New kart series rocks in spite of rain

The Singapore leg of the prestigious Rok Cup karting series got off to a rip-roaring start despite heavy rain at the KF1 Karting Circuit yesterday.

The first time the Cup is being held in an Asian country, the hotly-contested Senior DVS (Over-15) category saw Singapore's Hariharan Elavarsu of Benz Motorsport claim the top spot in the second final ahead of closest competitor Arvin Esmaelli.

It was the first Rok Cup triumph for the 17-year-old student from Republic Polytechnic, even though his last karting competition was two years ago at the 2013 Singapore Karting Championships.

He told The Sunday Times after his win: "I had a break from karting, and I'm really pleased to just come back and have my first win in this competition.

"I trained for really hard for this race, and I got a lot of help from my boss and my team-mates. Thanks to all of them, I was able to prove myself and maintain my lead."

Yesterday's race was the first in four Rok Cup races in Singapore. The eventual champion in each division will book a spot to race in the Rok Cup International Final in Italy later this year.

Amin Norzillan of AutoInc Racing leads the Senior DVS category with 44 points after finishing second in the first final and third in the second. Hariharan is fourth points behind in second position.

A heavy downpour in the afternoon saw many karters spinning out of control during the qualifying rounds, and even in the first final. Fortunately, the track dried up in time for the second final to be completed.

Nevertheless, the KF1 Karting Circuit was pleased to have organised its first international event, since the 960m-long track opened last November in Kranji.

Said its managing director Richard Tan: "Today's response has been very good. At KF1 Karting Circuit, we provided great value with food and beverage, great music and the chance for spectators to go into the paddock to give them an experience like never before in karting.

"Our venue has been built to world-class standards to attract renowned names and we are glad we have achieved this goal with the Rok Cup."

Yesterday, the Singapore leg of the Rok Cup also welcomed its title sponsor, Singapore Turf Club, whose ground the karting circuit was built on.

This article was first published on April 26, 2015.
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