Asia: Series Okayama race two report

A Slippery and Wet Pole to Flag Win for Championship Leader It was a cold and wet Round 8 of the Formula V6 Asia where Earl Bamber further extended his lead in the Championship with another pole to flag win. The race was started...

A Slippery and Wet Pole to Flag Win for Championship Leader

It was a cold and wet Round 8 of the Formula V6 Asia where Earl Bamber further extended his lead in the Championship with another pole to flag win. The race was started behind the Safety Car and was timed out with only 24-laps of the 28-laps done.

Bamber managed a clean start and pulled away as soon as the safety car pit in and kept shaving off his laptimes. "The race was under a different condition today so we changed it up a lot and the team did a good job with the set-up. We had a safety car start so it was a little bit easier. From there I managed to keep a good pace and control the race and yes, it was a good race for the team.

"It was a fantastic weekend and we managed to extend our lead in the Championship. Its been all around a good weekend, we had a lot of pace and hopefully the pace can continue in Shanghai" said Bamber during the post race press conference.

Thailand's James Grunwell and Australian driver, Isa-Ro Charlez followed Bamber for the first lap before the slippery track caught Grunwell into a spin. Grunwell lost his position to Charlez and rejoined the race at the end of the grid.

Although Grunwell tried to catch up with the leaders, catching up to third placed Koh twice, but he could not find a way past the Singaporean and ended his race on lap 12 when he drove wide into a gravel bed.

"From the out lap I knew I had a good car and had the pace. Earl pulled away in the first corner then after that the rest of the lap I was catching him. I felt really confident in the car, obviously too confident, and I spun going up the hill and dropped to last. Then I came up again and went back to last again" said a dejected Grunwell after the race.

Charlez benefitted from the mistakes of Grunwell, claiming his second podium of the weekend when he crossed the line in second. "The race start was pretty boring, there wasn't too much going on so we just went around the track trying to find where the grip was. We knew we would be faster than James but we weren't too fast to get him at the start but we knew we could get him in the race."

Hafiz Koh of TaraDTM, who started the race in fourth, benefitted from Grunwell's spin finishing for the first time this season on the podium in third. The Singaporean driver kept his pace and stuck to his line even when the fast charging Grunwell caught up with him.

"We had the pace from the first race yesterday so I knew I had the time but with the weather today, the approach was different. For me it was a big guessing game and we were trying to find the different lines in the race.

"I had to defend my position from James because he had a lot more speed. I think the team did a good job in giving me the car that was relatively grippy in the wet" said a very happy Koh.

The treacherous conditions, coupled with the unfamiliar surroundings caught a few of the drivers spinning into the gravel. Kevin Chen of Champ Motorsport was the first casualty when on lap three the American spun and got caught in the gravel. Then on lap five Robin Tato also spun on the wet track and was parked in the gravel ending the E-Rain Racing driver's race for the weekend.

Macau driver Michael Ho spun a few times but managed to rejoin the race each time but as he went to the pit to check with the engineers his brakes overheated and caught fire, ending his race on lap 18.

Aussie driver Mark Williamson kept his pace all the way through to finish the race in fourth taking eight vital points for Team TaraDTM. He was followed across the line by guest driver, Dilantha Malagamuwa, who was driving for E-Rain Racing Team.

The final four rounds of the Formula V6 Asia continues at Shanghai International Circuit on the 21-23 November 2008.

-credit: fv6a

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Mark Williamson , Michael Ho , Hafiz Koh , James Grunwell
Teams Williams