I was in Xiamen this past weekend to attend the Sunpadow Interenational Grand Prix Race. The first of this race started last year. Going into the second year, it attracted many drivers around the South East Asia region to participate. Big names like Simon Kurzbuch, Marco Vanni, Silvio Hacler and some Italian drivers were in attendance as well.
There are many challenges going into this race. The first challenge was to be able to adapt immediately going back to back EP and GP which requires different driving technique. The second challenge was the direction of the track was clockwise for EP, and anti-clockwise for GP category.
Last year I raced Viper 977 and this was my 1st bigger race with the new Viper 988 and I loved it !!
The format for the race was 3 rounds of qualifiers of 5minutes, taking best of 1. TQ for the race enter to the final directly with the rest to bump up from the other finals.
I was seeded 2nd, behind Simon after controlled practice. It was a good start for me as this was my first 1/8 nitro race outside of Singapore. I dont normally race in the 1/8 category as i am not so strong in this.
I tried to take a risk by not refueling in the 1st qualifer, but unfortunately, I ran out of fuel and did not complete the race. The Second qualifier, my engine broke during warm up. The 3rd qualifier was late at night, the track conditions were not as fast as the earlier runs. I needed a good run to put me into the semi-final. I would qualified 4th overall, behind Simon, Marco and Huang. Marco and Huang did not refuel in the qualifiers. I would have been 2nd overall if no need for refuel.
In the Semi, I started strong, behind Marco for most of the race, until one time flame out. I dropped to last and fought my way back to 5th. Fortunately, my time was quick enough and would booked a place in the final.
I started 8th in the final, but had a good start and was already up in 3rd position after the first lap. I was 2nd after the first refuel. Things changed after drivers have their tire change and I was 4th from then on and finished 4th in the end. Anyway, it was a good experience for me. Ask many questions before coming into this event from Merlin, Greiner, Yuya, and not forgetting the Serpent team that were present at the race to help me going from there.
This is also my first race driving the Viper 988 car and it is really nice and easy to drive right out of the box. I cannot be happier!
My setup will be posted on the Serpent website as well.
See you at the next races..