PETRONAS MOFAZ RACING clinches another podium finish!

Published on September 8th, 2010

The PETRONAS MOFAZ Racing Team celebrated another podium finish of the season at Rounds 7 – 10 of the 2010 Formula BMW Pacific Series last weekend, despite having to endure wet weather throughout the weekend. After suffering a disastrous outing in rounds 7 and 8 on Saturday, Calvin Wong rebounded to emerge strongly at Sunday’s round 9 with a fourth place finish, continuing the spirited drive to earn a podium finish at Round 10 with a hard-fought third place.

Held as part of the Hong Kong Autosport Challenge 2010, the rounds at China’s Guangdong International Circuit began with practice sessions on Thursday and qualifying on Friday. Calvin’s consistent drive throughout the sessions secured him in 3rd grid position for rounds 7 and 8, with his best lap time of 1:33.674m during qualifying.

The team also had the honour of playing host to the Malaysian Consul General in Guangzhao, Mr. Francisco Munis, who came to support and cheer the Malaysian team in the spirit of Merdeka and 1Malaysia.

Race 7 (Saturday): What should have been a clear cut podium run for Calvin unfortunately did not turn out as planned, after a costly mistake on the penultimate lap that saw Calvin overshoot the track, rejoining 8th. Calvin gained some ground on the final lap after overtaking Pasin Lathouras to take 7th. Meanwhile, a good start by Ryan saw him move up to 10th early in the race. However, a mistake in the last lap saw Ryan go off track before rejoining to finish the race in 11th. Natasha picked up another point after taking 10th spot at the end of the race, with Amirrul in 12th.

Race 8 (Saturday): With the track damp from the overnight downpour, the second race of the weekend was declared wet. The race witnessed all four drivers involved in separate racing incidents that compromised their races. An accident in the starting lap virtually ended Calvin’s run, while Ryan lost control of his car on lap 3, seeing his race end in the gravel. Another incident involving Kotaro Sakurai forced a safety car period for 8 laps to accommodate a lengthy recovery exercise. At the restart, Natasha braked late and rear-ended Amirrul, forcing both drivers to retire from the race.

Race 9 (Sunday): A break in the weather eventually brought on a dry race on Sunday, which saw Calvin bounce back from a poor outing for the first two races on Saturday. Despite having to start from 7th on the grid for round 9, the 18-year old produced a strong drive to clinched fourth place. Natasha added another point to her tally with a 10th place, whilst Ryan and Amirrul brought their cars back safely to end the race in positions 11th and 12th respectively, despite an accident early in the race that saw a Meritus car hitting and flying over the rear of Ryan’s car, damaging the top part of the car.

Race 10 (Sunday): Starting the race from P15, Calvin had his best race of the weekend. Getting off to a good start, Calvin overtook 4 cars within the first lap. Before the end of the lap, Calvin had managed to pick off another 4 cars to move up to 7th. Over the next few laps, Calvin continued to overtake the drivers ahead of him, before emerging right in the rearview mirrors of the leading 2 drivers. He pushed hard and made several attempts to pass Oscar Tunjo ahead of him, who was blocking aggressively. With the race finishing a few laps too early, Calvin settled for third despite being the faster of the top three cars. Amirrul, Natasha and Ryan all had a clean race without much drama, with Amirrul taking in his first point of the season after ending in P10.

Calvin Wong (MAS): “I know that a lot was riding on me after qualifying P3 for both race 7 and 8, but I let the pressure get to me too soon. However, Sunday came and I was more at peace and managed to gain better composure. After securing 4th during race 9 in the morning, I became more determined to set my course straight, and despite starting at the back of the grid in race 10 in the afternoon, I stayed focused on overtaking the drivers in front of me strategically, and am thankful for the podium finish!”

Alex Somerset, Technical Director: “Overall, it was mixed emotions all around, with some disastrous moments that was indeed the lowest point for the team. Despite that, we were in good spirits and looked forward to transferring the great pace that the drivers were showing into better results. Calvin showed tremendous effort bouncing back from his accident in Race 8, to finally end up on the podium he fought so hard to gain throughout the entire race weekend. Now that we’ve gain more valuable data and wet race experience, we look forward to securing better and more promising results in Singapore!”

The next installment of the 2010 Formula BMW Pacific Series is scheduled to take place as a support event for the Singapore F1™ Grand Prix at Marina Bay Circuit, Singapore, from 24 to 26 September 2010.

words & pix: PETRONAS MOFAZ RACING

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