ARRC: Ahamed misses Top 10 in championship, Kumar scores on Suzuki debut
The final weekend at the Chang International Circuit in the 2017 Asia Road Racing Championship started with Kidwai Yaseen Ahamed finishing fourth and seventh in the two practice sessions.
Running as a wildcard this weekend, India’s National Racing champion Jagan Kumar was 10th and 12th in the Suzuki Asian Challenge category.
The qualifying saw Kumar pip Ahamed, with the former finishing in 10th and the latter 11th - though both riders were some way off the pole-sitter's time.
A dominant pole for Race 1 went to Punchana Kulrojchalalai, who was nearly two seconds up on Tetsuya Fujita and wildcard Patis Chooprathet.
In the usual fashion in the one-make Suzuki Asian Challenge style, it was a closely fought 7-lap first race on Saturday with five seconds covering the Top 13.
In a five-way battle for the win, wildcard Chooprathet took his maiden win from April King H. Mascardo and Kulrojchalalai - the Top 5 separated by a mere 0.726s.
Among the Indians, Ahamed led the race at one point, before he was shunned down the order to finish only 11th, ahead of Kumar - the two separated by 0.168s over the line.
The final race of the season went in Kumar's favour among the two Indian riders. The Indian National Champion finished ninth in a two-part grid.
In an unusual manner, the Top 7 finished within a second of each other, while the rest of the field were over eight seconds behind - but themselves separated by just 0.341s.
Kulrojchalalai took the win by just 0.030s from Fujita, with Nur Al Fath Sam Ahmad completing the rostrum positions - the Top 7 covered by 0.868s.
The rest of the field from eighth onward was led by Ahamd Saugi Muchtar, with Kumar finishing 0.054s behind him, while Ahamed was 12th, a mere 0.198s off Muchtar.
After five rounds, Kulrojchalalai took the title with 180 points from Mascardo on 139 and Fujita on 136. India's Ahamed was 12th with 48 points, while Prabhu Arunagiri 13th.
Arunagiri scored 37 points in the three rounds he competed in. In the one round, Kumar scored 10 points to finish 19th.