September 11, 2017

Asia Onroad Championships Rd4 – Report

Round 4 of the Asia Onroad Championships were held at the GRC Raceway in South Korea. A true world-class facility greeted the drivers that gathered from all around the world to compete. In the opening Modified Touring A-main and out to the early lead was Akio Sobue with teammate Marc Rheinard following closely. In the 3rd position was E. C. Kim patiently waiting for the leaders to make a mistake and take advantage. The leaders would get by lapped traffic cleanly, Kim wouldn’t be so lucky. Akio and Marc would battle all the way until the end with only two tenths of a second separating them. E. C. Kim would finish 3rd.

In A2 and with one of the cleanest starts of the day, Akio Sobue brought his A-game in this main and would take the lead with authority. Quickly building a 3-second lead over teammate Marc Rheinard, Sobue’s car was on point. He would carry this momentum all the way to victory with Rheinard finishing 2nd as E.C. Kim would again capture the 3rd position.

A3 was once again the Akio and Marc show as the two teammates jumped out the lead and started to distance themselves from the field. The rest of the field followed a couple of seconds behind with Victor Wilck jumping into the 3rd position, Nicholas Lee 4th and E.C. Kim running in 5th. Traffic seemed to big issue all weekend, as the front-runners weren’t able to get by cleanly. With two laps to go, Akio Sobue bobbled and steered wide right before the front straight allowing Rheinard to take the lead. Akio attacked back with everything he had to regain the lead, maybe a bit too much spinning out Rheinard on the last turn before the finish line. He waited letting Marc finish in the 1st position. Viktor Wilck finished the race in 3rd. Overall it was Akio with the win from Marc and E.C. Kim.

In Super Stock 13.5 Jan Ratheisky, all the way from Germany, TQ’ed the class and thought he would easily cruise in for the easy win. Not if Dung Uk Jang had anything say about that. For the first few minutes of the race, the two were less than a second apart with Dung Uk Jang matching every of Jan’s moves, until they hit traffic. With every car Dung had to wait to get around, Ratheisky would get away a little more. In the end, Jan would take the win with close to a 2 second lead. Naoya Morita would finish 3rd.

In A2 Jan Ratheisky would once again prove his dominance in the Super Stock 13.5 Touring class and pull away to leave the battles happen behind him. Naoya Morita from Japan was having a strong showing with his Yokomo machine placing himself solidly in the 2nd position half way through the race. The 3rd position was up for grabs with In-mo Kang and Kijeong Park fighting for that spot. Separated by 3 seconds, Park would run out of time. Jan Ratheisky would take the with the only 14-lap run. Naoya Morita would capture 2nd and In-mo Kang would take 3rd.

Jan Ratheisky had secured the overall win taking the top spots in the 1st and 2nd mains. Trying to make it a clean sweep for the weekend, he decided to run the third main. His chances looked good as he jumped out to the early lead at the beginning of the race. Running closely behind were Dung Uk Jang and Naoya Morita, who were not only in a battle for the 2nd and 3rd spot in this race, but in the overall results too. The two stayed together for most of the race until they hit traffic allowing Dung to widen the gap. At the end of the race, Jan Ratheisky would take the win with Dung Uk Jang 2nd and Naoya Morita 3rd and this would also be the overall result.

The start of the 21.5 Touring class was rough not once, but twice. Race director Scotty Ernst had to calm down the drivers and do a third restart. This tie the start was smooth as butter and racing got under way. The whole group freight trained through the first couple of laps with Kim Baekwan leading the charge. There was no chance to relax for Kim with 2nd qualifier Ji Hoon Kim closely flowing behind with Il Kuyn Lim and Kang Il Lee two seconds back. Halfway though the main, the field started to spread out and with the clock ticking, Baekwan cruised to the win with Hoon Kim four seconds behind. Il Kuyn Lim would collect 3rd.

With a cleaner start this time, A2 got underway with out any big crashes. The field stayed close together and in its positions for the first few laps. As the racers settled in, the field spread out and the top three separated themselves from the rest. The best battle was happening for the 2nd and 3rd positions with Ji Hoon Kim and Lee Yu Sung trading paint every lap. In the end Yu Sung would win that battle with Hoon Kim taking 3rd. Kim Baekwan would take the over all win.

As Kim Baekwan took the win in the first two mains, he decided to sit out the third main, leaving the 2nd and 3rd podium spots yet to be decided. Once again, it was a clean start as the main got underway. With a 2nd and 3rd place finish under his belt, Ji Hoon Kim jumped out into the lead with Byoung Wook Park closely in tow challenging him for the position. With 90 seconds left in the race, Byoung would challenge for the lead on the back straight and the cars would touch, spinning out Byoung. He would quickly regain control, but would fall behind a couple of seconds. The finishing order of the this third main would be Ji Hoon Kim taking the win, Byoung Wook Park 2nd and Jeil Lee taking 3rd. Overall and behind Kim Baekwan it were Ji Hoon Kim and Il Kuyn Lim who rounded out the podium.

The hotly contested Formula class is steadily growing in popularity and the drivers were definitely hungry for a podium spot. At the sound of the tone in the first main, it was TQ Jan Ratheisky who jumped out to the lead, trying to check out early. Leaving the others behind to jockey to position, Dominic Quek, Max Park and Lee Giu Jin fiercely battled for the entire race. Taking the top 3 were Ratheisky 1st, Max Park 2nd and Lee Gui Jin 3rd.

At the start of the second Formula main, Jan Ratheisky looked like he was going to do a repeat performance of the opening main and quickly built up a big lead after two laps. Behind him, Yoo Jae Kuk and Max Park battled until the two tangled in the 2-minute mark with Max coming out ahead. Patiently waiting behind these two was Byung Hwan Kim, who would take over the 2nd position when Park and Jae Kuk would tangle again. When the dust had settled, Ratheisky would take the overall win, Yoo Jae Kuk 2nd and Byung Hwan Kim 3rd.

With Jan Ratheisky having taken A1 and A2 for the overall win the remainder of the podium spots was still up for grabs. 2nd through to 5th spot were racing bumper to bumper desperately trying to find a way to the front. After a few exchanges, Max Park and Dominic Quek were battling hard, trading positions a couple times until the time was up. Dominic Quek would finish 2nd and Max Park 3rd but overall it was Max Park with the runner-up spot from Yoo Jae Kuk 3rd.

Source: AOC []


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