Ho Wins Drama Filled Round Seven
Macau golden boy, Henry Ho claimed the win in a drama filled Round 7 of the Asian Touring Car Series today at Sepang International Circuit. Ho was followed across the finish line by Eurico De Jesus of Five Auto Racing and Leong Ian Veng of SON Veng Racing Team in third.
Henry Ho of the Ho Chun Kei Team, did not manage a good start and was overtaken by De Jesus and current Championship leader, Lui Man Kit at the start. As they approached turn one, the mid pack and the rear all bunched into two groups leaving the lead three to have a clean run out of the turn followed closely by Charles Ng and Liu Lic Ka, who had a great start advancing two spots.
Then disaster happened at Turn 6 when Lui Man Kit lost control of his car and drove off into the grass. His car could not stop on the grass which was slippery after this morning's rain and skidded off back onto the track collecting Liu and Cheung Chi Sing as he passed.
Liu tried to rejoin the race after the incident but only managed a few more turns before retiring. "I tried to avoid the crash but I didn't manage to. After the incident I tried to rejoin the race but there was too much damage to my car, so I had to end it". The Team IMSP mechanics are working to repair the damage to get Liu back to the grid for Round 8 later this afternoon.
Cheung, although disappointed with the way his race ended, was calm after the race and was seen with his Team IMSP crew making sure that there was not other damage to the car apart from the suspension. He is confident they will be able to repair the car in time for the next race.
Lui was also dejected with the way his race ended especially after taking the lead at the start of the race, his first words were "So unlucky" as he shrugged and shook his head. The RPM Racing Team were working fast to repair the front damage to the car from the impact of his collision with several cars.
"There was some oil on the track or something. I spun and then went off into the grass and as I tried to recover the car skidded and went across the track. As I spun there were so many cars heading towards me and a few of them could not avoid me.
"I have damage to my front left tyre, the suspension and the front side of my car is all damaged" said Lui. RPM Racing Team is also working to fix the car to put the current Championship leader back on the track.
In total, six cars were damaged in the incident, Dicky Cheung of RPM Racing Team, Wong Hou Man of SON Veng Racing Team and Helder De Assuncao of HID Racing Team all retired at turn 7.
Up ahead, De Jesus, Ho, Ng and Leong got past the drama unscathed and continued their battle at the front of the pack. At this time, De Jesus was leading the race but halfway through the opening lap, Ho found a way past to reclaim the lead and held that all the way to the chequered flag.
"My start wasn't too good, I still haven't gotten used to the start on this car so at the start I dropped two places into third. After that I managed to overtake the front two cars and keep my pace all the way to the finish line.
Still suffering from flu, Ho looked absolutely tired during the post race press conference. "I am not feeling well but the laptimes that I am doing in this car allows me to slow a little and to finish the race and still get good results".
Ng, who was running in third, managed to close the gap to the second placed De Jesus by lap 4 and began to push. Two laps later, Ng found a way past but with just three laps to go, Ng suffered from fuel line problems and his car ceased, leaving him to park the G.Harry Racing Team car on the grass at Turn 5 of lap 7.
"The fuel line decided to give up on me and the only thing I could do was pull aside" he said with a laugh. "It was quite a mess going on at turn six and seven. I think Lui lost control and there was a whole line of cars that were affected. Luckily I got past that and from there I just followed the front runners and managed to climb to second which was already first in my class, so I was just going to maintain my pace until there was this mechanical issue.
"It is what it is and that's racing" smiled Ng.
Third placed man on the championship leaderboard, Mak Ka Lok also suffered ill fate during the race. He was bogged down at the start and dropped down a few places but as the race progressed, by lap five he managed to climb up to fifth when his engine started to smoke on the back straight. Mak immediately brought his car into pit and his race ended there.
"I had a good start but as we went into turn 1 there were too many cars so I was careful, after what happened at the last round, and let a few cars pass me. Then at turn seven, Liu went off into the grass and back on track and I tried to avoid that and I let a few cars pass me.
"After a few laps I was back up to fifth behind Leong Ian Veng. He was also having some problems so I managed to overtake him and then my engine ceased and started smoking. So now, we are changing engines and we will see the next race" said Mak.
The race ended with only 19 out of the 27 cars crossing the finish line. All cars are expected to be back on the grid for Round 8 held later today at 3.40pm local time.