Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Perfect weekend for Haryanto in Sentul

Matheos Viktor Messakh , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Tue, 08/18/2009 1:08 PM | Sports

Rio Haryanto of Questnet Team Qi-Meritus delighted home supporters to claim his fourth win of the weekend and lead the overall Formula BMW Pacific Drivers Classification at the Sentul International Circuit.

It was the perfect weekend for Rio, who took pole position and then all four Formula BMW Pacific races.

"There's nothing better than the feeling I have right now," Rio said after the final race on Sunday.

"I hope I can perform just as well in Singapore. I'm quite confident for the Singapore races, seeing that my car was fantastic here.

"I'm happy about the championship lead, but there's still a long way to go and I'm not thinking about taking the title yet because anything can happen."

Finishing second in Round 10 was Formula BMW Pacific Junior Axcil Jefferies of Zimbabwe, who fought all race to finish one place better, while Rookie Cup leader and Rain Racing driver Gary Thompson of Ireland rounded out the podium.

"I had a great start for the race and I managed to put the pressure on Rio," Jefferies said.

"Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get past him, but I am getting closer and closer to him with every race."

Formula BMW Pacific is part of the Asian Festival Of Speed (AFOS), held at the Sentul International Circuit from Friday to Sunday.

AFOS is an FIA-sanctioned race series comprising the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, GT3 Asia, Asian Touring Car Series, the Asian Touring Car-Max and Formula BMW Pacific.

Haryanto, who took over the Drivers Classification lead in Round 9, now leads Thompson by 12 points, while Jefferies is 22 points behind the leader.

Having started from pole in each of the weekend's three previous races, Haryanto did the same in Round 10 and led from pole to checkered flag.

Jefferies was determined to finish better than his starting position and while the young Zimbabwean came within three-tenths of a second, he could not overtake and finished 1.7 seconds off first place.

With five races left in 2009, including two in support of the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix in September, the competition for the championship is tight.

In the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, Team StarChase driver Christian Menzel scored his third victory of the season during Round 8 on Saturday, while Rodolfo Avila of Asia Racing Team, who won Round 7, was second, with GruppeM Racing driver Tim Sugden third for the second time in the weekend.

Menzel's victory means the German is now six points off Sugden's championship lead. While Menzel is aiming for his first Porsche Carrera Cup Asia championship, Sugden is hoping for a second title to accompany the one he won in 2007.

The Porsche Carrera Cup Asia began in 2003 and has become the premier sports car series in the region. The field is further strengthened by the participation of Indonesian driver Ananda Mikola.

Mikola has a long racing career, starting out in Formula Asia in 1994 and progressing all the way up to Formula 3000, A1GP and more recently the Speedcar Series.


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