By Mike Garrison
Race report from the Asian On-road Championship (AOC) - By Joel Navarro:
AOC South Korea is a wrap and what a great event it was! Mr. Kim did a great job with GRC Raceway and building a world-class facility that any racer would be proud to compete at. Throughout the weekend the racing was very competitive and everyone showed good sportsmanship all while having a good time and a big smiles on their faces. Being the first major event GRC Raceway, you’d have to agree that everything went off without a hitch. A big thanks to Mr KIM and the GRC staff for their support and hard work!
Here is how the action went down.
A1 – F1 by Yokomo – The hotly contested F1 class is growing in popularity and the drivers were definitely hungry for a podium spot. At the sound of the tone in the first main, it was TQ Jan Ratheisky in his XRAY ride jumped out to the lead tried to check out early. Leaving the others behind to jockey to position, Dominic Quek, Max Park and Lee Giu Jin fiercely battled for the entire race. Taking the top 3 were Ratheisky 1st, Max Park 2nd and Lee Gui Jin 3rd.
A1 – Stock Touring 21.5 by Sweep – The start of the 21.5 TC class was ROUGH not once, but twice. Race director Scotty Ernst had to calm down the drivers and do a 3rd restart. The third time, the start was smooth as butter and racing got under way.
The whole group freight trained through the first couple of laps with Kim Baekwan leading the charge. There was no chance to relax for Kim with 2nd qualifier Ji Hoon Kim closely flowing behind with Il Kuyn Lim and Kang Il Lee 2 seconds back. Midway though the main, the field started to spread out and with time expiring, Baekwan cruise for the win with Hoon Kim 4 seconds behind. Il Kuyn Lim would collect third.
A1 – Super Stock 13.5 by XRAY – XRAY’s Jan Ratheisky, all the way from Germany TQ’ed in the class and thought he would easily cruise in for the easy win. Not if Dung Uk Jang hand anything say about that. For the first few minutes of the race, the two were less than a second apart with Dung Uk Jang matching everyone of Jan’s moves, until they hit traffic. With every car Dung had to wait to get around, Ratheisky would get away a little more. In the end, Jan would take the win with close to a 2 second lead. Naoya Morita would finish 3rd.
A1 – Modified Touring by Scorpion Power Systems – All the racers in the Modified TC final are amongst the fastest in the world and they were pulling out all the stops in the first main. Out to the early lead was Infinity’s Akio Sobue with teammate Marc Rheinard following closely. These two race a lot together so they know exactly how to make it hard for the other to pass. In the 3rd position was E. C. Kim patiently waiting for the leaders to make a mistake and take advantage. The leaders would get by lapped traffic cleanly, Kim wouldn’t be so lucky. Akio and Marc would battle all the way until the end with only 2-tenths of a second separating them. E. C. Kim would finish 3rd.
A2 F1 by Yokomo - At the start of the 2nd F1 main, Jan Ratheisky looked like he was going to do a repeat performance of the 1st main and quickly built up a big lead after 2 laps. Behind him, Yoo Jae Kuk and Max Park battled until the two tangled in the 2-minute mark with Max coming out ahead. Patiently waiting behind these two was Byung Hwan Kim, who would take over the 2nd position when Park and Jae Kuk would tangle again. When the dust had settled, Ratheisky would take the overall win, Yoo Jae Kuk 2nd and Byung Hwan Kim 3rd.
A2 – Stock Touring 21.5 by Sweep – With a cleaner start this round, the 21.5 Stock TC racers got underway with out any big crashes. The field stayed close and in their positions for the first few laps. As the racers settled in, the field spread out and the top three separated themselves from the rest. The best battle was happening for the 2nd and 3rd positions with Ji Hoon Kim and Lee Yu Sung trading paint every lap. When time had expired, Yu Sung would win that battle with Hoon Kim taking 3rd. Kim Baekwan would take the over all win.
A2 – Super Stock 13.5 by XRAY – XRAY’s Jan Ratheisky would once again prove his dominance in the Super Stock 13.5 TC class and pull away to leave the battles happen behind him. Naoya Morita from Japan was having a strong showing with his Yokomo machine placing himself solidly in the 2nd position half way through the race. The 3rd position was up for grabs with In-mo Kang and Kijeong Park fighting for that spot. Separated by 3 seconds, Park would run out of time. Jan Ratheisky would take the with the only 14-lap run. Naoya Morita would capture 2nd and In-mo Kang would take 3rd.
A2 – Modified Touring by Scorpion Power Systems – Scotty Ernst would do driver introductions this round getting the racers and spectators alike excited for the action. With one of the cleanest starts of the day, Infinity’s Akio Sobue brought his A-game on this main and would take the lead with authority. Quickly building a 3-second lead over teammate Marc Rheinard, Sobue’s car was on point. He would carry this momentum all the way to victory with Rheinard finishing 2nd. E.C. Kim would capture the 3rd position.
A3 – F1 by Yokomo – With XRAY’s Jan Ratheisky taking the A1 and A2 win, the overall victory belong to him, leaving the rest of podium finishes up for grabs. 2nd through the 5th spot were bumper to bumper desperately trying to find a way to the front. After a few exchanges, Max Park and Dominic Quek were battling hard trading positions a couple times until the race time had expired. Dominic Quek would finish 2nd and Max Park 3rd.
F1 Overall Standings
1st – Jan Ratheisky
2nd – Max Park
3rd – Yoo Jae Kuk
A3 – Stock Touring 21.5 by Sweep – Kim Baekwan took the win in the first 2 mains, decided to sit out the 3rd main, leaving the 2nd and 3rd podium spots still undecided. Once again, it was a clean start as the main got underway. With a 2nd and 3rd finish under his belt, Ji Hoon Kim jumped out into the lead with Byoung Wook Park closely in tow challenging him for the position. With 1.5-minutes left in the race, Byoung would challenge for the lead on the back straight and the cars would touch, spinning out Byoung. He would quickly regain control, but would fall behind a couple of seconds. The finishing order of the this third main would be Ji Hoon Kim taking the win, Byoung Wook Park 2nd and Jeil Lee taking third.
Stock Touring 21.5 overall Standings
1st – Kim Baekwan
2nd – Ji Hoon Kim
3rd – Il Kuyn Lim
A3 – Super Stock 13.5 by XRAY – Jan Ratheisky secured the overall win taking the top spots in the 1st and 2nd mains. Trying to make it a clean sweep for the weekend, he decided to run the 3rd main. His chances looked good as he jumped out to the early lead at the beginning of the race. Running closely behind were Dung Uk Jang and Naoya Morita, who weren’t not only doing battle for the 2nd and 3rd spots in this race, but in the overall results too. The two stayed together for most of the race until they hit traffic allowing Dung to widen the gap. At the end of the race, Jan Ratheisky would take the win, Dung Uk Jang 2nd and Naoya Morita 3rd.
Super Stock 13.5 Overall Standings
1st – Jan Ratheisky
2nd – Dung Uk Jang
3rd – Naoya Morita
A3 – Modified Touring by Scorpion Power Systems – It was once again the Akio and Marc show as the two teammates jumped out the lead and started to distance themselves from the field. The rest of the field followed a couple of seconds behind with Serpent’s Victor Wilck jumping into the 3rd position, Nicholas Lee 4th and E. C. Kim running in 5th. Traffic seemed to big issue all weekend, as the front-runners weren’t able to get by cleanly. With two laps to go, Akio Sobue bobbled and steered wide right before the front straight allowing Rheinard to take the lead. Akio attacked back with everything he had to regain the lead, maybe a bit too much spinning out Rheinard on the last turn before the finish line. He waited letting Marc finish in the 1st position. Viktor Wilck finished the race in 3rd.
Modified Touring Overall Standings
1st – Akio Sobue
2nd – Marc Rheinard
3rd E.C. Kim