Stuvik and Bala win final races, Sritrai claims runner-up spot Asia Racing Team finished the season on high notes, winning the two races at the season's finale in Zhuhai. 2010 AFR Series Champion Sandy Stuvik added one more victory to his ...
Stuvik and Bala win final races, Sritrai claims runner-up spot
Asia Racing Team finished the season on high notes, winning the two races at the season's finale in Zhuhai. 2010 AFR Series Champion Sandy Stuvik added one more victory to his collection as he and the surprising Suriya Bala shared the race wins. Tin Sritrai overcame a nightmare weekend start, and claimed the runner-up spot in the series with a reserve car.
Qualifying saw five drivers covered by half second at top of timesheets, and Suriya putting in a stunning effort to qualify in second position. While Chi Cong Li and Stuvik, who got penalized for driving out bound, did their race chances a lot of good by locking-out the second row, championship runner up contender Sritrai had a torrid time with an engine problem. The team have opted to replace the engine in Sritrai's reserve car and the 20-year-old native of Khon Kaen, who damaged the monocoque of his regular car on Friday's Free Practice, started from the back of the grid. Zhang Ran qualified ninth.
Race 1 saw an extraordinary getaway of Bala up to first position. Completely fearless the Singaporean rising star stood up the pressure upfront and went onto to take his first race victory in fine style. 2010 Champion Stuvik qualified down in fourth, but came through to finish second, benefitting from his teammate Chi Cong Li spin in the last lap. The Guangzhou driver was second for the most of the race and faded badly trying to avoid hitting a backmaker. Starting from the back, Sritrai built up speed sensibly to finish fourth. Zhang Ran spun out of eight, but managed to cross the line in the same position.
Enjoying his best weekend of the season, Pole-Position Suriya had a short race as his engine blew up in the first lap, which allowed Stuvik to inherit the first position. Once at the front the talented Thai stretched his legs to win by over four seconds. Second place at Race 2 was enough for Sritrai to clinch the AFR Series first runner up by three points over Top Speed's Samin Gomez. Starting from fourth, Sritrai jumped to second in the first. He successfully managed to hold the position and pull out a few seconds gap by the end of the race to finish in second place. The China's brightest single seater prospect Chi Cong Li overtook three cars during the ten-lap race to finish fifth. Zhang Ran had a less eventful race to finish ninth.
Asia Racing Team clinched the AFR Series' team championship while Sandy Stuvik clinched the Driver points championship, followed by his teammate Tin Sritrai, and the "Asian Drivers Category".
#3 Tin Sritrai (THA)
Q: 10th / R1: 4th /R2: 2nd
"We had a tough weekend but I am quite happy with second place in the championship. I've learnt a huge amount this year, in what has been a very exiting season. I now have gained more experience, my starts are better and generally, I am doing better than at the start of the season. I'd like to sincerely thank my backers and team for their tremendous support."
#5 Suriya Bala (SIN)
Q: 2nd / R1: 1st / R2: DNF
"It's my first win in motorsports. This is the perfect way to end the season. It was a fantastic Race 1, one of the best of my career I think. I did a good start and I never looked back. I pushed as hard as I could and kept my head down. I want to thanks to my team and my family for great support they given to me throughout the season. I am looking forward to 2011."
#6 Zhang Ran (CHI)
Q: 9th / R1: 8th / R2: 9th
"I am happy with my weekend as I did my quickest lap time ever in Zhuhai circuit in Race 1. I had a good start but unfortunately I spun out twice. Before the Race 2, my goal was to make a good start and then stay out of all troubles. I managed to do so. I learnt a lot from my team this year."
#9 Chi Cong Li (CHI)
Q: 3rd / R1: DNF / R2: 5th
"It was a so-so weekend for me. A backmacker spoilt my chances to finish in the podium in Race 1. I was second for most of the race and to avoid to smash my car into Suriya's car I ended up spinning. I'm fairly happy with fifth in Race 2, but frustrated that I couldn't get past more cars at the start. I got the maximum out of the race, that was all I could manage today."
#15 Sandy Stuvik (THA)
Q: 4th / R1: 2nd / R2: 1st
"Even though the championship was already settled I did my best over the weekend. I am happy with the second place in Race 1 as Suriya deserved to win. In Race 2 I saw I had a chance to win, and I took it. I am very happy to win the championship with ART, and I want to show my gratitude to The Pizza Company, Dacon Inspection and TUV SUD PSB for the opportunity they gave me this season, hoping to have a chance to come back somehow next season."
-source: art motorsports