As the date draws near, the fastest teens in Southeast Asia are set to descend upon the ultra-modern Buriram United International Circuit in Thailand for the third event in the 2017/18 Formula 4 South East Asia Championship, fueled by Petron.
The Championship is bristling with potential stars hailing from all corners of the world. However, since the contingent is heading to the illustrious Kingdom of Thailand, it would be noteworthy to mention the incredible Thai duo, Kane Shepherd and his compatriot Shivin Sirinarinthon.
The duo have exhibited an amazing array of potential that’s bound for greatness. Shepherd is proving himself as one of the best rookies while Sirinarinthon is one of the most improved drivers in the championship.
They will be up against a field of equally fast and ambitious racers like Shanghai-native Daniel Cao and Malaysian Adam Khalid who will be bringing the heat to the Buriram Circuit this December.
In 2016, it was none other than Kiwi-born sensation Faine Kahia who roared to victory in the inaugural Thai event and snatched up the Event Champion trophy, having beaten his top competitor, Presley Martono of Indonesia.
Accompanying these young guns to the Thai arena of speed this year are experienced driver coaches Afiq Ikhwan Yazid and Armaan Ebrahim.
Both mentors are themselves professional GT-class drivers currently involved in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo series.
Armaan, the Indian driving ace, will be taking us on a guided turn-by-turn lap of the FIA grade 1 Circuit to show us just what’s in store for the young talents of F4 SEA.
- The drivers will be approaching turn 1 in 5th gear as the start/finish straight is quite short. Braking just past the 50 metre mark and going down into 4th gear. They’ll need to carry a lot of speed through the corner without compromising the exit as the longest straight of the circuit follows.
- Turn 3 is a hairpin which they’ll generally try to brake really deep into and V the corner as much as they can. Depending on their driving style it can either be taken in 3rd or 2nd gear.
- Turn 4 is a downhill left-hander which they’ll really enjoy because it can be taken completely flat out in 5th gear! The corner provides tons of confidence for them because of the large tarmac run offs.
- Turn 5 is a slow left-hander. Braking is quite tricky as the car will be flying coming out of turn 3. The trick will be not to brake too hard and instead let the car roll in before getting back on the power.
- Turns 6&7 are a sequence of left-into-right corners that will be taken flat out in 4th gear, slicing the curb through turn 6.
- Turn 8 is a 90 degree right-hander. Just tap on the brakes to get the nose down and then hard on the throttle.
- Turn 9 comes up immediately after turn 8 and is a cambered right-hander. The young drivers really need to finish braking in a straight line and then get on the throttle as soon as the car is rotated as their exit is crucial at this point!
- Turns 10 & 11 flow left into right and are taken flat out in 4th gear, cutting the apex through turn 10.
- Turn 12 is the last corner of the circuit and is quite tricky as it comes back at them on the exit, meaning that even though they need to brake as late as possible, they really need to use all the inner curbs to get the car rotated and back on power to gain the best sector time. If they get on the power too early then the car will understeer out on exit.”