Malaysian driver, Nabil Jeffri takes his first ever pole position during the JK Racing Asia Series Season Opener at Sepang International Circuit today. The 18 year old driver beat his closest rival, Afiq Ikhwan Yazid by 0.009 seconds, in an intense session.
Jeffri was elated with the pole position but is cautious as he heads into the first race as the top five drivers are within one second of one another.
“It’s a very good qualifying and it’s my first pole position ever. I am really happy” said a smiling Jeffri after the Qualifying session.
“I think I did quite well even though there is a really tough fight between me and the second driver. But I think I did a really good job in getting the fastest time.
“For me I think I am going to be quite consistent in front. I am hoping the two to three guys behind will be fighting so that I have a proper lead. I’d like to thank the team for doing a really good job” ended Jeffri.
Yazid, driving for Meritus.GP will start the race next to Jeffri and will have his teammate, Akash Nandy, directly behind in fourth.
Newcomer from South Africa, Aston Hare is confident of a good drive for the race this weekend, coming in third fastest of the day. “It’s a great team and I’ve got a good car and we will see how it goes in the race tomorrow and hopefully I can get a win. I have got a good chance.”
When asked if he is confident of a win, Hare said “Obviously it will not be easy but I will give it my best shot.”
Starting in third row will be second year driver, Irfan Ilyas, who clocked 2 minutes 12.951 seconds to start from fifth. The Eurointernational driver will have Meritus.GP driver Aidan Wright next to him in seventh.
Malaysians Hiqmar Danial Hidzir of Eurasia Motorsport will start on the fourth row alongside eighth fastest driver of the day, Tan Wei Ron of Eurointernational.
Newcomers Australian Josh Raneri (Eurasia Motorsport) and Thai driver Toby Earle (Meritus.GP) will start on row five with Atlantic Racing Team drivers, Calvin Seibl of Singapore, Raj Bharath and Vishnu Prasad behind them.
Indian driver Bharath had to get reacquainted with the car during the qualifying session after missing the practice session earlier in the day. “Qualifying was not bad. The team has given me a pretty good car. It was a good session but by the time I got used to the car it was too late.
“The last two to three laps I improved my time, so basically in the race I should be able to catch up. Let’s see tomorrow” ended Bharath.
Prasad will have a harder time, as he has never been to the Malaysian circuit before and had to get familiarised with the circuit during qualifying. “I didn’t get a practice in the morning. I went driving and I don’t know the track so I am just getting used to it.
“The session was not bad, although I qualified last. I am still getting used to the track so hopefully in the race I can improve my pace and go up a few places” ended Prasad.
The 10-lap JK Racing Asia Series Round 1 is scheduled to start at 12.35pm (Malaysian time) with Round 2 at 4.10pm on Saturday, 26 May. Round 3 is scheduled for 10.15am on Sunday, 27 May with Round 4 at 2.10pm.
words & Pix: Motorsport Asia