening, Jon took the opportunity to pass both of them at the same time. From then on, Jon just put in laps after laps of best times and started to pull away from the rest. After 20 laps of racing, Jon achieved his first race victory as a Senior after three months in this category. Nevertheless, the ROK cup podium positions are derived from both the Pre-Final and  Final points scored thus Jon was declared as the 1st runner up for this round 3. With this great result, Jon is now leading in the championship with still one more round to go in 2 weeks’ time.

Congrats to Team TPCRG for winning the “Best Team” award!

                                                         * STC Rok Cup - Round 3 Standings (courtesy of KF1's facebook)

Many thanks again to Team TPCRG and Team Principal, Mr. Lawrence for making this race possible!

After the month-long holidays, Jon will be back in school on 29 June. With less than a week’s break, the next race will be round 2 of X30 Challenge on 4 July 2015. 

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