Date posted on September 30, 2009 · Published by Mark Goddard
Guest driver, Jack Harvey, had a brace of fourth place finishes on the challenging Marina Bay street circuit after starting mid-field as a result of tagging the wall and bending the suspension during qualifying. Axcil Jefferies kept his rookie championship hopes alive despite rolling out of race one on the last lap.
Qualifying went wrong for Harvey after he hit a kerb hard and tagged the wall on his sixth lap. At that time he was in the top three but with bent suspension he was unable to go faster and slumped to 7th fastest. It was a small but costly error. Axcil Jefferies did well to qualify fourth, in undoubtedly the most competitive field in the history of the Series, alongside rookie championship rival Gary Thompson. Chris Wootton was eleventh, losing three laps in the pits after an engine cover clip failed, with Paul Lau in 17th, the Hong Kong driver happy to have out-qualified Singapore rival Kerisnan.
The start for race was dramatic with Akhil Kushlani rolling after contact in turn one. This brought the safety car out with Jefferies up to third place, Harvey in 7th, Wootton 8th and Lau 17th. At the re-start Jefferies lost a place and dropped to fourth and lost ground to the cars in front whilst he conducted a fraught battle with Gary Thompson. Harvey looked on in 6th place not wishing to spoil a championship battle. The two Pacific rookie drivers put on a superb display of wheel to wheel racing, swapping places yet avoiding contact. It all came to head when Gary and Axcil swapped places in a fraught battle at turn 15 allowing Harvey past in the confusion. The latter then drove away to an accomplished fourth place setting the race’s second fastest lap in the process but too far behind to catch third place before the chequered flag.
It all went wrong for Jefferies on the final lap, Axcil in his bid to catch Thompson taking “Piquet” turn faster than he done before, clipping the exit wall and damaging the suspension. The Zimbabwean slowed and was pulling off the circuit when Cao arrived on the scene, ran into the rear wheels of the Eurasia Car which immediately rolled. Jefferies who remained in the upside down car for some time (trying to work out how to undo his belts and not his scratch his helmet when he hit the ground!)
was unharmed but it was a severe blow to his championship aspirations.
Chris Wootton made a good start to the race to finish the first lap in 8th which became seventh at the re-start and then was not troubled by Cao was within a couple of seconds for the whole race but did not look like he would threaten the Australian. He took sixth place on the final lap courtesy of his team mate retiring.
Paul Lau finished 17th after a good safe drive.
Race two was less dramatic although the racing was still fraught. Harvey had a great first lap and was up to sixth followed by Jefferies with Wootton in 9th. Jack was soon up to fifth and then past championship leader, Haryanto, for fourth place. One again he had lost too much time in the early laps to catch the driver in third before the chequered flag but this time he was less than a second behind and only needed a few hundred more metres to get on the podium. A safety car on lap three gave Jefferies the chance to get past Haryanto but the latter retook the place after running off the road on the exit of turn 7 giving him the chance to draw alongside before turn 8 and retake the place. Despite his best efforts Jefferies failed to take the place back from Haryanto by a mere .452 of a second at the flag. Rookie championship rival, Gary Thompson, finished down in eleventh place meaning they go into the next round at Okayama in Japan 14 points apart.
Paul Lau finished 15th despite a quick spin.
The team now moves to Okayama in Japan for rounds 13 and 14 of the series at Okayama Circuit.