Subic Bay, PHILIPPINES, April 7th, 2001 JAPANESE INVASION IN ATCC WHILE INDIANS DOMINATE AF2000 Despite power failure on the whole of Luzon Island throughout the day, including the Subic International Raceway, the Japanese duo of Ao's ...
Subic Bay, PHILIPPINES, April 7th, 2001
JAPANESE INVASION IN ATCC WHILE INDIANS DOMINATE AF2000
Despite power failure on the whole of Luzon Island throughout the day, including the Subic International Raceway, the Japanese duo of Ao's Racing topped the time sheet on both qualifying sessions of the opening rounds of Asian Touring Car Championship (ATCC). Takayuki Fujita clocked 1m28.26s to grab pole position in Rd.1 and teammate, Kouji Matsuda, matched that with an even faster lap time of 1m27.77s to take pole in Rd.2 for tomorrow's ATCC races. This feature race of Asian Festival of Speed (AFOS) also saw a close fight in qualifying sessions throughout the hot and sunny day.
Local racing hero, George Ramirez, put in a spectacular performance in Rd.1 qualifying to secure the best position in Division 1 ahead of Knights Motorsport's Lam Wai Hong and Kenny Lo. "I am very happy with the outcome of the Rd.1 qualifying session and I am sure my regular testing on this circuit has paid off today." said the eldest sibling of the famous Ramirez family that is synonymous to motor racing in the Philippines.
Another Japanese ace, Taichiro Ohnishi of ATCC championship winning team WK Longman Racing registered the fastest time in the Division 1 qualifying for Rd.2 with 1m28.74s on the 2.8km circuit.
As expected, SMR Team India's Karun Chandhok and fellow teammate, Asif Nazir, reserved the front row for tomorrow's Asian Formula 2000 (AF2000) Rd 1 & 2. Third place in Rd.1 went to fellow compatriot Kaushek Haritha and Singaporean Denis Lian improved his time in Rd.2 qualifying to secure third position with 1m21.31s.
Indonesian driver, Meckel Ali of Team Meritus and Nick Thomas from New Zealand also performed well today in the qualifying to start fourth on the grid in Rd.1 & 2 respectively. Meanwhile, Japanese AF2000 driver, Thoru Jitsukawa, only managed his personal best lap time of 1m24.14s due to his limited testing in the last few days.
The first race tomorrow will start at 10.30am (local time) for the ATCC Rd.1 and 12pm for AF2000. A variety of local support races is in store for tomorrow and the organiser is expecting an action filled day. 2001 AFOS is supported by Michelin, Snap-On, PanGlobal Insurance and Adobe System Incorporated.