Asian Formula Renault Championship finale: Jim Ka To completes double win and claims championship Asian Formula Renault Championship, jointed promoted by Zhuhai International Circuit (ZIC) and Formula Racing Developments (FRD), held its final...
Asian Formula Renault Championship finale: Jim Ka To completes double win and claims championship
Asian Formula Renault Championship, jointed promoted by Zhuhai International Circuit (ZIC) and Formula Racing Developments (FRD), held its final race on 14th December 2008 at ZIC. After the race on Saturday, Hong Kong driver Jim Ka To leads American Chinese driver Geoffrey Kwong by six points in the driver's championship. Today's race will be the final battle for the two drivers.
The grid is determined by yesterday's race 1 results. Jim Ka To starts on pole position, second is Luis Jorge Sa Silva, third is Geoffrey Kwong, fourth is Jiang Teng-Yi and fifth is Ryan Hayranto. Hong Kong celebrity driver no. 19 Chin Ka-Lok is also taking part and starts from 10th position.
The start is very smooth, everybody go through T1 without problem. Geoffrey Kwong tries to look for a way past Sa Silva but he could not manage the move. The two driver's battle allows Ka To to make a break and leads by a second. Behind them Jiang Teng-Yi is passed by Rio and Ryan Hayranto, then Cao Hong-Wei. Meanwhile, no. 7 Diana Rosario spins off at T1 and has to retire from the race.
On lap 3, no. 27 Cao Hong-Wei spins at T4 and rotates itself. Jiang Teng-Yi, Ryan Hayranto and Zhang Shan-Qi go right pass him. On lap 4, Luis Jorge Sa Silva sets the fastest lap of the race so far: 1:37.324.
The top 4 positions remain unchanged, but fourth placed Rio Hayranto begins to close in on Geoffrey Kwong. On lap 6, Jiang Teng-Yi's car hits a problem and he drives back into the pits for repairs. At the same time, Jim Ka To sets the fastest lap 1:36.380, which is almost a second quicker than Luis's earlier effort, by doing so, he extends his lead to 1.7 seconds.
On lap 7, all top 4 drivers manage to break into the 1:37 bracket. The race is clearly speeding up. On the next lap, Sa Silva breaks Ka To's lap record and sets a 1:36.326. He is clearly not going to give up his chase.
But the race is soon over. Jim Ka To wins without any problems and becomes the 2008 Asian Formula Renault Champion and claims his first international driving title. Luis Jorge Sa Silva finishes second and Geoffrey Kwong comes home in third place.
After the race, Jim Ka To said: "I am really very happy! I would like to thank everyone's support over the years. Today's weather was drier than yesterday, the track is a bit more slippery, that allows us to set quicker lap times. As for next year, I hope I will have the chance to race Formula 3 in Japan."
1st runner's up Sa Silva said: "Today's race was not bad. Considering I was using yesterday's race tyres and set fastest lap today, it was OK. I think could've gotten first place, but in the race I overdrove a little. I locked up my tyes and flat-spotted them in the middle of the race, therefore I began to lose grip and Ka To went away. Next year I don't know what I will be doing, maybe I will go to Japan or Europe. If I go to Japan, I hope to join Formula 3; if I go to Europe, then I will contest the Formula Renault Eurocup."
2nd runner's up Geoffrey Kwong said: "This weekend both Ka To and Luis were quicker than me. My only chance was to try to pass them at the start, sadly it didn't work out. I am not disappointed about losing the championship title, it has already been a very good year. My plan next year very much depends on sponsorship, if possible, I hope to do some Formula 3 races."
With the end of this race, the 2008 Asian Formula Renault Championship has come to a close. It has been a fantastic season with many drivers taking turns to lead the championship. Let us anticipate the return of the Asian Formula Renault Championship in 2009.
-credit: frenault asia