Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Formula D Singapore

Woooooo Asia!!!! But damn, that was a long flight. 12hours to Tokyo and then another 7 to Singapore.

This will be Round 1 of the Formula D Asia Series which is the first stop of 4 throughout the year. So am I in my beastly tC? Not for this round. I was given the opportunity to drive Marcus's JZX100 Chaser built by Spark Motorsports.

Yes. A four door! My fav! Also on my team is Robbie Nishida, Daigo Saito, and Charles Ng.

We had all day Wednesday to test all the cars and set them up to our liking. Since this was the first time driving the chaser, I didn't know what to expect. But surprisingly, it was set up pretty well. In fact, so well that I told them to just leave it for now. Pop, my mechanic was by my side all the time in case I needed anything. After a few runs, I had them change some stuff around the suspension and we called it a day.

Thursday was a free day but we ended up spending 90% of it at Spark Motorsports to work on the cars. My chaser needed a repair on the diff bushings and subframe bushings. I also had POP lower the rear suspension.

Unfortunately that morning, I ate something bad and I broke my stomach. It was something I ate right outside out hotel.

I knew it was a bad idea. I spent alot of time getting to know the toilet bowl at the shop.
Oh! And the shop is crazy! They had a display room upstairs with a PS3, pool table, bar, Internet, and some show cases.

The pool table

I beat Robbie at pool. Muahahaha.

The shop staff were so generous too. They made sure we were fed, and having a good time, at all times. Singapore hospitality is amazing. Just one thing... It's so damn humid!!!

You can almost feel the humidity through the picture can't you?? It rains alot and when it does, it gets worse. Showers seem pointless because you sweat right away anyways.

Friday: we finally get the see the track. Omg. Formula 1 pits?! Yes that's right.

We were pitted inside Timo Glock's pit. How cool is that??
This day was set aside for Media ridealongs. In my case, practice and getting to know the car better!!!! The track layout was pretty straight forward. Straight to a left turn, feint side-brake entry into a sweeping right decreasing radius following a left kink and another kink to the right for exit. The entry was similar to Palm Beach.

At the end of the day, I was feeling at home with the chaser. Pop pretty much worked all night prepping the car for me. Thanks man!
We also met the Thai Superstar team.

Spark Motorsports x PTT invasion. Men in black. Haha awesome people.

Saturday is qualify for the Asia series as to where we qualify on Friday in the states. When the morning practice session took off, it began to rain. And then it came down really hard!!

During practice someone in front of me went straight into the wall on entry.

He was injured and sent to the hospital but later confirmed to be ok. Drifting is serious business. I hope his car is repairable.

Qualify in the rain in a RHD car I've never competed in?! Sure why not. When qualify started, it was apparent that the track just went from straight forward to tricky as hell. The problem was, some parts of the surface were more slippery than others. Inconsistent surface condition made it hard for all of us. I managed to qualify 5th. Wow. What a surprise. And thankfully, all of us at Spark Motorsports made it into the show.

Sunday: it's on!! Top 32. My first battle was against Pond from the Red Bull team. I really didn't know how to gauge these drivers in tandem so I knew I had to be real close. On my follow lap, I lightly tapped him but he didn't forcefully spin. If this was in the states, they would have spun.
I moved onto the 16 where I was now matched up against Koh Kae in his A31 Cefiro. This driver won second place last year in Malaysia and Daigo had warned me that he is good. So I should be right by him at all times.
I moved on to the top 8. An s15 from Australia. Then to the top 4 against my very own teammate Daigo. Really? Come on.. Why not in the finals? I knew if I didn't blast the starter, I wouldn't be able to keep up so I did. He STILL flew right by me and left me by about 3 cars. So now he is in the finals and I am in the match for 3rd. Ivan in his Corolla. Thankfully I beat him and join Daigo and Non from the M150 team in a spot on the podium.

This was a pretty cool experience. Thank you Marcus for making it happen!

Thanks Spark Motorsports and staff for all the hospitality! And thank you Pop for the tremendous mecha-support!


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