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.

Darryl and Leon prove age is no barrier

Manila, September 2, 2012 : They belong to two extreme ends of the age scale, with 40 years between them. One is a promising cadet finding his feet in the world of karting; and the other, a veteran racer who has been there and done that in an illustrious karting career.

But Kartmaster Drakar Racing Team’s Darryl Wenas, 11, and Leon Khoo, 51, share a feat at Round 3 of the Asian Karting Open Championship (AKOC) on Sunday – they both earned a coveted place on the podium after yet another wet and wild race at the Carmona Racing Circuit in Metro Manila.

Let’s start with the young gun, Darryl. The Indonesian kid won the Cadet Mini-Rok category with a time of 15:32.834 and clocked 57.647 for his best lap. This was Darryl’s second podium finish in three rounds of AKOC action, after finishing second in July’s Round 1 in Macau.

And his victory is all thanks to? Black coffee.

“My performances were poor in the beginning,” said Darryl. “Everything went wrong for me until I had some black coffee. And Bingo! Everything started to click for me and I did much better in the Final.

“But I shouldn’t have put myself in that situation in the first place. One thing I learnt is I need to listen more to the technical crew and my mechanic to bring out the best in my performances.”

Khoo, who came in second in the Veterans race in Manila, did not need caffeine for his push up the podium in his first AKOC race of the season. The driver, who clocked a time of 20:42.158 behind winner Wong Kang Tong of Hong Kong, was hoping for rain.

“My pre-final drive was good, but the Final did not go too well,” said rain-master Khoo, who came in third in Round 2 of the Singapore Karting Championship at Marina Bay last month. “I believe I can perform better in the rain but not in semi-wet conditions.

While Darryl and Khoo enjoyed the sweet taste of success in Manila, their Kartmaster Drakar teammates in the junior category, Jon Lee, 13, finished 6th and Santos Bala, 15, were doing very well during the pre-final and final race until one of his tyre came off, placing him in 9th position. In the Senior category, Opai Naufal came in 10th.

The Kartmaster Drakar drivers, though, are hell-bent on making amends in Round 3 of the SKC later this month.

“Every race, we learn,” said Opai. “And after every race, we look to work harder and improve further for the next race.”

Maybe, like Darryl, a cup of black coffee will do the trick.

Photos of the race can be found here.

All photos by Jet Rabe. Copyright and property of Kartmaster Drakar Racing Team.