Pim Van Ark has taken pole position at Watkins Glen for round 2 of the RF2 Asia World Tour series by just 0.037 seconds. However, Pim’s lack of registration for the series provides some mystery as to whether this was a one off super-test from the Fair Racing Team driver, or a genuine entry into the series. Many will be left scratching their heads at how Van Ark achieved it with a top speed some 5km/h slower than the cars behind him. Only time will tell if Van Ark will compete in the race on Sunday.
The LMP3 category is once again led by Dirty Gweilo Racing’s Chris Shire, although by a far smaller margin than in the opening round at Monza where he saw off the challenge of just one other competitor. Shire put in 96 laps to edge out Schubert Motorsport’s Nick Newcombe by a tenth of a second. Newcombe, who will running his first event in the series, noted that he was wavering in his decision to run the LMP3 class. Given his commitments in the coming months, Newcombe was considering using the GTE class as practice, but switched back to LMP3. Discussing the track after qualifying Shire said, “I found that you have to be brave on downforce and really mindful of hugging the apex of the long turns. I found that because the track was pretty wide at points there’s a temptation to just keep your foot pinned and go wide in corners.” Other new entrants to the LMP3 class should make for a far more competitive race in the class, with RF2 Asia newcomer Carlos Limjoco of Archon Racing setting a time in qualifying just minutes before it officially ended. He echoed the sentiments of Chris Shire about the track and suggested that it “just baits you into going full Ricky Bobby and just send it.” Jason Back brings up the rear of the class and has targeted a strong finish by concentrating on his race pace in practice.
The GTE class is proving to be extremely competitive with Alexis Clapano and Andres Rivero just two hundredths of a second apart. Rivero comes to the race having won the class and overall race at Monza and will be looking to extend his championship lead, although it is unclear whether his Rookie Monsters teammate Augustus Arias will be challenging him . Clapano will be looking to restart his championship challenge as he made a hugely uncharacteristic mistake last time out by crashing out in the opening laps. Mark Robinson and Mada Andhika are likely to be in a close fight also, racking up 351 laps in practice between them and separated by just three tenths of a second. Pablo Lorenti will be looking to build on an excellent result in Monza where he finished five places higher than his starting position to take the final podium spot overall. He starts in 8th, ahead of welcome series newcomers David Plummer of Tri-Continental Racing and Alexandr Meshkov of Senya Racing Team. Chris Payne continues with the plucky Metalmoro MR1 and looks like he may have another race of no competition to contend with in the class.
Given how closely matched the GTE and LMP3 classes have been, RF2 Asia has decided to make a slight change to the rules on the grid. Rather than starting in class order, the grid will now start from the position in which they qualified overall. This will be further explained in the race briefing to drivers before the race if there are any further questions.
Another change is the testing of a new Live Timing system from Raceview.nl. The RF2 admin team would encourage participants to check it out here.
Round 2 of the RF2 Asia World Tour Series at Watkins Glen will start at 10:00 UTC+0 on 12th July 2018.
Entries for the series are still possible, as are bespoke car skins from our admin team. If you are not registered and wish to take part we would love to accommodate you! See the links in the title bar for details