Asia: Team Meritus Okayama summary

MALAYSIAN TEAM ON THE VERGE OF SWEEPING FORMULA V6 TITLES OKAYAMA: Malaysia's The Pizza Company Team Qi-Meritus are almost assured of winning the team and drivers' titles in the Formula V6 Asia categories after a stunning weekend of racing in ...

MALAYSIAN TEAM ON THE VERGE OF SWEEPING FORMULA V6 TITLES

OKAYAMA: Malaysia's The Pizza Company Team Qi-Meritus are almost assured of winning the team and drivers' titles in the Formula V6 Asia categories after a stunning weekend of racing in Okayama, Japan.

With young New Zealander Earl Bamber in fiery form, winning rounds seven and eight, The Pizza Company Team Qi-Meritus team now have 188 points to lead second placed Black Tara by a massive 73 points.

Bamber's two victories in Okayama means he now has 105 points in the drivers' standings while his teammate James Grunwell, the only driver capable of overtaking him at the top, has 83 points. Black Tara's Armaan Ebrahim is a distant third with only 59 points.

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

Bamber, who was talented spotted by Meritus as a 16-year-old two years ago, totally dominated his rivals in Japan, and won both races from pole to flag.The eighth round was particularly difficult for Bamber as it was raced in wet and slippery conditions. But he showed his maturity behind the wheel to win in a time of 45:46.013 seconds. Isaiah-Ro charlez was second in 46:46.648s while Hafiz Koh was a lap behind.

Team boss Firhat Mokhzani said: "We now have a big lead in the team standings and are also assured of the drivers' title as only James has enough points to overtake Earl.

"We are still keeping our feet firmly on the ground. We want to end the season with both titles and we are on track to do so. Nothing will be taken for granted until the final race of the season. We will continue working hard to ensure we achieve our goals."

Bamber has kept a busy race schedule, competing in the Formula Master and representing his country in the 2008/2009 season of the A1GP Championships. Bamber achieved two podiums during the opening rounds of the A1GP in Zandvoort, Netherlands while he also took home a win in the Formula Masters in Mugello, Italy.

The Qi-Meritus driver also finished second in his second ever GP2 Asia race in Shanghai last weekend.

"I'm delighted to lead the series but I know I must stay focus. Yes, I'm more than 20 points ahead of James but that can all change very quickly if I fail to finish a race and James takes the chequered flag," said Bamber.

"The key to winning the title is to be consistent and I must strive to get on the podium in as the remaining races. It would be sweeter to be on the top step but finishing in the top three will help consolidate my lead."

Grunwell had a disastrous race in Round 8, spinning in the first lap and ended his race on lap 12 when he drove wide into a gravel bed.

"Lady Luck was not with me on Sunday. I'm actually quite please with my car as the data showed I matched Earl's pace throughout the race," said the Thailand-based driver.

"I made mistake in lap one and eventually paid for it as I tried too hard to claw my way back into the top three. I twice caught up with Hafiz until the 12th lap where I spun off.

"Overall, I know there is still a chance to catch up with Earl at the top of the standings and with four more races to go, anything can happen."

-credit: tm

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Armaan Ebrahim , Hafiz Koh , James Grunwell , Earl Bamber