PAC: Qi Meritus Sentul race report

INDONESIA'S RIO CAPS PERFECT WIN WITH FOUR WINS OUT OF FOUR Questnet Team Qi Meritus cemented their position at the top of the Formula BMW Pacific team championship as Indonesia's Rio Haryanto became the first driver to sweep all four races...

INDONESIA'S RIO CAPS PERFECT WIN WITH FOUR WINS OUT OF FOUR

Questnet Team Qi Meritus cemented their position at the top of the Formula BMW Pacific team championship as Indonesia's Rio Haryanto became the first driver to sweep all four races in one weekend in Formula BMW Asia Pacific history.

Sixteen-year-old Rio, dominated the Asian Festival of Speed at the 3.960km Sentul circuit, which is located just outside of Jakarta by taking all four pole positions and winning all four races and setting the fastest laps in all four events, to overtake Gary Thompson at the top of the drivers' standings.

Rio now has 146 points, to lead Thompson by 13 points, ahead of the next round of races, which will be held during the Singapore Formula 1 Grand Prix from Sept 25-27. Rio, who joined the defending team champions, for this season's championship, has now won six of this season's 10 races, including the last five.

"This has been the best weekend of my career as I have won all four races.I was under pressure to deliver in my home race and I'm glad I managed to do so," said a delighted Rio, who besides winning six races, also has two podium finishes.

Team manager Firhat Mokhzani said: "It was a great weekend for the team and Rio personally. It was perfect racing as he won all four races, took all four pole positions and set the fastest laps in all four races. It is really quite amazing.

"Rio was under tremendous pressure today as Thompson, Axcil Jefferies and Akhil Khushlani all pushed him hard but could not find a chink in Rio's armour. These results have boosted our confidence as are now on target to defend both the drivers' and team championships. We will have a short break before the next round in Sinagpore, where we hope to continue our good work."

In the first race of the day, Rio and second-place Fahmi Ilyas had a slight coming together in Lap 1, allowing Thompson to slip by and move into the lead. However, Rio re-gained the lead on the first turn of Lap 5 after a slight coming together between him and Thompson. Rio then finished the job with a 3.577 second lead over Thompson. Axcil Jefferies finished third while another Meritus driver, Dustin Sofyan was fifth in 23:39.972s.

In the last race of the weekend, Rio once again took off like a rocket and although the chasing pack tried to close the gap, there was no way they could keep up with him once he had his nose in front. Rio took the chequered flag with a time of 23:19.860s with Jefferies second in 23:21.622s. Dustin, meanwhile, kept up his impressive form to finish fourth in 23:37.204s.

-credit: qm

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About this article
Series Formula BMW
Drivers Akhil Khushlani , Axcil Jefferies , Fahmi Ilyas , Rio Haryanto , Gary Thompson , Dustin Sofyan