It will be the clash of three junior racing superstars this weekend when Championship leader, Nabil Jeffri, faces an all out battle against Rookie South African sensation Aston Hare and fellow Malaysian late charger, Afiq Ikhwan for the 2012 JK Racing Asia Series Championship title.
Jeffri, Hare and Ikhwan have all had great successes and disappointing outings this season. The trio are also the only ones to have claimed pole positions and wins throughout the 12 Rounds so far, showing their dominating presence.
Jeffri is going to great lengths to claim the 2012 title. After the last two Rounds in India, the 19-year old took a short break going for a family holiday and was back into his strict training regime of workouts to maintain his fitness for the upcoming weekend.
“For me, all I am looking forward to is winning the Championship. I am just going to focus on trying to win the first two races, which will then seal the Championship for me,” said Jeffri. This does not mean that he will relax should he win the first two races, as the determined Malaysian Youth Ambassador always strives for the best result.
Both he and his Eurointernational teammate, and fiercest rival, Hare visited Team Principal, Antonio Ferrari in Macau where they both spent the weekend to witness the teams’ Formula 3 effort.
The story for Hare could have been very different if he had he not sustained a broken leg whilst playing football prior to the Silverstone weekend last September, making him sit out two vital races that could prove to be his Championship fight’s undoing.
But for the Rookie driver, whatever the final outcome, he has already proven that he has the ability and the skill to take on the challenges in front of him. In the previous Rounds at the Indian circuit, he showed his perseverance and dedication, making a quick recovery from having pins inserted in his leg by winning the second race upon his return.
Equally, not one to give up till the very end, Ikhwan has also proven that he has speed and an amazing ability to get the results. Having two DNF’s this season was hard but the Petronas backed driver has been bringing the fight to the fore at every race.
“About this weekend, I’m looking forward to the four races. The battle is still on. The team and I won’t easily give up. I will give it 110% this weekend and we are fully prepared.
“As for the title hopes, for sure I still want to be on top, but it’s racing and anything can happen. I just need to do a perfect job to win all the remaining races. The pressure is still on and I’m going to do my best to make everything perfect and to run as planned. I’m very familiar with the track, I won at the last event and I think to win the next one is not the biggest problem, my main focus is to win all the races and do a super perfect job. The rest I leave it up to destiny and luck” ended the Meritus.GP driver.
The trio will be fighting for the 82 points up for grabs this weekend and its Jeffri’s weekend to lose as he is the one with a 34 point lead in the Championship. Hare is behind him while Ikhwan is 54 points shy of the lead. It will be interesting to see how the weekend will pan out.
All three will also have to face a slightly different kind of weather in India compared to last month, it will be much cooler this weekend with temperatures expected to be in the low 20 degrees or less.
They will also be faced with fierce rivalry from two of India’s leading drivers, Aditya Patel and Akhil Khushlani, both of whom have climbed onto the JK Racing Asia Series podium. The duo will be out with a different agenda and can change the outcome considerably as they will want to prove their skills to the home crowd on their home circuit.
The trio will also have to be wary of the new entries from Meco Racing with their lineup of young upcoming Indian talents. The team, headed by Akbar Ebrahim may just be a surprise to all at the track.
words & pix: Motorsport Asia