The finale of the 2018 season of the Urban Touring Series was held this past weekend. With the last round having taken place more than two months ago in August, anticipation was high as Singapore’s top racers were keen to lock horns for the final showdown. This round was also special in that the race would concurrently serve as the Singapore National Championship event in the Touring Car Stock and also the Formula classes. Two titles were therefore up for grab in this one event. The weather had been gloomy all week leading up to the weekend. The Urban track crew was nonetheless tireless in their effort to prep the track daily after the rain to ensure maximum practice time for everyone. Come the race weekend, the weather cleared up, and everyone was able to enjoy almost uninterrupted Saturday practice and Sunday race day.
In Touring Car qualifying, Nicholas Lee (Yokomo) secured an early overall TQ as he took TQ in both round 1 and 2 of qualifying. On the tight layout, a pole position start was crucial and the early advantage went Nicholas’ way. PY Tang (ARC) and Sean Lee (Tamiya) secured P2 in Q1 and Q2 respectively, while series overall leader Dominic Quek (Xray) only managed P3 finishes in Q1 and Q2. In Q3, Dominic put in a great run to TQ the round and secure the P2 start in the A-main. PY and Sean would line up in P3 and P4 respectively.
In the Formula Class, Dominic (Xray) dominated qualifying with a 1.5sec advantage (over 3-consecutive laps) over Tapana V (Xray), while Julien Foo (Xray) secured P3.
A unique feature of the UTS is the running of bump-up finals to provide a last chance for racers to make it to a higher final. The bump-up finals has always provided some of the most exciting racing, with last gasp efforts usually providing plenty of thrills … and spills. Making the bump-up into the A-main this round were Hasron Robana (Xray) and Wee EC (Xray).
After a short lunch break, it was on to the highly anticipated finals. In A-main Leg 1, TQ Nicholas was pushed all the way by Dominic, who was carrying over the momentum from his Q3 run. In one of the closest racing action on the roof, the duo put on an exhibition of top-level bumper-to-bumper racing. PY unfortunately suffered form an early spin out, and decided to pull over to save his tyres for the later finals. At the end of the 5-minutes, Nicholas took Leg 1 by 0.2secs as Dominic just could not find the room to overtake, and therefore had to settle for 2nd, with Sean in 3rd.
In A-main leg 2, the tables were turned as Dominic went from the “hunter” in leg 1, to being the “hunted” in Leg 2, with PY Tang doing the chasing. This time, Dominic had to defend his position from PY who was running on a fresher set of tyres. The battle for 2nd allowed Nicholas to pull away in the final, until an uncharacteristic mistake coming on to the straight. Luckily for Nicholas, the roll ended with tyres to the tarmac, and he was able to hang on for the lead and the win at the end of the five minutes. Dominic denied PY any room for an overtake, and finished 2nd, with PY in 3rd.
With Nicholas sitting out A-main leg 3, having taken the overall win, all eyes would again be on Dominic and PY. The crowd was once again treated to a full 5-minutes of bumper to bumper action with Dominic once again being hunted by PY and Sean. PY however was denied the use of his power advantage as Dominic put in a mistake free run to take the leg 3 by 0.5 secs. Sean finished a very close 0.3secs behind PY in 3rd.
In the Formula class, Dominic took relatively comfortable wins in legs 1 and 2 to secure an early victory. Leg 3 was a battle between Tapana and Julien to see who would secure P2 on the podium. After an exciting race in leg 3, it would be Julien who would win and steal an overall 2nd place finish, while Tapana was 3rd.
The day concluded with the announcement of the overall series results, which saw Dominic take the overall season title, with PY in 2nd and Sean 3rd.