Kartmaster Drakar celebrate Asian haul

Andersen Martono and Jon LeeBogor, Indonesia, 16 December 2012: In a clear sign that Kartmaster Drakar Racing Team have outgrown the domestic scene, the Singapore-based motorsports outfit are making waves in the Asian arena.
2012 AKOC Rd 4 & 5 in Sentul international Circuit2012 AKOC Rd 5 Formula 125 Senior categoryAs the 2012 Asian Karting Open Championships (AKOC) season drew to a close at the Sentul International Circuit on Sunday in Bogor, Kartmaster Drakar drivers made sure that the Singapore flag was flown high and proud – not once, not twice, but three times.

Take a bow, Jon Lee, Andersen Martono, and Leon Khoo, for emerging from a sea of Asian motorsports talent to earn podium finishes in the overall standings of their respective categories.

Leon KhooKhoo, 51, didn’t even need to don his racing suit in Bogor as his podium finish in the Formula 125 Veteran championship was confirmed back in September after dominating performances in the first three rounds of the calendar. He finished third in the overall drivers’ standings.

Overall Winners of 2012 AKOC Formula 125 JuniorJon, though, needed to race and had to race hard that weekend. After finishing Saturday’s Round 4 in fifth place, the 13-year-old needed a podium finish on Sunday to clinch a top-three position in the Formula 125 Junior category.

He duly delivered – but not before some scares.

Jon Lee in 2012 AKOC Rd 5“My pre-final in round 4 and 5 were bad,” said the Victoria School student, who started Round 5 sixth on the grid after seeing the cap to his petrol tank flew off midway through the pre-final. “But after some changes and adjustments, I managed to pick up during the final in both rounds.”

Jon Lee in 2012 AKOC Rd 5Indeed, by the second lap in the final, Jon had climbed three places into third position, and held off his rivals for the rest of the race to earn third place in the championship.

Gabriella Teo in 2012 AKOC Rd 5
Santos Bala in 2012 AKOC Rd 5
His Kartmaster Drakar team-mates in the Junior category, Santos Bala Kerisnan and Gabriella Teo, finished seventh and eighth respectively in the overall standings.
Gabriella, 14 years old added “Sentul was the first track I drove that has a major tyre wear problem. I need to learn to control my aggression in my driving and reduce tyre wear. I have also learnt that mental focus is important in a long week of testing and racing, which I believed was lacking at Sentul.”

Overall Winners of 2012 AKOC Formula 125 Senior CategoryAndersen MartonoIndonesian-born Andersen stole the show in the Formula 125 Senior category by finishing second in the championship. His second-place finish in Round 4 saw him charge into second place in the drivers’ standings, and although he did not finish the race in Round 5, he kept his place among Asia’s best.

Winners of 2012 AKOC Rd 5

Opai with ex-teammate, Singaporean Karter Sean Hudspeth who won 4th and 5th respectively in the final race of the year

Opai with ex-teammate, Singaporean Karter Sean Hudspeth who won 4th and 5th respectively in the final race of the year

His Senior colleague Opai Naufal endured another frustrating weekend after an exploded magnito in Round 4 put paid to his bid to finish fifth. A fourth-place finish in Round 5 saw him end the championship in sixth position.

Winners of 2012 AKOC Rd 4 Formula 125 Mini Rok Category
Josh Lee in 2012 AKOC rd 5 In other categories, Indonesia-born Darryl Wenas and Singapore’s Josh Lee finished fourth and 19th respectively in the Mini Rok championship. It was Josh Lee’s first time participating in AKOC. The 10 years old, added, “The cadet category in AKOC is very competitive with many experienced drivers. I must learn to control my kart and try to avoid crashes in future races. I’m definitely looking forward to race in AKOC next year.”

Hong Yang, Gabriella, OpaiThe weekend in Bogor also saw the AKOC debut of new Kartmaster Drakar driver Yeo Hong Yang, who clocked an impressive sixth place in Round 4 and 11th in Round 5.

Hong Yang in 2012 AKOC Rd 5 “I’m happy with my overall performance this weekend,” the youngster said. “This was my first ever AKOC race, going up against many good drivers and i managed to come 6th in Round 4 and 11th in Round 5 after starting from 28th and 27th on the grid respectively.

“I really enjoyed the entire experience but I’m still inexperienced compared to many others in my category and I’ve got a lot still to learn. With more races and more experience, I am confident that I can only improve further.”

There is no short of inspiration for Hong Yang and his Kartmaster Drakar team-mates. After all, there are three among them who have shown there is a bigger world out there beyond the domestic competition.

And their performances are ample proof that Kartmaster Drakar belonged to a bigger stage.
Kartmaster Drakar Racing Team
The Lee family with JP and Raymond
Kartmaster Drakar Racing Team with Zahir Ali

Mr. Roland Chong Pl with his protégé, none other than the swift Zahir Ali whom they won many races together. It was very inspiring to watch Zahir Ali raced during rd 4 & 5. This guy is fast!

Mr. Roland Chong Pl with his protégé, none other than the swift Zahir Ali whom they won many races together. It was very inspiring to watch Zahir Ali raced during rd 4 & 5. This guy is fast!

Kartmaster Drakar’s Jon Lee cruises from pole to podium

SINGAPORE, September 30, 2012: Call it third time lucky if you want, but Jon Lee is having none of it. The Kartmaster Drakar Racing Team ace will tell you his first win of the season at the Singapore Karting Championship (SKC) was not down to luck. Far from it. It was a culmination of hard work, near misses and countless hours on the track since April.

Jon, 13, clocked a time of 14:31.801 to fend off challenges from team-mate Gabriella Teo (2nd:14:32.141) – who was making her SKC debut in Kartmaster Drakar’s colors – and Amin Noorzilan (3rd: 14:32.402) of AutoInc to win Round 3 of the SKC Junior category at Kartright Speedway on Sunday.

Jon, the SKC Cadet champion last season, had initially found his graduation to the Junior race this year hardly a walk in the park. The higher level Junior category boasts several top drivers like Amin and Gabriella – both older and more experienced – and the heavier steering wheel took some getting used to.

It took Jon, well, three races to suss it out.

“I came in second in Round 1 and fourth in Round 2,” said Jon. “I spent a lot of time training, preparing and getting used to the new set-up. After the first two rounds, I gained valuable experience and learned from it. This is the result of hard work from the whole team.”

Starting from pole after an impressive qualifying weekend, Jon cruised through his race adopting a defensive strategy.

“I know that Amin and Gabriella are faster than me,” the Victoria School student said. “I cannot afford to let any of them overtake me. So I drove carefully, shut all possible angles, and it worked.”

The race may be a cruise, but it was not without it’s share of thrills and spills. Jon’s Kartmaster Drakar team-mate Santos Bala Kerisan retired after seven laps after an accident saw him thrown out of the car and halted the race temporary. Luckily, he was unscathed.

In the Cadet Category, an engine failure right after the formation lap saw Jon’s younger brother, Josh, retire from his race.

In the Senior Category, Opai Naufal consolidated his position on top of the drivers’ championship by coming in second behind Randall Ng of BMS Racing. He had won back-to-back titles in Round 1 and Round 2 this season.

In the Masters category, Kartmaster Drakar’s Leon Khoo finished second.

Kartmaster Drakar co-team principal Roland Chong was pleased with his drivers’ performance. “I felt Jon did really well today to win his race,” he said. “His brother Josh’s blow-up is just plain unlucky. Overall, I am pleased.”

Congratulations to all drivers for their hard work and effort, never-say-die spirit and let’s strive to do better next time! We are thankful for all our Kartmaster Drakar mechanics for their hard work for setting the karts right!

Kartmaster Drakar will next race in Round 4 of the SKC on Oct 26 & 27th to be held at the F1 pit.

Photos of the race can be found here.