April 29, 2019

Apandi wins Urban Astro Buggy Champs Rd2

Round 2 of the Urban Astro Buggy Championship offroad racing series took place over this past weekend at Urban PlaySpace in Singapore. While it was a small grid this round, it was a quality field as most of the top contenders were all in action. Round 1 winner, Sean Lee, was looking to cement his lead in the championship, and things were looking good for this young phenom as he secured TQ in the first two of the four rounds of qualifying. In round 3, Esmail Apandi took a 2-seconds win to TQ the round and setup a TQ showdown in Q4. The anticipated fight however fizzled out in Lap 3 however as the gremlins hit Esmail, leaving Sean to notch up his 3rd TQ run of the day. Esmail had to settle for a P2 start in the A-Main, with Sebastian Lee, father of Sean, qualifying 3rd, and newcomer Nicolas Madar securing the last direct spot in the A-Main. Steven Ong and Andrew Tow secured the A-Main bump-spots after finishing 1-2 in the bump-up race.

On to the finals, and in A-Main leg 1, it was a surprise win for Sebastian Lee as young Sean made a mistake on lap 1. While Esmail inherited the lead, he would soon relinquish it to Nicolas. Esmail and Nicolas however tangled on the left-side table-top, gifting the lead to a somewhat surprised Sebastian. Cheered on by the spectators, Sebastian held his nerve to take his maiden final win, with Andrew Tow in 2nd and Steven Ong in 3rd. In leg 2, the same opening lap mistake once again consigned Sean to the back of the field in lap-1. Esmail took over the lead briefly, but gave it up to Nicolas as they ascended the up-ramp. Nicolas managed to hold on for a 1-lap win, with Esmail in 2nd. Leg 3 was now a chance for Sean to make amends, and make his pole position start count. Alas, luck was not on Sean’s side this time round as another mistake dropped him down the field, paving the way for Esmail to takeover the lead. This time round, there was no stopping Esmail as he held out for the win, with Nicolas in 2nd and Steven Ong in 3rd. With Esmail and Nicolas tied on points, Esmail was declared the overall winner on the tiebreak. Nicolas, who recently moved to Singapore from France, had to settle for 2nd on what was a very strong showing on his first race in Singapore. Sebastian would just edge out Steven for the final spot on the podium. Sean finished in 5th, with Andrew Tow in 6th. With the win, Esmail takes over the lead at the top of the championship standing, with Sean trailing by 3 points.

Source: Urban PlaySpace [facebook.com]


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