Thailand’s Kane Shepherd is a model of consistency.
Since joining the FIA Formula 4 Southeast Asia (F4 SEA) Championship fuelled by PETRON Corporation, the 15-year-old has finished all 11 races and claimed five podium finishes.
He has never placed lower than fifth and is in pole position to be rookie of the year.
Another Thai driver who is starting to make waves in F4 SEA is Shivin Sirinarinthon.
A fourth generation Thai of Indian descent, Sirinarinthon has gradually improved his position in the championship, ending with a superb fourth place in the final race in CIS.
“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 this past weekend behind Daniel Cao and Ben Grimes.
“I know Daniel is leading but he is not unbeatable. He may have been the event champion in Malaysia and the Philippines but we still have three events to go.
“We are only 40 per cent of the way through the championship and I believe I can overtake Daniel before the season ends.”
Kane, who finished second to Cao in the final race at Clark International Speedway (CIS) on Sunday, is ready to put in the hours to finally beat the Chinese driver.
“Lots and lots of gym work from now until the next event in Indonesia (Nov 24-26).Hard work gets you places,” he said.
“Look, I know where I stand. Daniel is obviously more experienced than I am. I just have to keep plugging away and chipping at his lead.”
Shepherd said his two runners-up finishes — one each in Malaysia and the Philippines — showed he has what it takes to be overall champion.
“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,” he said with steely determination.
“I just need to translate my podiums into wins. With another three events and 19 races until the season ends, anything can happen.
“Daniel will have a fight on his hands. I want to be the first Thai driver to win the F4 SEA overall title.”
Shepherd showed his desire to be the best when he “rammed” into Malaysia’s Adam Khalid in the fourth race of the weekend in CIS.
Chasing Adam from the start, he finally found an opening in Turn 3 when Adam went a little too wide.
Just as he was about to overtake the Malaysian, Adam came back in only for Shepherd to hit him.
The Thai was cleared by the stewards and we went on to claim third place.
“I didn’t do it on purpose. I was trying hard to past him and went for it. The fact the stewards didn’t penalise me proved I was right,” he said.
With such desire to go all out, it won’t be a surprise if Shepherd can indeed find the right path to the promise land and grab the FIA Formula 4 Southeast Asia Championship fuelled by PETRON Corporation overall title.
Meanwhile, Sirinarinthon is feeling more confident in the F4 SEA Car.
“I’m feeling much more confident since Sepang, but I can still improve a lot. Driver coaching has helped me massively, if it wasn’t for it, I wouldn’t know that I’ve been braking wrongly in certain places for example.”
“Analysing data from drivers such as Daniel Cao with the coaches has helped me improve my driving style, and this helps me improve my performance for the next event. The engineers too have been amazing and have helped me greatly in tuning the car to perfection” said the young Thai driver.
- Ben Grimes (Phi) 25:07.065s
2. Daniel Cao (Chn) 25:08.265s
3. Kane Shepherd (Tha) 25:22.380s
4. Adam Khalid (Mas) 25:24.318s
5. Timothy Teo (Mas) 25:40.148s
6. Shivin Sirinarinthon (Tha) 25:43.230s
7. Luke Thompson (Irl) 25:43.622s
8. Sam Grimes (Phi) DNF
- Daniel Cao (Chn) 25:10.832s
2. Sam Grimes (Phi) 25:19.971s
3. Kane Shepherd (Tha) 25:24.309s
4. Adam Khalid (Mas) 25;32.443s
5. Timothy Yeo (Mas) 25:34.222s
6. Luke Thompson (Irl) 25:34.698s
7. Shivin Sirinarinthon (Tha) 25:51.648s
8. Ben Grimes (Phi) DNF
- Daniel Cao (Chn) 25:10.781s
2. Ben Grimes (Phi) 25:20.546s
3. Adam Khalid (Mas) 25:24.679s
4. Kane Shepherd (Tha) 25:24.955
5. Timothy Yeo (Mas) 25:29.870
6. Shivin Sirinarinthon (Tha) 25:37.555s
7. Luke Thompson (Irl) 25:37.698s
8. Sam Grimes (Phi) DNF
- Daniel Cao (Chn) 24:55.847s
2. Ben Grimes (Phi) 25:07.857s
3. Kane Shepherd (Tha) 25:15.410s
4. Timothy Yeo (Mas) 25:16.475s
5. Shivin Sirinarinthon (Tha) 25:18.327s
6. Luke Thompson (Irl) 25:21.267s
7. Adam Khalid (Mas) DNF
8. Sam Grimes (Phi) DNF
- Ben Grimes (Phi) 25:26.528s
2. Daniel Cao (Chn) 25:30.483s
3. Sam Grimes (Phi) 25:31.201s
4. Kane Shepherd (Tha) 25:36.702s
5. Adam Khalid (Mas) 25:43.553s
6. Shivin Sirinarinthon (Tha) 25:48.092s
7. Luke Thompson (Irl) 25:48.582s
8. Timothy Yeo (Mas) 25:51.594s
- Daniel Cao (Chn) 12:33.808s
2. Kane Shepherd (Tha) 12:36.791s
3. Ben Grimes (Phi) 12:44.507s
4. Shivin Sirinarinthon (Tha) 12:46.779s
5. Adam Khalid (Mas) 12:47.311s
6. Luke Thompson (Irl) 12:47.893s
7. Timothy Yeo (Mas) 12:50.402s
8. Sam Grimes (Phi) 13:23.038s
(Red flag. Race stopped due to bad track conditions)
- Daniel Cao (Chn) 8 points
- Ben Grimes (Phi) 17 points
- Kane Shepherd (Tha) 19 points
- Adam Khalid (Mas) 28 points
- Timothy Yeo (Mas) 34 points
- Shivin Sirinarinthon (Tha) 37 points
- Sam Grimes (Phi) 37 points
- Luke Thompson (Irl) 40 points
* DNF = Did not finish
Formula 4 SEA
Is F1 your dream? FIA F4(Formula 4 SEA) is the first step! F4SEA is a 30 race 5 event championship, designed to transition karters to formula racing. The championship focuses on training young drivers while supporting events like Formula 1 and Asian Le Mans.