ATCC: Asian Festival of Speed kicks off in Subic Bay

Subic Bay, PHILIPPINES, April 6th, 2001 The 2001 Asian Festival of Speed kicked off with plenty of action and thrills today on Subic International Raceway, Subic Bay. With an encouraging number of drivers signed up for the series, AFOS is...

Subic Bay, PHILIPPINES, April 6th, 2001

The 2001 Asian Festival of Speed kicked off with plenty of action and thrills today on Subic International Raceway, Subic Bay. With an encouraging number of drivers signed up for the series, AFOS is looking very promising at this stage of the season.

The hot and dry Subic International Raceway provided ample testing time for the drivers and teams to prepare their cars for tomorrow's qualifying sessions. "The tarmac on this circuit is very different and hard because it was built partially on a high speed US fighter aircraft refueling bay. We are working very hard with the team on the unique condition that exist here." said Michelin technical manager, Paul Abbott.

Competing for the first time in ATCC, Koji Matsuda from Japan managed some impressive lap times driving his Division 2 Honda Civic EK-4 today. Despite clocking 1min 28.5 secs, the 2000 Japan GT driver was indeed anxious to improve his car set-up to mount a serious assault on this weekend's race.

17 year-old Karun Chandhok of SMR Team India appears to be the one to beat this weekend's AF2000 Rd.1 & 2. The Indian driver was the sole AF2000 competitor to dipped below 1 min 20 secs during the official time practice today. His 1min 19.6 sec time also equal the time set by 2000 AF2000 champion, Malaysian Ng Wai Leong in 1999.

Meanwhile, local favourite Mike Potenciano will be making a comeback to the series after missing 3 seasons. "It feels like I am racing this for the very first time and we are having some minor technical problems. I hope to do well this season but I believe that the Indian drivers will make it very difficult for all of us." said the Filipino.

The first qualifying will start at 10.15am (local time) on Saturday for the AF2000 and 11.45am for ATCC. More action is expected tomorrow when 2 support races will compete for the podium. 2001 AFOS is supported by Michelin, Snap-On, PanGlobal Insurance and Adobe System Incorporated.

-AFOS-

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Series General
Drivers Koji Matsuda , Karun Chandhok