SAATC riders get first feel of Zhuhai circuit
The 22 Shell Advance Asia Talent Cup riders started their third round of the season on Friday at Zhuhai, with their first practice sessions in China.
In extremely hot conditions (ambient 40ºC, track 62ºC), the young Asian talents undertook two sessions on Friday learning their way around the 4.3km track in the Guangdong region, close to Macao. The second practice saw the riders take 4 seconds off their best times from the first outing.
The Japanese riders were the pace setters occupying the top four spots. Kaito Toba (race winner at Sentul) was first, followed by Qatar victor Yuta Date, Ayumu Sasaki and Takuma Kunimine. Chinese rider Yuanhang Chen was sixth in the first session and 14th in the afternoon.
SAATC Director Alberto Puig gave his thoughts on the circuit saying, “The track is not bad. It is a fast circuit, you arrive, brake, turn, accelerate and go again, with plenty of fast corners. So the riders have take take things easily at the beginning. The circuit itself fine, the asphalt is good, the only problem is the heat, 62ºC track temperature is pretty amazing.”
Referring to the day’s activities he added, "Things went smoothly, without major incidents or crashes. In terms of times, we have no references here, in the morning they went out but you can’t read into the times, and then in the second practice they started to push a little. It’s all fairly well matched between the riders, though perhaps the Japanese riders Toba and Date are a little ahead of the rest.”
On Saturday there will be a single 25-minute qualifying session at 9.05am local time, (GMT+8), followed by the first of two races which are to be held this weekend, the 15 lap contest getting started at 2.40pm.