6 July 2015

X30 Challenge 2015 (Round 2)

X30 Challenge 2015 (Round 2)
4 July 2015, KF1 Circuit

After racing in round 2 and 3 of the ROK Cup 2015 as the driver of Team TPCRG, Jon was delighted to know that his efforts have paid off because Team Principal, Mr. Lawrence has agreed to extend his sponsorship for Jon, including the X30 Challenge 2015, from round 2 onwards.

Unlike the ROK cup which extends its Friday practice sessions till late evening, the X30 Challenge only has five sessions that ended before 6pm. School lessons for Jon ends around 1pm, so he was only able to have two sessions of practice and kart setting up. It was crucial for Jon to maximize the two sessions as the team do not have any data of running an X30 engine on a CRG kart. During the first session, the set-up was not ideal at all and major changes were done. On the second and final practice session, Jon was able to improve his lap times closer to the front runners but the testing was cut short as his engine was overheated. Luckily, the engine did not seize and it was found that a faulty water pump was to blame. With minimum testing, the team will have to rely on the Saturday’s warm up session to get things right.

On race day (Saturday), it was a big surprise for everyone as it was raining heavily in the morning. The kart was re-set completely for rain during the warm up session but in the Qualifying session, as the track started drying, all the teams frantically changed the kart back to dry setting at the Parc Femme. Initially, Jon was able to do some reasonable lap times but during his final hot lap that would have resulted in pole, he was impeded by slower karts thus ending his charge and only able to secure 3rd position.

In the Race 1, Jon did not make progress by finishing 3rd. Upon returning to the pit, lack of testing on the dry confirmed that there were still some issues with the kart handling. The team make some final adjustments before the Final race during the break time.

In the Race 2, Jon had a good start and was able to secure 2nd position. For the next 10 laps, it was a three way fight between the front runners. On lap 13th of the 16 lap race, suddenly the third driver had a mechanical issue and ended his race. This has given the opportunity for Jon to concentrate chasing down the pole driver but it was not to be. On the same lap but at a different part of the track, it was Jon’s kart turn to experience a mechanical issue. It was heartbreaking for the Team, as they saw Jon rolled to a stop at the run-off area.

Even though Jon had a DNF in the Final, based on the points system, he was still able to stand on the podium for 5th place. It was damage limitation as Jon was still in the lead for the championship due to the huge lead he garnered from round 1.

Next weekend, Rok Cup Singapore 2015 will hold its fourth and final round. This is a crucial round as it will determine the overall championship winner. Good Luck to all!

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