Not to be outdone with his countryman Alister Yoong winning Race 2 for Malaysia – the rookie’s first time atop the podium – Muizz Musyaffa was determined to drive the car at ten-tenths when he started Race 3 from pole position. The 16-year-old led us through the first sector with his usual grace. Meanwhile all the action was at the back where Kane Shepherd succeeded in pulling clear of his rivals to jump into P2 coming out of Turn 3.
Alessandro Ghiretti was forced to contend with being stuck behind the orange and pink cars of Ryo and Chetan, but not for long. Chetan was pushed wide coming out of the kink before Turn 4, allowing several cars past and giving Alessandro an opportunity to make his move on Ryo Komikado. Spectacularly, the French driver repeated his now-famous side-by-side overtaking performance through Turn 7, soaring past the Japanese driver and ending up in a comfortable P3 by the eighth corner of the circuit.
A battle ensued between the top three drivers in the championship, the likes of which we haven’t seen before at the Madras Motor Race Track and a fitting finale to the weekend’s entertainment. Alessandro – as we know – has a special love for this track which he shows in his unfathomable ability to find another tenth of a second whenever he needs to! He put this skill to good use and tracked down Kane Shepherd, the Rookie Champion.
Sensational racing followed as Kane and Alessandro tussled for several laps, with their times becoming approximately one second slower due to the exhortations of the battle. While they were thus occupied, no doubt with a smile on his face, Muizz pulled away and steadily built a lead of 6 seconds – something else we hadn’t seen this weekend.
Ultimately Alessandro succeeded in finding a way past Kane but with only 6 or 7 laps to go, he simply did not have enough time or energy to track down Muizz at the front of the pack. As the chequered flag waved it was Malaysia yet again in P1, followed by France and Thailand.
Another great weekend of racing here in Madras and it has been fantastic to watch the progress of these young drivers as clocked up laps around the new track and furthered their racecraft skills. Join us next month in Buriram Thailand for another exciting double-header and some more hard-fought podiums!