Monday, August 08, 2016

Motorsport: Results of Ferrari Challenge Asia Pacific 2016 Round Four Race 1 & Race 2 at the Sepang International Circuit

Last weekend saw the Ferrari Challenge Asia Pacific Round 4 races at Sepang International Circuit. A total of 31 Drivers from 13 countries participated in the races. All were driving the same car, the Ferrari 458 Challenge EVO on a circuit where the ambient temperature reached over 51 degrees Celsius. Tough, challenging and fun. Even for those  of us watching from the sidelines.

I attended Race 2, which was held on Sunday. You can read some details about how the driver's thought of the track and some other bits over there. Below are the official results and media release from Ferrari.

The next round marks the return of the Ferrari Challenge to Singapore’s street circuit after an absence of 4 years in support of the Formula One Grand Prix from 16 – 18 September 2016.

MEDIA RELEASE (with more photos too!)

Ferrari Challenge Asia Pacific 2016 Round Four Race 1

A Deja-Vu Victory for Steve Wyatt and
Wins also for Xin Jin and Liang Wang

Sepang, 6th August 2016 – Ferrari Challenge Asia Pacific Round 4 Race-1 at Sepang International Circuit turned out to be full of thrills and drama. With 31 drivers from 13 countries participating in the race, the 5.543 km circuit was an adrenaline-filled affair for the spectators, with the hot and humid weather contributing to the fierce battle on the first day. 

Trofeo Pirelli
The first race of the weekend was very much a matter of deja-vu for Steve Wyatt from Australia, who claimed the same win one year ago during Race 1 at Sepang. As the lights turned green, pole-sitter Wyatt got off to a brilliant start to lead the field, while Alexander West from Sweden challenged hard throughout the entire race but just couldn’t rein in Wyatt. West was in constant attacking mode at turn 9 and tried a few thrilling overtaking manoeuvres but Wyatt managed to fend off West with equally superb counter-moves. In third place was Florian Merckx from Belgium. Sepang International Circuit is Steve Wyatt’s favourite track and he commented during the press conference that he really enjoyed the resurfaced track. He felt that the technical track flows well and didn’t have to brake as hard because one corner flows on to the next. He had a very good race.

Pirelli AM
In the battle for Pirelli AM class honours, the win went to table leader Xin Jin from China after a dramatic close race with fellow compatriot Huilin Han. Jin put in some solid laps to hold the category lead. A respectable third place went to Greg Teo from Singapore.

Coppa Shell
In the Coppa Shell classification, Liang Wang from China maintained his lead throughout the first race of the weekend. He was followed closely by Makoto Fujiwara from Japan, who finished in second place. And in third place was Yuan Yang from China. Interestingly, all 3 Coppa Shell podium winners finished within one second of each other. The winner of the Gentlemen Cup, Tamotsu Kondo from Japan, put in a good effort to finish mid-field overall. 

Race 2 Press Release

Ferrari Challenge Asia Pacific 2016 Round Four Race 2

Dual Wins for Wyatt and Wang; Han takes Pirelli AM

Sepang, 7th August 2016 – The fourth round of the Asia Pacific Ferrari Challenge ended today at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia amidst very high track temperatures hovering around 50 degrees Celsius. If the first race was dramatic, the second was spectacular. Despite the fierce battle among the 26 drivers in the field, Steve Wyatt from Australia and Chinese Liang Wang repeat their wins from Race-1 in their respective classifications.  Huilin Han from China took the Pirelli AM classification.

Trofeo Pirelli
Steve Wyatt started in pole position once again; this is after all one of his favourite tracks.   In the face of wheel to wheel battle with Indonesian Renaldi Hutasoit at the start, Wyatt managed to distance himself from the pack after 3 laps. Wyatt proved unbeatable and came in first for the second time this weekend.  Hutasoit took second spot, closely followed home by fellow compatriot David Tjiptobiantoro. Florian Merckx from Belgium found himself starting at the back of the grid due to a pit-lane infringement. Despite fighting his way up to fourth position at the end of lap 7 and taking the fastest lap time of 2”11.909, the gap was simply too wide for him.  With this victory, Wyatt extended his lead in the standings over Hutasoit and Merckx. Both challengers have the races in Singapore and Fuji as well as Finali Mondiali in Daytona to try and play catch-up.

Pirelli AM
Xin Jin from China was keen to continue his winning streak in the Pirelli AM classification and found himself leading his classification up to lap 13 when he had to suffer a drive-through penalty. Fellow compatriot Huilin Han, who was following closely behind, took the opportunity to forge ahead and found himself at the top of the podium steps. Eric Cheung from Canada finished second behind Han while Jin grabbed the consolatory final spot on the podium.

Coppa Shell
Liang Wang from China maintained his lead in the Coppa Shell standings table with an easy win over Ken Seto from Japan and Sam Lok from Hong Kong, second and third finishers respectively. Seto and Lok, despite trying to pull off an exciting come-back to chase Wang, simply could not find the opportunity to overtake him. The Gentlemen’s Cup went to Paul Montague from Australia.

Next Round
The next round marks the return of the Ferrari Challenge to Singapore’s street circuit after an absence of 4 years in support of the Formula One Grand Prix from 16 – 18 September.

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