Everland Speedway Circuit, Korea, 21 September 2001 AF2000 Pits Blown Down by a Strong Gush of Wind The Asian Festival of Speed (AFOS) today got underway, albeit with a small incident of sort. A very strong gush of wind tore down a row...
Everland Speedway Circuit, Korea, 21 September 2001
AF2000 Pits Blown Down by a Strong Gush of Wind
The Asian Festival of Speed (AFOS) today got underway, albeit with a small incident of sort. A very strong gush of wind tore down a row of tents that housed the AF2000 and a few of the Korean ATCC cars during the morning practice session. Luckily, no one was hurt, and only minimal damaged suffered to some equipment and car parts. Other than that, the official practice sessions of the Asian Touring Car Championship (ATCC), Asian Formula 2000 (AF2000) and Porsche Asian Challenge (PAC) proceeded as scheduled.
As the day ended, workers were seen re-erecting the tents with better reinforcement, so everything should be back to normal before the start of tomorrow's qualifying sessions.
Boosted by a total of 55 cars from the three categories (19 from the ATCC, 17 from the AF2000 and 19 Porsches), the first ever AFOS Korea event looks set to be a great success.
Among the new faces in the ATCC will be veteran Hong Kong driver Lester Yam. Lester is one of the pioneers in the Hong Kong motorsport scene, and although he has been away concentrating on the business, he has not lost touch when it comes to racing, and is excited to be back after so long. "I'm happy to be here. I promised myself I would be back in the racing seat before I turn 60. I'm 60 this year, so I'm glad I'm able to make good on my promise," he said.
Also joining in on the races here are 7 Korean touring car drivers, including 2000 Class Touring "A" Korean Touring Car Champion Oh Il Ki. The Koreans were obviously a class of their own, taking advantage of having more experience with the track as all of the other ATCC drivers had never driven on the track before.
"The Koreans are very quick, and yes, I think they are going to be strong contenders for the race this weekend," said Kenny Chun, who drives a Division A Honda Integra when asked of the Korean assult. "They are just as fast as the current leader (Nattavude), so definitely we will have to watch out for them," added Kenny.
The usual AF2000 drivers have also made it to the Everland Speedway Circuit, along with 7 Team Ghiasport Racing from the China Formula 2000 series, which is a sister series to the AF2000.
"It's great fun racing here," was the comment from Asif Nazir. "The track is very challenging, very narrow. And its very slippery here, but I think grip will improve once more rubber is laid down on the track as the practice sessions progresses," he said.
That slippery track took it's toll on Karun Chandhok, as he slammed his AF2000 car into the wall yesterday during the unofficial practice session. "It was a mixture of bad timing and bad judgement. It rained just as everyone went into the pits, but I still had half a lap to go. The rear wheel clipped the curb, and my car spun out of control. "I screwed up. It's as simple as that," said Karun.
Another AF2000 driver, Denis Lian, is quite happy with his car in Korea so far. "After struggling with chassis balance for the past few events, I think my engineer and mechanics have finally done it this time. My chances all boils down to fine tuning the car before qualifying and the race this weekend.
The Porsche Club of Hong Kong is also here in full force, with a strong showing of 19 cars. Besides the usual Class A and B racers, the PAC race in Korea will also feature 6 cars from the Class C division.
One of the racers in the Class C division is Macau driver Al Garcia. "I love racing here, it's a lot of fun!" he said. "And since we are racing in the Class C division, it is cheaper and more competitive. And since most of us are members of the Porsche Club Hong Kong and are friends, its great to be racing against them. It's very fun," said Al.
"Even though the track here is a little narrow, I think there will be a good race this weekend," added Al.