Kiwi racer Earl Bamber extended his winning run in this year's Formula V6 Asia championship to four with two more wins from two starts at the latest round of the 2008 series at the Okayama International Circuit in Japan over the weekend
The 18-year-old from Wanganui claimed pole position and a lights-to-flag victory in the first race of the weekend at the Asian Festival of Speed (AFOS) meeting on Saturday, then did it all again - including setting the fastest race lap - in the feature race on Sunday.
He crossed the finish line 41 seconds in front of The Pizza Company Team Qi-Meritus teammate James Grunwell in the 17-lap sprint race held in cool but dry conditions on Saturday afternoon, and an incredible 70 seconds in front of Australian Isaiah Ro-Charlez in the wet 28-lap feature race today.
Though he says the conditions wern't as bad as those of the feature race at the first round of this year's A1GP World Cup of Motorsport series at Zandvoort in The Netherlands in which he finished third, Bamber said that the rain started early in the morning and that by the time the Formula V6 Asia cars lined up on the grid the surface was very wet.
"About the same as in the Sprint Race in The Netherlands, " he said. "It wasn't bucketing down but the ground was wet and the track was very slippery."
Despite that the young Kiwi, competing at his fifth meeting in as many weeks across four different classes of single-seater racing car, made light work of it, lapping all but second placeman Ro-Charlez before the chequered flag came out.
"Fortunately," he said by way of explanation,"we had a very good wet setup which enabled me to push the car quite hard in the conditions. The goal was always to come here and win so now that we've done that we'll have to see if we can do the same at Shanghai (where the final round of the 2008 Formula V6 Asia championship series will be held) next month!" 2008 Formula V6 Asia Championship Races 7 & 8, Okayama International Circuit Japan
1. Earl Bamber (NZ) The Pizza Company Team Qi-Meritus 1.29.226
2. James Grunwell (Thai) The Pizza Company Team Qi-Meritus) 1.29.954
3. Isaiah-Ro Charlez (Aust) 1.30.149
4. Kevin Chen (USA)1.31.513
5. Robin Tato (Ind) 1.32.852
6. Hafiza Koh (Sin) 1.33.326
7. Michael Ho (Mac) 1.33.331
1. Earl Bamber The Pizza Company Team Qi-Meritus 25.25.707
2. James Grunwell The Pizza Company Team Qi-Meritus +41.187
3. Isaiah Ro-Charlez +41.719
4. Hafiz Koh +51.728
5. Michael Ho +57.591
6. Mark Williamson +59.453
7. Robin Tato +1.01.791
Fastest lap: Earl Bamber 1 29.311
1. Earl Bamber The Pizza Company Team Qi-Meritus 45.36.013
2. Isaiah Ro-Charlez+ 1.10.635
3. Hafiz Koh + 1 lap
4. Mark Williamson + 1 lap
5. Dilantha Malagamuwa +2 laps
dnf. Michael Ho, James Grunwell, Robin Tato & Kevin Chen
Fastest lap: Earl Bamber 1.47.580
2008 AFOS Formula V6 Asia Championship Calendar:
Rnds 1 & 2: May 16-18 Sepang Malaysia
Rnds 3 & 4: June 20-22 Sepang Malaysia
Rnds 5 & 6: July 18-20 Sentul Indonesia
Rnds 7 & 8 October 24-16 Okayama Japan
Rnds 9 & 10: Nov 21-23 Shanghai China