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Category: JK Racing Asia Series

Afiq Ikhwan has returned to form, making a clean sweep of wins, unchallenged, at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit this weekend for JK Racing Asia Series. Ikhwan claimed his second win, once again from pole, setting the record straight that he is still very much a fierce competitor in the Series.

“Firstly thank you to my sponsors and my team for working hard for me this weekend. Its good to win two races here at Silverstone. It has been a good weekend for us and all the hard work has been worth it. Like yesterday, I started in pole and I had a good car and a good pace and setup.

“It is fantastic to win here, I am speechless. I am happy with my team and its been a great weekend”.

Looking forward to the next race, Ikhwan says, “India is one of my favourite tracks. I think we are good enough and I am confident for the next event as we have a good car. For sure I am going to work on my fitness again and try to stay focused to win the next two races during the Formula 1.

“We are quite confident as we have put in 100% effort, so it will not be a problem for us. We just need to stay focused to set the car well for he next event” he ended.

Second place was claimed by Indian racing superstar, Akhil Khushlani who drove with US Formula Project, a sister team of Eurointernational. Khushlani have been away from racing for a year, came back strong after a slow start with a troubled practice session on Friday.

Khushlani started the race today in sixth on the grid and after a good start, was able to pass fifth placed starter Irfan Ilyas at the end of the first turn. From there he pushed ahead and began to make his move on Hiqmar Danial, who by then was in third after being overtaken by Nabil Jeffri after a bad start. Khushlani found a way past Danial on the second last turn at the end of the first lap.

Jeffri was ahead and pushing on to catch up to Ikhwan, but by the end of lap two, Khushlani caught up to the Eurointernational driver and took him, once again at the second last turn. The Indian driver managed to maintain a good pace, setting the fastest lap on lap 5.

“It feels good. I feel confident now, especially after a bad practice and not such a great qualifying. It feels really nice to be back on the podium. I am happy with myself because I had a year’s gap and I am back on the pace with the fastest lap and going from sixth to second. I can’t ask for anything more” he said with a big smile during the Post Race Press Conference.

“I had a very good start. I gained one position by the end of the first corner and I saw the others making mistakes and took advantage of it. I saw opportunities coming so I planned my overtaking accordingly and I played safe as I did not want a DNF.

“This result is probably the best way to make a comeback. I can’t ask for anything more. Podium and racing at Silverstone, feels really nice and I hope to keep the performance up from now’ he ended.

There was nothing that Jeffri could do but to maintain a steady pace and to finish the race collecting the most points for him and his team. The Championship leader now heads the points table with 164points collected.

Disappointment was clearly seen in Jeffri’s expression, but at the end he knows that the points is the most important. “Firstly I’d like to thank my team, even though the car wasn’t great, finishing on the podium twice at Silverstone is really great. Not the best results but there was nothing much I could do about it.

“I am disappointed for sure, because I expected more from the car and from myself. I think I drove my best, this was the best I could do and other than making a few mistakes running wide here and there”.

Speaking about the next race in India, Jeffri is once again positive of a good outcome. “I am not worried at all, in India I know I will be strong. I know the track better than anyone else, I’ve been there a couple of times more than the other drivers, so in India I am definitely coming back stronger.

“Right now, what is important is the Championship points. For sure, every year there will be ups and downs, I guess this is one of my downs, even though it is not that bad”.

The JK Racing Asia Series will return to Asia for Rounds 11 & 12 scheduled to be held during the 2012 Formula 1 AIRTEL Indian Grand Prix at Buddh International Circuit on 26th to 28th October 2012.

Silverstone – Race 2:

1. Afiq Ikhwan Yazid (Meritus GP) in 22:03.548
2. Akhil Khushlani (US Formula Project) + 0.659
3. Nabil Jeffri (Eurointernational) + 7.567
4. Irfan Ilyas (Eurointernational) + 10.348
5. Danial Hidzir (Eurointernational) + 20.990
6. Wei Ron Tan (Eurointernational) + 22.240
7. Tommy Ostgaard (SWB Motorsport) + 25.441
8. Jack Dex (SWB Motorsport) + 25.857

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Afiq Ikhwan shows that he still has what it takes to win races when he claimed a fantastic pole to flag finish in JK Racing Asia Series Round 9. The race, held at the historic Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit today, was a clean race held under unusually sunny conditions for the British track.

The Meritus.GP driver completed ten laps of the 5.901km circuit pulling away right from the start, opening up a gap of more than five seconds in the early part of the race. The Malaysian also set the fastest lap of the day when he completed lap four in 2:10.697.

Ikhwan hardly broke a sweat and was delighted with the results today, citing hard work from the team as the winning factor. “Its fantastic to win here and I want to thank my team for a good job for this weekend and most importantly to my sponsor, Petronas.

“It was fantastic to win here in Silverstone, especially when they are celebrating 100 years of the circuit. This was a good race for me and the team. We worked really hard this weekend and we struggled a lot in the previous event so to win here in Silverstone is a fantastic feeling”.

Ikhwan went on to say, “track conditions were a bit slippery but it was an easy drive for me. I didn’t push very hard to save the tyres and anyway, the gap was almost four seconds. We also managed to get the fastest lap, so we proved that we are very competitive and we can put pressure on the other teams. I am looking forward to the race tomorrow”.

After being demoted one grid position after the Qualifying session, Nabil Jeffri was unfazed and maintained a calm race pursuing his competitors from the start. Jeffri started the race in fourth but was happy with the result of the day and appreciated the opportunity to race at Silverstone, citing at the Post Race Press Conference, “I’d like to thank MAL and JK Tyre for bringing the Series to Europe for the third time. It is an honour especially for an Asian to be racing at prestigious circuits.

“I’d also like to thank Eurointernational who gave me a good car, they made a change to the car from yesterday and I am happy with it”. Jeffri also then thanked all his sponsors who have ensured his continued presence in the Series.

“It was unexpected for me to be here in second, I had an okay start and I expected better. Everyone got away easily and I was just behind Ron, Hiqmar and Afiq. The first lap was crucial as I know I had an advantage on cold tyres. As my engineer tells me, the first few laps is where you can make it or break it. So I pushed really hard in the first few laps and I managed to overtake Ron and Hiqmar and I tried hard to catch Afiq but he was too far ahead.

“On the other hand, I think I did a good job of catching up to him and maintaining a good pace throughout the race. Second is okay, what is important is to not get into any crashes as the points are important for me” ended Jeffri.

Danial claimed his second podium finish of the season, in third and immediately thanked everyone involved who brought him to the race this weekend. “Firstly, I’d like to thank Eurointernational for giving me a good car for qualifying and for the race. I’d also like to thank my parents and my sponsor who got me here in Silverstone.

“For the races, I started off really well. Afiq got away in front, kudos to him, he was really fast. My tyres started to wear off as I pushed too hard during qualifying so my laptimes were slow. Nabil caught me and Ron was catching up to me but I managed to hang on to third”.

Danial then continued, “Tomorrow I will have newer tyres that I only used for two laps during the qualifying, so we shall see tomorrow. Its an okay race today as I finished on the podium but we will try for the win tomorrow. I’ll start P2 so I will gun for the win”.

Britain’s Jack Dex finished the race in sixth for SWB Motorsport. He was happy with the overall weekend so far but is looking to improve his pace for the race tomorrow. Dex mentioned that it was harder to get used to the car rather than the circuit despite never having experienced either before this weekend.

Guest driver Akhil Khushlani from India competed with the US Formula Project racing team. The youngster was away from racing for a year but immediately got back on pace but his race was marred by an overheating engine which caused him to make a pit-stop halfway through the race.

In the end, Khushlani finished in eighth but was happy overall with his weekend so far. “It was going well for the first few laps. I was going really strong and I was fighting for fourth and third but the engine was overheating and I didn’t want it to cease for the next race so I had to come in. The team made a few changes and once that was done, I went back out.

“I finished eighth but with the third fastest lap so I am kind of satisfied. Its been a year’s gap but I am still very much on pace. Hopefully next race I can be defending up there and hope I wont have any issues. It could have been better but it was unfortunate” he ended.

The JK Racing Asia Series will continue at Silverstone with Round 10 scheduled for Sunday, 9 September 2012 at 2.55pm (local time).

Photo by Jakob Ebrey Photography.

Afiq IkwhanMalaysian driver Afiq Ikhwan claimed pole at the historic Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit on Friday for JK Racing Asia Series Round 9. The Petronas backed Meritus.GP driver looks to be back on form after a difficult season so far that has left him fourth in the points table.

“I would like to thank the team, my sponsor Petronas, my crew members who all worked very had for this qualifying and this event” said Ikhwan after the session.

“Qualifying pole in Silverstone is brilliant for me and I am so happy. I am happy with the car, we had a good pace here.

He acknowledged the hard races he had the past few outings and was thankful that he and his team managed to overcome them. “We fixed all the problems that we had in the previous races, in Spa we had a broken anti-roll bar but just now it was just perfect and I am looking forward for both races.

“I need to score points to be on top again so we’ll see how it goes tomorrow. We had good pace, five tenths quicker than the second placed guy” he ended.

Hiqmar Danial went through a team change this weekend from Eurasia Motorsport to Eurointernational. He saw a change in his performance and was quick to credit his team’s great effort for his second placed start for Round 9. “Obviously I just changed teams, my dad decided on the change.

“The team treats me really well and I had a warm welcome from them. From the moment I came here, Antonio Ferrari really put in the effort for me to be here and when I got here, he worked hard for me. I can see his effort, which is a reason why I am in front. The mechanics and engineers worked really hard for me so a big thank you to them”.

Speaking of the session, Danial was a little dejected at the end result, “It was a really close qualifying. I was P1 for a few times at the start, the last lap I could have been in pole but I screwed up the last sector.

But the youngster vowed to make the best of the race this weekend. “We will see the data and see where we can improve and hope for the win tomorrow”.

Current Championship leader, Nabil Jeffri set the third fastest time but was given a one grid demotion for having four wheels off the track edge twice during the session. Fellow Malaysian and Eurointernational teammate, Irfan Ilyas, was given a two grid demotion for the same infringement which he repeated four times.

The penalties pushes Tan Wei Ron up the grid to third whilst Indian Akhil Khushlani and Briton Jack Dex are up to fifth and sixth respectively leaving Ilyas in seventh.

When asked about qualifying on row two, Tan was happy with the outcome. “I am pretty excited. Tomorrow’s race will tell a different story from today’s qualifying.

“It’s a very nice circuit, its very fast and physical and I think every driver enjoys it, so do I. You don’t really get this weather in the UK so we are really lucky this weekend with 25 degrees and sunshine the whole day, so we’ll try to make full use of it”.

For Khushlani, it’s been a tough journey of getting reacquainted with racing after doing tests and keeping busy starting his business over the past year. “I qualified sixth and I am actually quite happy with my result as I did not manage the practice.

“Being one second off the pole position after one year of not driving, I feel good and confident. I am going to play catch up for the races and see how it comes out”.

The US Formula Project driver is enjoying his return to racing. “The circuit is interesting and fast and tiring I must say. And as I mentioned earlier, it’s been one year, I am lucky I coped well with it and I really do like this track”.

The JK Racing Asia Series Round 9 is scheduled to be held at 2.05pm (local time) on Saturday, 8th September 2012 with Round 10 scheduled for Sunday, 9th September 2012.

Photo by Motorsport Asia Ltd.

Nabil JeffriCurrent Championship leader, Nabil Jeffri is all smiles as he heads to the historic Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit for Rounds 9 & 10 of the JK Racing Asia Series. The Series is in Silverstone for its final leg of the European tour, one that has been an outstanding experience for the young drivers.

“This is an invaluable experience for these young drivers. Yes, in Asia we do have some of the latest and greatest circuits and in fact the Series visits both Sepang in Malaysia and the Buddh International Circuit in India, but the racing atmosphere in Europe is different and being given the opportunity to experience it first hand whilst still being involved in the Asian set up will be invaluable for the next step in their careers”, said David Sonenscher, CEO of Motorsport Asia.

“Coming here to Silverstone will be amazing for the drivers. They will get to experience corners like Becketts-Maggots-Chapel and Copse on a track that is steeped in history. I am glad that we are able to be the ones to bring them here” ended Sonenscher.

Rounds 9 & 10 are now scheduled to be held on 7-9 September 2012 in conjunction with the British GT and British Formula 3 event at Silverstone.

Malaysian Jeffri leads at the midway mark with 134 points, finishing on the podium seven out of the eight outings, winning four and finishing second three times. The ‘One Malaysia Youth Ambassador’ hopes to continue with his dominating presence this weekend at a circuit that he considers one of his favourites.

His Eurointernational teammates South African Aston Hare, Malaysians Irfan Ilyas and Tan Wei Ron are in second, third and fifth respectively in the points table.

So far only Jeffri and Hare have dominated this year, but Meritus.GP driver, pre season favourite, Afiq Ikhwan from Malaysia, who is 75 points behind the leader, claimed his first win of the Season in France interrupting the Eurointernational podium dominance.

Both Ilyas and Ikhwan will have it slightly easy in Silverstone as Hare will be out of contention with a broken ankle, an injury sustained in a football game after Belgium.

Eighth in points is Malaysian Hiqmar Danial, who will have to adjust to a new team dynamics with US Formula Project as Eurasia Motorsport are unable to attend at the last minute due to Visa issues. Despite the change, the one time podium finisher, is in high spirits as the team is part of the Eurointernational race outfit.

Former Formula BMW driver, Indian Akhil Khushlani and last year’s JK Racing Asia Series Guest Driver Italian Lorenzo Camplese will join Danial in US Formula Project. Khushlani has been busy back home setting up his car business and getting some race tests in between whilst Camplese is currently contesting the ATS Formel 3 Cup.

Norwegian Tommy Ostgaard will participate for the first time this weekend, from his Formula Basic Series, with SWB Motorsport.

The 2012 JK Racing Asia Series Season has been an interesting one so far, more so than anyone anticipated at the start of the year. It is the first time the Asian Series has ventured to Europe, allowing the young impressionable drivers to get a first hand experience of three of Europe’s best Circuits – Paul Ricard in France, Spa Francorchamps in Belgium and the final event of the European tour ends here at the Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit in UK before heading back to Asia.

Photo by Motorsport Asia, Ltd

Afiq IkhwanMalaysian single-seater ace, Afiq Ikhwan, stole the show with a brilliant charge in the qualifying session to sensationally claim pole position for tomorrow’s JK Racing Asia Series race at the Sepang Circuit.

The Meritus.GP driver, who is aiming for the championship lead this weekend, made his intentions clear with a sizzling best lap time of 2 minutes 11.701 seconds to claim the No. 1 spot on the grid tomorrow.

Although in a good position, Afiq’s fully aware that the real test will be in the race. “I’m very nervous about tomorrow. I know it will be a tough race for sure but I can’t wait for it to start. I am feeling pretty good and there’s an overall good feeling for the race tomorrow,” said Afiq, who finished second in the the first two races of the season.

Meritus GP, which has PETRONAS as its key sponsor, was delighted with Afiq’s quickest drive today. Trailing Afiq in second place was Irfan Ilyas who was timed at 2:11.948 while Jimmy Antunes was third with his best run of 2:12.460.

Afiq is currently third in the championship with 30 points. Lucas Auer, who was fourth today, is top of the championship with 34 points while Nabil Jefri (PETRONAS Mofaz) is second with 32 points.

“The team has been working hard on the car for this weekend, and today we found the right set-up. Tomorrow morning we’ll be working on the tyre settings,” commented Afiq, who is also hopeful the weather will hold-up this weekend.

“It has not been too hot these few days and I’m hoping the weather will be good on Saturday and Sunday.”

Weather aside, Afiq knows the real threat for him will come in the form of Lucas and Nabil. “They are obviously my main concern.”

In the free session earlier today, Afiq was third with a time of 2:12.549. He snuck in just behind Lucas and Nabil. As it was a free session, Afiq did not go flat out and was saving himself for the official session later in the afternoon.

Akash also had a good warm-up in the free session and finished sixth fastest with a time of 2:13.295. Teammate Andrey Khrapov was 11th while Raj Bharath was 15th in the free session.

Formerly known as Formula BMW Pacific, the Series is now run under Motorsport Asia with the backing of Indian tyre manufacturer, JK Tyre & Industries.

The level of competition in the Series has increased as evidenced right from the start, with the top eight qualifiers coming in within one second of one another. There was plenty of action throughout the two races with battles all the way down the order right to the closing stages of the races, and more of the same is expected during the AFOS event.

Rounds 3-6 of the JK Racing Asia Series will be held as part of the Asian Festival Of Speed event on 28-29 May at Sepang International Circuit. This will be the second outing in Malaysia before the Series travels to Indonesia, China, Singapore and India.

www.Meritus.GP are the most successful team in the history of the series, having won seven consecutive team titles and five of the Drivers’ titles.