Abay makes it three in a row. Beijing, China - It was a day of celebration for Korea's Team E-Rain as it celebrated the third successive win by exciting Australian youngster, Sam Abay. BMW Junior and fellow Australian Daniel Ricciardo (Eurasia...
Abay makes it three in a row.
Beijing, China - It was a day of celebration for Korea's Team E-Rain as it celebrated the third successive win by exciting Australian youngster, Sam Abay. BMW Junior and fellow Australian Daniel Ricciardo (Eurasia Motorsport) notched up a well-earned second place, his best result so far, while another Junior, James Grunwell (THA/Team Meritus), took the final podium spot, but not without a heart-stopping spin in the final moments of the 20-lap race.
Abay now holds a 26 point lead over Rookie Earl Bamber (NZL/Team Meritus) at the top of the championship standings, followed by the three BMW Juniors, Grunwell, Ricciardo and Dominic Storey (NZL/Eurasia Motorsport). Aaron Lim (MAS/Eurasia Motorsport) moves up two places to 6th, after a good performance this weekend which has seen the re-emergence of his undoubted talent.
Bamber has had his margin cut to just 11 points over Ricciardo in the Rookie Cup Standings after what was a miserable weekend for both Kiwi drivers. Ricciardo overtakes Grunwell into 2nd place.
Round 8 saw the tables turn for Abay and Ricciardo, this time with the former having to pressure the BMW Junior into making a mistake. Off the start, it was Ricciardo who got the jump on pole-man Abay to take the lead, with Storey maintaining his grid position of 3rd. However, the Kiwi was being chased hard by Grunwell, and the two finally came together, with Storey ending up as the casualty. Behind them, Bamber took evasive action to avoid the incident, going on to the grass. However, a broken radiator put an end to his race.
Meanwhile, the battle continued at the front of the field with Abay desperate to pass an in-form Ricciardo. Grunwell was well on his way to securing his 3rd place finish (despite his last-minute unscheduled spin), but a furious three-way fight had ensued between Aaron Lim (MAS/Eurasia Motorsport), Mohammed Al Baharna (BRN/Team E-Rain) and Zahir Ali (INA/Eurasia Motorsport), with Lim emerging victorious to take 4th.
Despite losing the lead at the start, Abay was confident of his chances: "It didn't faze me that much. I just tried to keep my cool and pick the right moment - unfortunately it took me half the race! Daniel (Ricciardo) put up a good fight and did really well, but I knew I had the pace."
Said Ricciardo, after a successful weekend which saw him emerge as a serious title contender: "Considering Sam's form this weekend, I'm quite happy to have held the lead for as long as I did. I knew I had to remain consistent, and I could see James (Grunwell) in my mirrors closing in. This weekend has really boosted our confidence though."