Returning Drivers Return to Top Form
The first day of the Asian Festival Of Speed, held today at Sepang International Circuit saw each Series' favourites move into the top pack of their respective class as predicted.
In the Asian Touring Car Series, Malaysian driver Eric Yeo made a stunning comeback and was right on form since winning the 2008 title in Macau last November.
The 38-year-old Malaysian clocked the fastest time in the unofficial practice session today. Yeo registered 2:30.631s, 0.149s ahead of Race 1 winner Cheung Chi Sing of Hong Kong while another local favourite, TJ Chin completed the day in third.
"It was a good outing and I hope to be able to keep the momentum and qualify in pole position tomorrow," said Yeo. Despite emerging champion for Division 2 last year, Yeo will not be contesting the full season to defend his title due to other commitments.
In Formula V6 Asia, the return of Bahraini Hamad Al Fardan of Dynaten Motorsports is all set to bag the season opener after recording the fastest time in today's practice session.
Al Fardan clocked 2:01.295s, a second faster than teammate Ro-Charlez with Champ Motorsport's Kevin Chen coming in third fastest.
"There is still some under and over steer with the car but the engineers are working to fix the problem," said the man dubbed as the 'Rain King of Bahrain'.
"I can't be taking things easy as the rest will definitely be upping their pace, so I'm expecting a tough weekend," he added.
Making a debut in the GT3 Asia championship is Singaporean Mok Weng Sun who quickly emerged on top during the free practice session. Mok, driving the Porsche Club Singapore Racing car, only attended the third session and straight away got on pace despite having never driven this car on the full track.
Malaysia's Tunku Hammam Sulong, who previously won in Shanghai, was 1.388s behind Mok. "It is definitely going to be an interesting race between Mok and myself as we have been sparing partners for quite some time now".
Team Machine's Sam Yau was the third fastest driver in his Lambourghini Gallardo, registering a time of 2:12.857s.
Young Irish driver and Championship points leader, Gary Thompson clocked 2:12.280s, to set the fastest time of the day in Formula BMW Pacific.
His Malaysian teammate, Fahmi Ilyas was just 0.017s behind while Australian Chris Wootton of Eurasia was third with a best time of 2:11.386s.
"The team has been working really hard all week to get the car ready and it all came together today. I hope we will carry the pace through the weekend," said the Dublin born lad.
The Asian Festival Of Speed will be held at Sepang International Circuit from 30-31 May 2009. The event promises to bring lots of racing action with 10 action-packed races being held over the course of two days.
Spectators coming to see the event will also be able to catch some interesting side events with the GRA Gymkhana, Rally X and Turn It Up DJ's at the paddock area while being surrounded by a spectacular Car Club display by various Car Clubs from around Malaysia at the grandstand.
NAZA Group will be setting up two stunning car displays, one at the Paddock and the other at the Mall area while Kayu Nasi Kandar will be setting up two 'mamak' stalls at the circuit.
Ever present at the events are the bevy of beautiful AFOS Race Queens.
Entrance to the Asian Festival Of Speed is Free.
There is a special RM10 pass that allows access to the Pit-Walkabout, Paddock Rooftop and the air-conditioned dining area at the Paddock.