Hayden Haikal is still showing good progress as he secured a third race win and a 6th placing during Round 2 of Idemitsu Super Turbo Championship in Thailand (19-21 May) at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram.
Hayden and the #437 Wing Hin Motorsports’ Toyota Vios has recorded three wins in four races which saw their dominance in the Junior (Normally Aspirated) Class for normally-aspirated engines up to 1550cc and remains one the top overall race contenders in a sea of turbocharged and more powerful cars.
However, Round 2 has proven a tough challenge for the 18-year-old Malaysian racer. A big off during the free practice session on Friday had the team working in overdrive with only three hours to complete repairs in time for the qualifying session. Hayden and the team bounced back to still post the third fastest time in Class.
Race 1 on Saturday got off to a promising start with Hayden fighting for the lead in his Class and running as high as 12th overall until transmission issues half way into the race left him with only 5th gear and fighting to get to the finish. He ended the 12-lap race around the 4.554km Chang International Circuit 21st overall and 6th in class.
“I had a good fight with the Class leader and I managed to get away from him when all of a sudden the car wouldn’t downshift from 5th gear. Thankfully, we managed to resolve the problem for the second race on Sunday,” said Hayden.
Race 2 on Sunday proved to be the great redeemer when Hayden’s pace had him at the head of his Class and placed 8th overall amidst the professional and turbocharged drivers. Hayden finished 2nd in Class but was later promoted to first when the race winner was penalized for an infringement.
“The start of the race was chaotic with a lot of cars being taken out on the main straight. I was fortunate I managed to avoid the carnage and get through safely before the red flag was brought out. When the race resumed I was battling with the top three cars in my Class and it then came down to the task of picking them out one at a time,” said Hayden.
Making his debut in the Idemitsu Super Turbo Championship in March, Hayden had sealed back to back race victories in the opening two races of the Idemitsu Super Turbo Championship.
With three race wins and a 6th placing after four races, Hayden retains his lead in the overall point standings in the Junior (Normally Aspirated) Class with the third and final round of the Idemitsu Super Turbo Championship to be contested from 16-18 June 2023 again at the Chang International Circuit.
“We will be regrouping and with this weekend’s experience and learnings, the focus will now be on going for the overall championship win.”