Eurointernational made it a clean sweep of the podium today at Spa Francorchamps for the JK Racing Asia Series Round 7 with Nabil Jeffri, Irfan Ilyas and Aston Hare.
Jeffri made a spectacular pole to flag win completing eight laps of the Belgian circuit clocking a best time of 2:32.406.
“First of all I would like to thank the team, they did a very good job with the car and I cant ask for anything better than that from them. The car was a lot better than yesterday, the setup was a lot better and what we wanted to improve, we did in race 1, so I am very happy with the car.
“Winning in Spa is very prestigious, like I said when we were in Paul Ricard, winning here is not just a normal win for me. I am not the first Malaysian but I am the first Malaysian to win in Spa for JK Racing Asia Series.”
“I am feeling very proud of the win and I’m just very, very happy, words cant describe how happy I am right now.”
“I had a good start. The lights went out really quickly, I didn’t expect that but my start was good and I think I did my best. Out of turn 1 I had a gap coming into the fast right into the long straight and Irfan was really close to me and I tried to maintain my position as hard as I could because I know that in the second sector I will be faster.”
“Throughout the race I just maintained my pace, even though I wasn’t the fastest but I think I had a very good pace and I clocked the same time for every single lap. For me the key is consistency and I did quite well in being very consistent,” said an elated Jeffri at the Post Race Press Conference.
Hare started the race in third but lost a few places at the start and had to make up several more places throughout the race and clocking the fastest lap of the day with 2:32.194 at an average speed of 165.7km/h. Towards the end he caught up to his teammate, Ilyas and managed to overtake him in the early part of the last lap before Ilyas regained second on the last turn.
“For me, when I watched all the previous races in F1, Spa is really different from all the other circuits, the lights go off really fast. So when I saw the five second board I was thinking just concentrate on the lights.”
“So I had a really good start, I was just beside Nabil. Throughout turn 1, I thought I was going to have a slipstream behind him and overtake him at the esses, but he was defending, so I was thinking maybe we just pulled a gap from the third guy and we work together in front.”
“The car setup was really good throughout the race. In the last three laps I had a lot of understeer because I was behind Nabil that’s why I think I lost a lot of time which is why Aston caught me up.”
“I’d like to thank Eurointernational for doing a good job. We are all in the top three in Qualifying, Practice and for the race especially. Its really good and we are hoping for the same outcome tomorrow,” ended Ilyas.
Despite being on the podium, Hare was unhappy with the outcome of the race, with his start and the tussle he had with his teammate at the end. “I didn’t really get off the line, it was quite disappointing actually. But after that I got through the first corner without any damages, unlucky for Afiq.”
“We definitely had the pace, we were quickest in that race. Made some good passes especially the one going around the outside through Eau Rouge.”
“Throughout the race I was catching Irfan, just wasn’t close enough. Only thing I didn’t appreciate was the weaving from Irfan but I think that was a bit of an unfair advantage to me but we will see how it goes in the next race.”
“Irfan got me back in the last corner. I did eventually get past him going outside going through turn 9. I was slipping on the brakes going into the last corner but it was a good move from him,” said Hare.
Danial Hidzir of Eurasia Motorsport overcame an early tussle with Ernie Van der Walt at Eau Rouge, where he lost two places, before climbing his way back up to finish the race in fourth.
Guest drivers Earl Bamber, driving for Mahara finished in fifth whilst Indian Aditya Patel finished sixth for US Formula Project.
For Patel, the race was an amazing experience in the JK Racing Asia Series car. “It wasn’t too bad when it ended but when it started I was always in the wrong place at the wrong time in the first two laps so I went from fifth to sixth, sixth to seventh, seventh to eighth and eighth to ninth, I was just always in the wrong place I guess.
“After about four laps, I started to get my way back up so I got up to sixth and yeah, by the last lap I was up to sixth and kept it there.”
As for the race tomorrow, he said, “I knew where I was gaining time and I knew where I was losing time so tomorrow I will have to work on the places where I am losing time and try to make it up,” he ended.
Meritus.GP’s Van der Walt, Eurasia Motorsport’s Josh Raneri and Meritus.GP’s Aidan Wright and Toby Earle completes top ten whilst Belgian driver Alexis van de Poele driving for Eurasia Motorsport was the last of the finishers in eleventh.
Tan Wei Ron outbraked himself out of the first corner and hit the back of Afiq Ikhwan. Tan’s race ended there while Ikhwan one of the championship contenders continued for two more laps before bringing the car in scoring no points.
Round 8 of the JK Racing Asia Series will be held tomorrow at 9.55am local time and rain is expected throughout the race.
words & pix: Motorsport Asia