Just a fortnight after the B-Quik Young Driver Programme was in the thick of the action at Bira International Circuit during Thailand Super Series’ (TSS) fourth round of the year there’s a swift return to the Pattaya racetrack for our rookie drivers as the focus now switches to the second round of the RAAT Thailand Endurance Championship 2018, which is coming up this weekend (15-16 September).
It’s a switch in cars too as this time out a trio of the “Class of 2018” finalists will be back behind the wheel of our #26 Toyota Vios, which was also used during the opening round of the “Endurance” series, held here back in mid-June.
Adisak Tangphuncharoen, who drove a Honda Brio during the TSS event a fortnight ago, will be joined in the Vios by Jerasak Kongplab and Attapon Kaewarsa, reprising the driver line up that contested the opening “Endurance” series round.
This weekend though there will be a twist as we up our entry to two cars, adding a Honda Brio to the line-up. This will be shared by our “Graduates” from last year, Narin Naeosathon and Sathaporn Veerachue. The former has been driving a Camaro V8 in “TA2 Thailand” this year so it’s going to be a return the familiar territory of the Brio he raced last year and he will rack up some useful extra track time.
As usual the roster of young drivers will be supported by a crew of equally young engineers who are drawn from the technical staff of B-Quik service centres nationwide.
The schedule for the second round of the RAAT Thailand Endurance Championship 2018 follows this year’s new format of two 4-hour duration races, one on Saturday and the other on Sunday. There are 1-hour official free practice sessions on both days ahead of the races plus a 40-minute qualifying session on Saturday. That all adds up to nearly 11 hours of official track time plus unofficial practice on Friday – meaning the programme is ideal for our “rookie” drivers to enjoy some serious cockpit time.
In fact, it’s turning out to be a very busy month for our young drivers as following this weekend’s races the team will head straight to Phuket for the next round of the “Toyota Motorsport” championship, meaning this is actually the “middle weekend” of a hectic schedule of three races in just four weeks.
Narin Naeosathon: “I’m looking forward my first endurance race. I’ll be back in Brio again which I used to race in 2017. I’m very happy that my team mate, Sathaporn will share the Brio with me. I have to get ready for this race because the endurance race is different from a sprint race, it takes a long time and you need you need to be very strong. The team have to do hard work as well so hopefully we can give them a good result.”
Sathaporn Veerachue: “I’m very pleased to get this opportunity from B-Quik Racing. It’s my first endurance race and I will share the Brio with Narin and that’s made me very excited. The endurance race is very challenging because I have to fight with the heat, rivals, issues during race and we have to work quickly in pitstops. I’ll try my best to get a good result. I’d like to thank everyone who supported me to race again. Please stay tuned to our race in RAAT Endurance at Bira this weekend.”
Jerasak Kongplab: “In the opening round we had a lot of problems with the car and learned how to sort them out. I’m getting used to the Vios so I think we can do better in Round 2. Certainly, we’ll try our best in the 4 hours of racing to get to the chequered flag and get a good result.”
Attapon Kaewarsa: “I’m very excited for this race. This will be the second time for me in an endurance race here. Bira Circuit is pretty narrow, a lot of corners and needs a lot of skill to drive. Although I have raced here I have to learn more so I have to make the most out of the race. I’ll do my best.”
Adisak Tangphuncharoen: “I’m very excited to back to the four-hour endurance race. It’s the second time for me with the Toyota Vios in the 1500 class at Bira. In the opening round, we had problems and learned to resolve them. We expect to get better results and we will do our best this weekend.”