AP: Meritus Racing Indonesia Friday notes

Mount Earl Erupts in Indonesia ! Sentul Circuit Indonesia 21/07/06: Earl Bamber (Wanganui - Team Meritus) arrived in Jakarta two days ago for Rds 9,10&11 of the Formula BMW Asia championship. The cool young man from Wanganui never ...

Mount Earl Erupts in Indonesia !

Sentul Circuit Indonesia 21/07/06: Earl Bamber (Wanganui - Team Meritus) arrived in Jakarta two days ago for Rds 9,10&11 of the Formula BMW Asia championship. The cool young man from Wanganui never blinked when he heard that his team's hotel (15min from the circuit) was shaken by a 6.9 earthquake! As this is the norm in Indonesia life never stopped and the organizers of the Asian Festival of Speed ran all the practice sessions on the 3.969km Sentul A1GP circuit on time.

The Sentul circuit, situated in a tropical jungle one hour from Jakarta (with a recently-erupted volcano providing a picture postcard backdrop) is hosting its first AFOS event in almost ten years. Unlike the Sepang Circuit in Malaysia (where the first five rounds of FBMW were held), Earl has no knowledge of the Indonesian national circuit and caused eruptions when he put his Formula BMW on the top of the time sheets, 0.2sec ahead of his championship rival Sam Abay and over 0.4sec ahead of local boy Zahir Ali.

However the event did not start well for the 15-yea-old Wanganui boy as he was well off the pace during Thursday's testing, partially caused by a 24- hour delay in Auckland when he missed the flight to Indonesia by a fog- bound plane and only got four hour's sleep before free practice yesterday.

Says Earl: "I was making a few mistakes and while I had very little sleep I felt that I was not pushing hard enough. However the team studied the data and there was suffient reason for them to change the engine over night. This morning's first outing I was just pipped by Sam Abay, however after a few changes in the 2nd session when both the car and the track came good, I outpaced Sam for the first time during this event and now I very confident for tomorrow's qualifying"

Tomorrow Earl has 30 minutes to qualify for round 9 of the Formula BMW series where he is placed 26 points behind championship leader Sam Abay, following Earl's recent event in Beijing where his car failed in qualifying causing him to lose his championship lead to arch rival Abay from Melbourne Australia. Rds 10 and 11 take place on Sunday!

-mr-

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Series Formula BMW
Drivers Sam Abay , Earl Bamber