ATCC: Johor race report

Johor, MALAYSIA, May 20th, 2001 A SPECTACULAR SHOWDOWN IN AF2000 RD. 3 and 4 With a record number of 27 cars started round 3 and 4 of the FIA-sanctioned Asian Formula 2000 races today and the result was indeed spectacular action along the...

Johor, MALAYSIA, May 20th, 2001

A SPECTACULAR SHOWDOWN IN AF2000 RD. 3 and 4

With a record number of 27 cars started round 3 and 4 of the FIA-sanctioned Asian Formula 2000 races today and the result was indeed spectacular action along the 3.8km Johor Circuit, Pasir Gudang in today's Asian Festival of Speed (AFOS).

Qualifying session in the morning showed that every driver were pushing themselves to the limit with only two tenth of a second separating the top 4 drivers from. Pole position was recorded by Karun Chandhok of SMR Team India JK Tyre in 1min 33.773secs followed by Denis Lian and Asif Nazir respectively.

In Rd3, pole starter Karun made a good start and quickly extended his lead from fellow countryman, Asif and Denis. There was never any real treat from other participants and he managed to keep it clean until the end of the race.

While chasing Karun, Asif's car encountered mechanical problems and coasted to the side of the track in front of the grandstand on lap 6. Denis and Meckel Ali inherited 2nd and 3rd respectively and Meckel quickly seek opportunity to pass the Singaporean.

"My car wasn't very good today as it was over-steering especially in Turn 1 and 3. Meckel saw the opportunity and overtook me in Turn 1 towards the end of the race." said Denis who is aiming to make up for the points when AFOS goes to Shah Alam next month.

Just 2 laps before the race ended, Japanese driver Tohru Jitsukawa misjudged the entry into Turn 1 and made tyre contact with the car ahead of him. As a result, his car catapulted 6 feet in the air before landing 15 metres ahead and rolled several times before coming to a halt up side down. Fortunately, his dramatic accident did not cause him any injury and he is now recovering from the incident.

The finishing order for round 3 was Karun, Meckel and Denis in the 19mins 18.050secs race.

In round 4, the race was again won by the talented Karun who fought hard to win in a convincing style after a losing his lead in the first corner to Asif.

"I had a very good start that allows me to overtake Karun by the first corner. I was very comfortable in the first 6 laps and then my 5th gear started to slip but I am happy to finish 2nd in this race." said Asif from India.

Although Denis only managed 4th overall, he will now be second in the championship point standing ahead of Asif. Other driver who had a good outing today is Nick Thomas who will be gearing himself better for his next assault.

AFOS is supported by Michelin Tyre, Snap-On Tool, PanGlobal Insurance and Hyatt Hotels and Resorts. The next AFOS event will be held at the Batu Tiga Speedway Circuit on 30th June and 1st July. For more ticket information, please contact Axcess Tickets hotline - (03) 705 3000 or visit www.axcesstickets.com. For Singapore hotline, please contact (65) 348 5555 or www.sistic.com.sg.

-AFOS-

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Series General
Drivers Denis Lian , Karun Chandhok