Questnet Team Qi-Meritus on course for seventh consecutive Formula BMW crown
02.06.2009: Malaysia’s Questnet Team Qi-Meritus have returned to the top of the Formula BMW Pacific race series team championship after a great weekend at the Asian Festival of Speed (AFOS) at Sepang International Circuit (SIC).
Malaysia’s Questnet Team Qi-Meritus have returned to the top of the Formula BMW Pacific race series team championship after a great weekend at the Asian Festival of Speed (AFOS) at Sepang International Circuit (SIC).
Four races were held in Sepang, two each on Saturday and Sunday and Asia’s most successful motorsport team, with 32 titles in 12 years, scored points in each of them, including a win and one podium finish.
Rio Haryanto, the 16-year-old wonder kid from Solo, Indonesia, overcame a bad start in the first race when he spun off after attempting to overtake a rival to eventually collect 42 points by winning the fourth race of the weekend, claiming third in race two and finishing fourth in Race Three, despite starting from the back row.
His team mate, 14-year-old Dustin Sofyan, who is making his debut in the series, had a fairly consistent weekend, despite some problems with his car. Dustin collected 30 points by finishing fourth once, fifth twice and seventh in the last race.
Questnet Team Qi Meritus, who have won the last six Formula BMW team titles, now have 119.5 points while second placed Eurasia Motorsport have 116.25 points. E-Rain Racing are third with 112.13 points.
Team owner, Firhat Mokhzani, was understandably happy the team have bounced back to the top after a slow opening race.
“Our target has always been to retain all our championships in Formula BMW – team, driver and rookie titles. We are now leading the team event but there is a lot of work for us to do before we can regain the other two titles,” said Firhat, who has been the brains behind Questnet Team Qi-Meritus 32 titles.
“I’m delighted the drivers and our crew stepped up when it mattered most and while it could have been an even better weekend with more points for Rio and Dustin, I don’t have any complains. We must now work harder to ensure we stay at the top of the pile while Rio and Dustin will feel more confident going into the next round of races which will be held in their home country in July.”
The series next moves to Sentul, Indonesia, for four races from July 17-19, followed by two races each in Singapore (Sept 25-27), Okayama, Japan (Oct 30-Nov 1) and Macau (Nov 20-22).
Rio said: “I’m only 19 points behind the leader in the driver’s championships and with four races in my home country to come, I’m confident I can close gap. There is still a lot of racing to come. There are 10 more rounds and anything can happen. I’m just focussing on Sentul at the moment.” Dustin said: “I had some problems in the last two races but am confident I can improve on my performances in Sentul. I have come close to finishing third on several occasions and my next target is to be on the podium. Hopefully, that will become a reality in Sentul.”
FORMULA BMW PACIFIC Team Championship: 1. Questnet Team Qi-Meritus 119.5 points, 2. Eurasia Motorsport 116.25, 3. E-Rain Racing 112.13 points, 4. Team Holzer PFX 67.5, 5. Atlantic Racing Team 55.5, 6. Ao’s Racing Team 42 points, 7. Motaworld Racing 6 points.
Driver Championship (Top five): 1. Gary Thompson (IRL/E-Rain Racing) 83 points, 2. Axcil Jefferies (ZIM/Eurasia Motorsport) 72, 3. Rio Haryanto (INA/Questnet Team Qi-Meritus) 64, 4. Fahmi Ilyas (MAS/E-Rain Racing) 43, 5. Dustin Sofyan (INA/Questnet Team Qi-Meritus) 38 Rookie Cup (Top five): 1. Gary Thompson 83 points; 2. Axcil Jefferies 72, 3. Fahmi Ilyas 43, 4. Dustin Sofyan 38, 5. Calvin Wong 26 (MAS/Team Holzer PFX)
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