April 2, 2018

Daryl Thong takes comeback win at UTS Rd2

After a 2-month break, serious touring car racing action returned to the rooftop on-road track in downtown Singapore in the form of the second round of the Urban Touring Series. Held over the Easter weekend, the event attracted a strong turnout with a 23-car starting grid. With some of the nation’s top racers overseas for another event, interest was focused on who would step up on to the podium. In pre-race practice, the goal was to post consistent sub-11 seconds lap times. Daryl Thong (Xray), who was making his comeback to UTS racing, together with PY Tang (ARC), who finished 2nd in round 1, and Hasron Robana (Xray) were the clear pace-setters. Young Sean Lee (Tamiya) and Joe Hwee (Capricorn) showed that they were also capable of staying in touch with the top trio.

Qualifying round 1 was an intense affair in the top heat, with PY having the early advantage to lead Daryl by 0.1 seconds even at the 4-minute mark. In the closing stages, however, Daryl managed to eke out a 0.5 seconds win with a string of six consecutive sub-11 seconds laps. Qualifying round 2 was relatively more straightforward with Daryl TQ-ing the round by 2.8 seconds to secure the overall TQ spot. Daryl elected to sit out qualifying round 3 and left it to PY and Hasron to battle for P2 in the A-main. In the final qualifier, Hasron stormed out of the gate to lead early, with PY close behind. The duo traded the lead back-and-forth until bad luck struck PY in the form of a bodytuck. Electing to race on, PY’s laptimes dropped off to open the door for Hasron to take the win for the round, and P2 for the A-main.

A-main leg 1 turned out to be one of the closest races witnessed on the roof. Daryl managed to get off to a good start, with Hasron and PY close behind. PY had the clear speed advantage, but he had to find a way past Hasron. A mistake by Hasron however allowed PY to take over 2nd place and focus on reeling in Daryl. Daryl and PY showed their experience and also plenty of mutual respect as they raced bumper-to-bumper for a good part of the final. With half a lap left, an unfortunate incident with a back-marker however allowed PY to inherit the lead and take it to the checkered flag. Daryl was left to rue the what-ifs as he finished 2nd just 0.5sec back, with Hasron in 3rd.

In A-main leg 2, Daryl once again started well and pulled a gap on the rest of the field. Hasron was in 2nd with PY hot on his wheels. However, a dreaded meeting with the kerb in the middle S-section by Hasron allowed PY to move up to 2nd with Joe in tow. Before he could mount a serious challenge on Daryl, PY made a mistake on the right-side hairpin leaving him wheels to the sky, and dropping all the way to the back of the field. Daryl was now in a comfortable lead, which he would maintain all the way to the end to seal the early overall win. Hasron managed to fight back to finish 2nd, with Joe in 3rd.

With the overall winner decided, leg 3 would be an interesting battle for the remaining podium spots as Daryl elected to also run the final leg. This time, Daryl cruised to an 8-seconds win, while another mistake by Hasron allowed PY through to take 2nd, and with that the overall runner-up spot, while Hasron finished 3rd overall.

Final results:
1. Daryl Thong – Xray
2. PY Tang – ARC
3. Hasron Robana – Xray
4. Joe Hwee – Capricorn
5. Sean Lee – Tamiya
6. Fadzil Saat – Xray
7. Koh Boon Yang – Serpent
8. Sebastian Lee – Tamiya

The next round of the series will be held on 1 July 2018.

Source: Urban PlaySpace [facebook.com]


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