Monday September 10, 2012
Afiq sets fastest lap en route to second win of season
PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s Afiq Ikhwan restored pride for the Meritus.GP team with a superb pole to flag win in Round 9 of the JK Racing Asia Series at the Silverstone circuit on Saturday.
Afiq pulled away right from the start and opened up a gap of more than five seconds in the early part of the race to eventually claim his second win of the season.
The Malaysian also set the fastest lap of the day when he completed lap four in 2:10.697.
The result will be a boost to Afiq and the team, who have struggled to keep pace with Eurointernational Challenge led by compatriot and championship leader Nabil Jeffri.
Before the Silverstone weekend, Eurointernational drivers won seven out of the eight races so far with Afiq earning Meritus.GP’s only chequered flag success at the Paul Ricard circuit in France in July.
Afiq, who just celebrated his 21st birthday on Aug 8, was delighted with the outcome in the final European stop after Paul Ricard (France) and Spa-Franchorchamps (Belgium).
“It’s fantastic to win here especially when they are celebrating 100 years of the circuit. I want to thank my team for a good job and most importantly to my sponsors.
“This was a good race for me and the team. We worked really hard this weekend and we struggled a lot in the previous events, so to win here in Silverstone is fantastic,” said Afiq from Silverstone.
Afiq said “the track conditions were a bit slippery” but it was an easy drive for him.
“I didn’t push very hard to save the tyres and anyway, the gap was almost four seconds. We also managed to get the fastest lap, so we proved that we are very competitive and we can put pressure on the other teams.”
After being demoted one grid position after the qualifying session, Nabil was unfazed and maintained a steady race pursuing his competitors from the start.
Nabil, started the race in fourth, claimed a precious second placing in the end.
“I like to thank Eurointernational who gave me a good car. They made a change to the car yesterday and I am happy with it.
“It was unexpected for me to be here in second. I had an okay start and I had expected to do better. But I think I did a good job of catching up and maintaining a good pace throughout the race.
“Second is okay. What is important is to not get into any crashes as the points are important to me,” said Nabil.
Round 9 (10 laps): 1. Afiq Ikhwan (Mas) Meritus.GP 21:56.293, 2. Nabil Jeffri (Mas) Eurointernational 21:59.622, 3. Danial Hidzir (Mas) Eurointernational 22:07.391.