Akash hits hat-trick in Sepang

SEPANG: Malaysia’s Akash Nandy completed a hat-trick of wins in Round 5 of the Formula Masters China Series at the Sepang International Circuit on Sunday.

Having won Races 13 and 14 on Saturday, Akash, representing Cebu Pacific Air by KCMG, wrapped up the 10-lap Race 15 in 21:32.660. Ren Nagabuchi of Super License clocked 21:39.649 to finish second while Matthew Solomon of Eurasia Motorsport was third in 21:41.215.

It was a disappointing day for Malaysian Afiq Ikhwan Yazid, who finished second in Races 13 and 14. The Petronas talent development programme driver had to retire from the race due to a malfunctioning gear-box on lap six.

Starting from fourth based on the second qualifying session lap time, Afiq had another lightning start to quickly overpower Solomon and move to third behind Akash and poleman Tanart Sathienthirakul of Thailand.

The 22-year old Afiq, however, could only keep pace with his rivals on the first lap before both Akash and the Thai pulled away.

Drama started when Tanart, who was hoping to make amends for missing the podium in both races on Saturday, spinned out of the race on lap four.

Determined to finish on the podium, Afiq picked up the pace and did the best he could to defend his second placing from Nagabuchi. But the Malaysian was forced to retire after the gearbox issues kicked in.

Akash was pleased to wrap up the penultimate round with another victory.

“In the first five laps, I had to work very hard to fend off Tanart. He was extremely fast but he made a mistake at turn 9.

“I then kept a strong pace to the chequered flag. I could not have asked for a better weekend,” said 16-year-old Akash.
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