After an exciting finish of the season opener of the second edition of the JK Racing Asia Series in Malaysia last month, the series is all set to make its debut entry in Europe. Round 2 of the JK Racing Asia Series 2012 is scheduled at the historical Paul Ricard Circuit in France from June 30- July 1, 2012 where it will run alongside the much acclaimed Blancpain Endurance Series and Lamborghini Super Trofeo.
The Paul Ricard Circuit will host two races of Round 2 of the Series with the qualifying races scheduled on Saturday, June 30, 2012 and the main races on Sunday, July 1, 2012. This will be the first visit to Le Castellet for the JK Racing Asia Series, leaving the teams and drivers without any track data, levelling the playing field. The 5.8km circuit is uniquely built on a plateau making it an unusually flat circuit. It also boasts a long 1.8km Mistral straight which can be an advantage for the drivers if their set-up is right.
The maiden entry of the series into Europe will also have India’s youngest racing sensation and JK Tyre prodigy- Aditya Patel who will be seen in action over the race weekend. Chennai-based Aditya Patel, who created history in Indian motorsport by becoming the first Indian driver to win the gruelling 24 hours of Nurburgring held last month will be driving for the 2011 Team Championship Winners – Eurointernational.
He will team up with Aston Hare and Nabil Jeffri who dominated the first four rounds of the series with their stupefying performances. Aditya Patel, who took to karting at a tender age of three and started karting professionally when he was eleven years old, has been a part of the JK Tyre motorsport program wherein he has graduated from their national karting and racing championships to Asian and European levels of racing. Well versed with the track and the European style of car racing, Aditya is surely going to prove a tough competitor for the others in the championship at Paul Ricard circuit this weekend.
“We are looking forward to our maiden round in Europe. We believe that it is a step forward and hope the teams and the drivers make the best of this opportunity. Our new racing sensation, Aditya Patel is a guest driver at Paul Ricard. He has proved his mettle in the Indian and International circuit and I’m sure with his passion for motor racing, he surely won’t let it be a easy race weekend for his competitors,” said Mr. Sanjay Sharma, Head-Motorsport, JK Tyre & Industries Limited.
Chris Vlock of New Zealand, Briton Sean Walkinshaw will also join the current line-up for Rounds 5 & 6 competing against some of the best young stars from Asia. Vlock, started racing when he built his own race car when he was 15 years old, he has participated in the Formula Tour 1600 and the Toyota Racing Series. Walkinshaw is an active participant of the Formula Renault and is the son of late TWR founder, Tom Walkinshaw. These two drivers will also race for Team Eurointernational.
The first leg of the JK Racing Asia Series was held at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia from May 25 to 27, 2012. The race weekend witnessed the emergence of rookie driver Aston Hare from South Africa as the championship leader with 67 points. Trailing him by 5 points is Eurointernational teammate Nabil Jeffri from Malaysia. The stellar performances by Hare and Jeffri helped Eurointernational take the top spot in the team standings with 134 points, a good 34 points clear of Team Meritus GP.
Afiq Ikhwan Yazid racing for Meritus GP who missed the 2011 crown by seven points had a forgettable outing in Malaysia last month will look to make a strong comeback and get back in the reckoning for the championship. While under rather unfortunate circumstances Yazid’s teammate Akash Nandy who stands at number three, would be missing in action from the French leg of the championship due to school examinations.
All of the five circuits that the series visits in 2012 are Formula 1 circuits which are crucial to driver development in preparing them for higher levels of racing. The JK Racing Asia Series is recognised by the World Governing Body for Motorsport, the Federation Intenationale De L’Automobile (FIA), as having special status that allows for young inexperienced drivers to participate on a National License. The reason for this is that the Series provides them with an Education and Coaching programme that teaches them all aspects of what it takes to build a career in motorsport.
The JK Racing Asia Series uses the 140bhp FB02, which has an unrivalled track record for training future Champions and developing them for a success with graduates at the highest level of the sport such as Sebastian Vettel, Nico Rosberg, Timo Glock, Daniel Ricciardo, Sebastien Buemi in Formula 1, Felipe Nasr and Rio Haryanto in GP2, Jazeman Jaafar, Sebastian Saveedra and Carlos Sainz Jr in British F3, and many more. This coupled with the highest safety standards, makes the FB02 the most suitable machine for up and coming drivers to learn on.
The JK Racing Asia Series is supported by Cody Maxx and official logistics partner, JAS Worldwide. The JK Racing Asia Series is organised by Motorsport Asia Ltd.
words & pix: Motorsport Asia