AP: ART Sepang round two summary

First podium of the season Yoshitaka Kuroda managed to conquer the first podium of the season for Asia Racing Team (ART) Motorsports during the Formula Asia 2.0 Round 2 at Sepang. The Macanese team increased its points haul with six more top ten...

First podium of the season

Yoshitaka Kuroda managed to conquer the first podium of the season for Asia Racing Team (ART) Motorsports during the Formula Asia 2.0 Round 2 at Sepang. The Macanese team increased its points haul with six more top ten results in the two races in Malaysia.

After a troublesome Qualifying, Race 1 had the ART drivers line up 7th, 8th and 10th at the lights, Rio made one of his now customary lightening getaways. Kuroda and Booth however, failed to get away from the line well and were dead last at the end of the first corner.

A superb drive by the ART boys allowed them run consistently in a five-car nose-to-tail battle for 5th place. Unfortunately the three got stuck behind a slower opponent.

By the midway point Kuroda overtook Gary Hirsch but, on a track renowned for its difficulty to overtake, was unable to improve further than 5th. Positions remained unchanged for the remainder of the race, leaving Booth at the 7th and Haryanto at the 8th after a giant fight with their rival. The American talent and his teammate from Indonesia were unable to convert their aggressive attacks into a 6th position.

Kuroda also took the Asia Drivers Cup 3rd place, and Rio 4th.

The Race 2 was held in glorious sunshine. With the drivers taking their positions for race based on their Race 1 result, Kuroda lined up 5th. The Japanese ace made the better start, passing ART former driver Mathias Beche to take 4th place on lap one. Yuki Iwakazi was pushing hard to defend his 3rd place, but Kuroda managed to find a way past at the end of lap twelve. He would maintain the podium position to the chequered flag with his car front wing quite damaged.

The team result would have been much better if Booth wasn't so unlucky. The young American was matching the pace of Mathias Beche when he made an uncharacteristic mistake to spin off track twice while in the 7th. Rio got the position from Booth and held the place at the flag. Booth came home 10th.

Kuroda again put in a strong performance to bring his Red&Yellow car home in 2nd place in the Asia Drivers Cup

The 14-round series will resume in two months with races 6 and 7 at the challenging Bira circuit in Thailand over the weekend of 16/17 August.

#18 Ryan Booth : "In Race 1 I had a bad start which cause me to be in the back of the field behind a driver which I was faster then but he held his ground and I couldn't get in front of him. On Sunday I was following the leaders but I made a couple of mistakes. Hope to do better next time".

#20 Yoshitaka Kuroda : "In Race 1 I did a very bad start. It is quite hard to overtake here but I managed to make up quite a few places and in the closing stages of the race I was right behind the 4th. I had a much better start in Race 2. The car was really good in the quick corners but when I overtook Yuki I broke my front wing. Again I feel I had the pace to be 2nd, but it's just not possible from 5th on the grid here".

#22 Rio Haryanto : "On Saturday I managed to make a good start and was side by side with Ryan but second corner he was on the inside so I let him pass. I was not so confident with the car but I kept fighting with `DongDong' until the end of the race. The car was better in Race 2. I had a fine start, and I managed to keep the pace. Maybe we found the right setup a bit too late but I work well with Philippe (ART Team Manager and Driver Coach) and listening with him helps me at times on the track".

-credit: art

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Series Formula Renault
Drivers Rio Haryanto , Mathias Beche , Ryan Booth , Gary Hirsch