Asia: Series Zhuhai preview

2008 Asian Formula Renault Championship decider: Geoffrey Kwong versus Jim Ka To On 12th - 14th December 2008, as part of the support package for the Petronas FIM Asian Grand Prix event, the Asian Formula Renault Championship finale will be...

2008 Asian Formula Renault Championship decider: Geoffrey Kwong versus Jim Ka To

On 12th - 14th December 2008, as part of the support package for the Petronas FIM Asian Grand Prix event, the Asian Formula Renault Championship finale will be held at the Zhuhai International Circuit. Hong Kong driver Jim Ka To will try to snatch the title away from championship leader Geoffrey Kwong (PSR Team), who has a 4 points lead.

Geoffrey Kwong has just completed a World Series by Renault 3.5 V6 test at Paul Ricard's HTTT circuit in France in November. Thirteen drivers were invited to the test with eleven of them selected from Formula Renault 2.0 series held in Europe, one from Renault touring car series and one from Asian Formula Renault. Geoffrey completed the test successfully and was invited to stay on by RC Motorsport for another one day test. He impressed the team and the team said it would like to give him another test later. The speedy test in France must be a good warm-up for the upcoming final race of AFR for Geoffrey.

"I have had a consistent year, most of the time I could get on the podium or finish in the top 5. This allowed me to be in the lead, but 4 points is nothing. Last month I attended the Renault World Series V6 test in France, it was the best opportunity in my life. It felt great, the car was very powerful and made a big impression on me. I am feeling the pressure for this race, many people are coming to see me, including my sponsors, they have high expectations for me. For next year, my plans are not clear yet, I will try to confirm my sponsors for next year and then I will finalize my plans." Geoffrey said.

Hong Kong' Jim Ka To, driving for Frestech FRD Racing, is currently on 248 points. He is very familiar to the circuit and the car and proved it by winning both races in September, defeating Cao Hong Wei and Geoffrey Kwong in the process. In October, he collected one second and one third places to further close up on championship leader Geoffrey Kwong.

"I have been racing Formula Renault 2.0 since 2004, I raced many times and went to Europe. But sadly I returned to Hong Kong in 2005 due to physical problems, back then, I thought all hope was lost after all these years' hard work. I started again in 2006 and concentrated on Asian races, over the last two years I am now back to my best form, with more training I should be able to return to Europe again. I will treat this race with a relaxed attitude, now the gap between me and Geoffrey is just 4 points, I think I can win this title. Next year's plan depends on the level of sponsorship, without sponsors it is difficult to take part in formula racing." Jim Ka To said.

China's Cao Hong-Wei, 34 points behind Geoffrey, also has an outside chance of winning the title, as the two races offer 30 points for the winner of each race. Although in fact Geoffrey only needs to finish third in both races to remove Cao from contention. 15 year old Cao lacks experience but has shown himself to be a good racer.

Young Chinese driver Zhang Shan-Qi will be racing again this weekend to gain more experience. "I have been practicing a lot recently, because last two months I did not do anything. The chassis has changed a lot, so I came over two days early to start practicing. This time my car has been setup well. At the same time this is only the second time I take part in this race. I am not looking for a strong result, just to finish the race. My parents, are busy and they won't be here on Sunday, so they will come and see me on Saturday instead. Next year I will be studying in upper 3 class and I will be busier. But I think time is like water in a sponge, if you squeeze it harder then more will come out. I will keep racing next year."

Former A1 Team China driver Jiang Teng-Yi will also be taking part in this weekend's race, adding more spice to the action. "I have not done any races at all this year, because I was tied up in the Champcar World Series contract issues. I worked for my father when I had the time. This time I am just trying to get my race craft back. I have grown a little fat after doing nothing for so long. Although I am here to get myself back up to speed, I will not take this race lightly. Nobody enters a race to finish last. Although I am not as familiar with the track as Ka To and the others, I believe my experience will help me."

In the Teams' Championship, PSR Team is leading with 105 points, Frestech FRD is second with 82 points while Champ Motorsports has 81 points. PSR Team should be able to claim its title, but the fight for second place between Frestech FRD and Champ Motorsports should be exciting.

The weather forecast for this weekend is sunny with temperature between 17-21 degrees C and 45 to 65% humidity. The weather will be excellent for racing and for the spectators, let battle commence!

-credit: asia

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Jim Ka To , Martin Cao