Cautious MERITUS-GP grabs Formula BMW Pacific Team Championship lead SEPANG (APRIL 3, 2010): Seven-times champion MERITUS-GP didn't have to go all out in the 2010 Formula BMW Pacific Series season opener at Sepang International Circuit today,...
Cautious MERITUS-GP grabs Formula BMW Pacific Team Championship lead
SEPANG (APRIL 3, 2010): Seven-times champion MERITUS-GP didn't have to go all out in the 2010 Formula BMW Pacific Series season opener at Sepang International Circuit today, but still managed to grab the overall lead in the team championship.
With three rookies in its four-car line-up - Oscar Tunjo, Mohd Afiq Ikhwan and Pasin Lathouras - team boss, Firhat Mokhzani told his drivers to pace themselves as he wanted them to stay in the points for their debut which also featured several guest drivers.
The advice was well heeded as Tunjo, Dustin Sofyan and Afiq all earned points to help the Malaysian team to the top of the standings.
Tunjo finished fourth behind Richard Bradley, Carlos Sainz Jr and Fahmi Ilyas, Dustin was sixth behind Mark Lewis while Afiq was eight behind Axcil Jefferies. However, in the points' standings, Tunjo is second, Dustin third and Afiq fifth as the other drivers ahead of them are not eligible for points as they are guest drivers. The fourth MERITUS-GP driver, Pasin Lathouras, finished 14th.
"We didn't have a great qualifying session so I told the boys not to push too hard as finishing the race and earning points was more important," explained Firhat.
"Hopefully, we can do better in tomorrow's second race but overall, I'm pleased with all my drivers."
Afiq, who is driving under a MERITUS-GP scholarship, said: "It was difficult today as I didn't have a good start. It was a new experience for me but one I will certainly learn from.
"There is still a long way to go as we have another 14 races. I hope to get on the podium in the coming races."
Tunjo, the youngest drive on the grid, had mixed feelings as he felt he could have finished higher today.
"I qualified third but was penalised five places for an accident. I managed to climb from eight to fourth and feel I have the pace to challenge for first place," said the 14-year-old from Cali, Colombia.
"This was my first ever Formula BMW race and I can't wait for tomorrow as I believe I can deliver more points for the team."