Racing fans in Thailand are in for a treat.
The fastest teens in South East Asia are coming to Buriram International Circuit for the FIA Formula 4 South East Asia (F4 SEA) Championship for not one, but two events!
Sentul International Circuit in Indonesia, was originally scheduled to host Event 3 of the 2017 Formula 4 SEA Championship.
Logistical complications have forced the championship, with a heavy heart, to declare a change of venue for the third event.
Thailand was already on the season’s calendar for January but now the organisers have added a December date to replace the six races which were to be held at Sentul International Circuit this weekend.
This news will indeed be music to the ears of two ‘hot shot’ rookies who race out of Thailand, Kane Shepherd and Shivin Sirinarinthon.
Shepherd is proving to be the best of the rookies this season as the 15-year-old has finished all 11 races and claimed five podiums from the opening two events in Malaysia (September 29-October 1) and the Philippines (October 20-22).
“Rookie champion? Yeah that’s great and all but what I really want to achieve this season is to be the overall champion,” Shepherd said, after finishing third in standings at the second event in the Philippines behind Daniel Cao and Ben Grimes.
“I have been on the podium five times in 11 races and twice came close to winning. This proves I’m on the right path. I just need to translate my podiums into wins. With another three events and 19 races until the season ends, anything can happen.”
The 12 races in two events on home ground will certainly boost Shepherd’s chances of upstaging his countryman Sirinarinthon as well as fellow competitors Cao, Grimes, Malaysia’s Adam Khalid.
A fourth generation Thai of Indian descent, Sirinarinthon has gradually upped his pace in the championship, resulting in a superb fourth place in the final race at Clark International Speedway.
“I’m feeling much more confident since Sepang, but I can still improve a lot. Driver coaching has helped me massively, showing that I’ve been braking wrongly in certain places for example,” said Sirinarinthon, 15.
The most improved newcomer this season, Sirinarinthon is catching up to Shepherd, who has slightly more experience, having raced in one event last year. If the duo can maintain their focus, home fans will have good reason to flock to Buriram to see their racing heroes.
Formula 4 SEA organiser and team patriarch, Peter Thompson, is disappointed at having to reschedule the third event from Indonesia.
“Sentul is very important as Indonesia is a strong driver market and we won our first championship there in 1996. We had a great time there last year with home-grown hero Presley Martono winning the event champions trophy. Reluctantly however, we’re announcing that the Formula 4 SEA championship will be holding Event 3 at the Buriram United International Circuit in Thailand come early December.” Said Thompson.
As the official fuel and engine oil sponsor of the 2017 Formula 4 South East Asia (F4 SEA) Championship, PETRON will be supporting the Formula 4 cars in Buriram with the fully synthetic Petron Blaze Racing Engine Oil.