I have always liked racing in Taiwan and so this was a race I was looking forward to. The organizers invited Masami Hirosaka to attend this event so it was great to have the chance to race against a legend. The track condition for the weekend was very different from a few months back during the Mugen Cup. Overall, I felt less traction and high winds, so strong it made the straights difficult. KO’s Engineer Okumura San also attended the event to support all KO drivers, about 58 drivers showed up.
This was a one-day race, so it was a bit rushed. 3 rounds of qualifying taking the best round, no bump ups. I lost TQ to Masami by 0.8 secs, but I blew it because in the rocket round I lost 1.5 secs when I made a mistake coming into the pits too fast. Oh well….
In the 40 minute final, my car was working great but we had to take a more conservative approach in fuel strategy so we actually had plan to pit 2 extra stops compared to other drivers. But given my projected race pace, we felt confident we were still going to be competitive at the end. Masami had a slow start off the grid which allowed me to pass and take the lead, but around 2 minutes into the race, he re-took the lead on my mistake and the two of us were close before Masami suffered car problems and had to come into the pits. I took over the lead and began to manage my race pace. Masami came back onto the track but ultimately retired at the 20-minute mark due to rear belt breakage. I finished the race a lap up over Al Huang, a very talented Taiwanese Mugen driver and Jones Chu, owner of ARC and very experienced driver came in third.
This was a good race, I haven’t raced 1/8 GP On Road since the Byron race in June so it was a long time, enjoyed it. I hope to be back in Taiwan to race again soon.
My new Black Light Weight Matrix Rims worked great!! Thanks Cristian!
Here is a video of parts of my race: