Lucas Auer looks to consolidate lead

JAKARTA: Austrian wonder Lucas Auer (EuroInternational) will look to consolidate his runaway lead in the third round of JK Racing Asia Series this weekend as part of the Asian Festival of Speed at the Sentul International Circuit in Bogor near here.  The 17-year-old rookie has opened up a 49-point lead over Malaysia’s Irfan Ilyas with five wins from six starts.

With 116 points from the first two rounds held in Sepang International Circuit (Malaysia), Auer is comfortably ahead of Malaysia’s Irfan Ilyas (Petronas Mofaz Racing). A nephew of Formula One driver Gerhard Berger, Auer is driving in a single seater class for the first time after many years of karting during which he won two junior titles is Germany and one KF3 championship.

There will also be considerable interest in whether Afiq Ikhwan Yazid (Meritus Racing) can challenge Petronas MR’s Ilyas and Nabil Jeffri in the championship table. A none-too-satisfying finish in the sixth race when he got just six points has left Yazid with a toal of 60 points so far while Ilyas has 67 and Jeffri 65.

Bangalore’s Raj Bharath (Meritis Racing), the lone Indian driver in the fray, has one top-10 finish in six races and picked up two points from the fourth race of the season. “I am looking forward to being among the points consistently,” he said. “It has been harder than I expected but I have taken away a lot from the six races over two rounds at the Sepang International Circuit.” Raj Bharath, who raced in a couple of races in the Formula Rolon class at the JK Tyre FMSCI National Racing Championship last year, is confident he can do better, having impressed in the first round when he made up his way from the back of the grid to finish just outside the points.

With four races scheduled for the weekend, the JK Racing Asia Series will come to midway stage. The second half of the season will see four races on the Guangdong Circuit (China), two each at the Marina Bay Circuit in Singapore and the newly-built track Buddh International Circuit in Noida, with the last two rounds being part of F1 weekends.

The JK Racing Asia Series, a Junior Formula championship, offers a platform for developing young talents on their journey on the world motorsport stage. It showcases a line-up of drivers from all over the world, including Asia-Pacific and Europe.  It also provides drivers the opportunity to compete in front of the Formula 1 fraternity three times this season.

The 3.96km long Sentul International track will see the return of international racing after 2009 when it hosts the AFOS that includes races in the JK Racing Asia Series and Asian Touring Car Series besides some local events like the Indonesian GT3, the Bimmer Race and a Classic car race.