Asia Racing Team (ART) Motorsports scored its best result of the season in the 2008 Formula Asia 2.0 – two 2nd positions overall, one best lap time, double 1-2 in Asia Drivers Cup and the best Qualifying of the year.
At Bira Circuit (Thailand), Yoshitaka Kuroda and Rio Haryanto were 2nd in each of the 20-laps races and offered the team two clear 1-2 in Asia Drivers Cup. Ryan Booth managed to get the best qualifying result for ART so far but the American saw his impressive performance shattered by a penalty. The single seater debutant Karl Martinez accomplished his mission, and managed to finish and score his first point in the series.
After the very best Qualifying of the season, Race 1 had the ART drivers line up 3th, 5th, 7th and 10th. At the lights, Haryanto as expected made one of his customary lightening getaways. Booth, Kuroda and Martinez however, failed to get away from the line well.
Booth, Kuroda and Haryanto put on a fighting display and carved their way up through the field finishing in 2nd, 3rd and 5th. However Booth handed a 30 seconds penalty for “jump start” after an amazing race where he managed to elapse local hero Robert Boughey and Pole sitter Mathias Beche. The American penalty opened the door for Kuroda’s 2nd place and Rio’s 4th position. The debutant Martinez had a short race. The Mexican did not finished after loosing the control of his car in lap 2 at the first chicane.
In the Asia Drivers Cup, Kuroda and Haryanto had laid the foundations for the 1-2 ART victory.
The Race 2 was held in glorious sunshine and in front of an impressive crowd. Haryanto did an astonishing start and secured the 2nd position in the first corner. The youngest driver of the field took 2nd place from Kuroda at the start and from there pushed ahead followed. Haryanto was not perturbed by the 3rd and just kept his head to claim 2nd at the chequered flag with the best lap of the race. The Indonesian motor racing biggest hope did his best result of his single seater career on a special day for his country (Independence Day of Indonesia).
The result could have been better for ART but an exhaust problem slow down Kuroda who came home in 4th. The positive results in Bira helped Kuroda to climb to 3rd in the drivers championship standings. The Race 1 penalty meant that Booth started from 8th place and after a strong race he ended up in 6th. Martinez, who has been learning with his new team, adapted brilliantly. Despite the Race 1 spin his progress was stunning throughout the weekend with laptimes improving lap after lap.
The Asia Drivers Cup was another 1-2 for ART but this time with Haryanto at the front.
Halfway through the 2008 Formula Asia 2.0 ART Motorsports is in 2nd place in the teams’ classification. Next round: Bira (Thailand) from 4th to 7th September.
#18 Ryan Booth : “The weekend didn’t turn out as we’d expected especially in the light of our times in the Qualifying and the final result of Race 1. I don’t know if I did false start in Race 1 as I didn’t see the video. Definitely I didn’t benefit with that start. I lost time and positions but I have to respect the stewards’ decision. The second race was tough. I overtook some opponents but I had no time to go further. Overall I’m happy because I proved I can match the pace of the quickest drivers of the series”.
#20 Yoshitaka Kuroda : “In Race 1 I wasn’t brilliant at the start but as the race progressed, it got easier and easier. My car felt very stable and consistent on this track which made it easier to overtake cars. In Race 2 I had an exhaust problem that stopped me to get a podium result. I do like this circuit but it can be bumpy in some places but I do enjoy racing here. I’m very happy to be in ’top-3’ of the series”.
#22 Rio Haryanto : “Having scored my podium is a great feeling! This is National Day in Indonesia and this is a present I give to my sponsors, the media, my parents, my manager and Indonesian people as they support me a lot. Like in Race 1 I made a good start for the Race 2, I squeezed near Kuroda and I managed to get 2nd. After that I just did my best to keep the position and managed the advantage I had to the driver behind. I have been fast here around the Bira track all weekend, but I have been working hard for this success together with my team during the past weeks. I have to thank Philippe and the team for the excellent work”.
#25 Karl Martinez : “It was a hard week. On Saturday I was a bit nervous but I was doing well when I lost the control of my car and spun. I tried to restart but it wasn’t possible. On Sunday I stalled in the start so I lost a lot of time for the rest of the pack. I didn’t feel so confident and the car was shaking too much. In the end it was good to finish in my first race weekend. I hope to come back.”