AFOS, Agustus 2009
Indonesian touring car star, Fitra Eri, claimed the first pole position of the Asian Touring Car-Max season this afternoon at the Sentul International Circuit.
Eri, driving for Toyota Top 1 Garda Oto Racing Team, beat 2008 Asian Touring Car Series Champion, Jack Lemvard and the reigning Asian Touring Car-Max Champion, Syafiq Ali to start at the front for the first race of the season.
Many of the drivers, although local, used the time on track to get used to the new circuit surface and according to the drivers, the conditions are improving and getting less slippery as more rubber is Iaid on the track.
Eri was happy to be participating this weekend, especially with his teammate, Rally Marina, confirming her entry into the series at the last possible moment.
“She had an accident in her car during the last outing at a local race recently and we have not been able to get the car fixed. She seemed quite disappointed” said Eri. In the end, things worked out as Eris’ Toyota Yaris was eligible for the race which gave Marina the chance to participate.
For Axle Motorsport, having two reigning champions behind the wheels is probably the most exciting outcome for the team.
Ali is the ATC-Max reigning champion and although feeling a little under the weather, the always optimistic driver is looking forward to making a podium appearance this weekend.
As for Lemvard, he has been kept busy participating in various touring car races back in Thailand and winning most of them. He is excited to be back in the Asian Festival of Speed and is looking forward to a great weekend of racing.
Five other regulars in the Indonesian touring car scene have also joined in for the race this weekend, including Roy Haryanto, the older brother of Indonesia’s Formula BMW Pacific hero, Rio. Roy has taken the fourth fastest time of the weekend in his Honda Jazz and is aiming for a podium finish.
The remaining four Indonesian drivers, Agung Dorodjatun, Hafizh Hadiyanto, Fachri Ramadani and Panji Sa have aII clocked competitive times but the newly resurfaced track poses some interesting changes on a circuit that they know so well.
The first race of the Asian Touring Car-Max will be held at the Sentul International Circuit, Sunday, 16 August 2009 at 9.15 am followed by the second race at 12.4Spm, local time.