Jefferies takes second victory of weekend
2009-06-03 2086


Formula BMW Junior Axcil Jefferies (ZIM/15/Eurasia Motorsport) won his second race of the weekend today with a lights-to-flag victory in Round 5 of the 2009 Formula BMW Pacific series. Current Drivers’ Classification leader Gary Thompson (IRL/16/E-Rain Racing) finished second for the third consecutive time, while Akhil Khushlani (IND/19/E-Rain Racing) landed his second podium of the weekend.

Under a scorching sun, Thompson fought Jefferies hard for the lead, attempting several overtaking manoeuvres and in the end finishing just 0.668 seconds behind him.

With one race left this weekend (Round 6), the highly consistent Thompson continues to top both the overall standings and the Rookie Cup with 73 points. Jefferies is second in the standings with 60 points, while Rio Haryanto (INA/16/Questnet Team Qi-Meritus) is third with 44 points.

Formula BMW Junior Steel Guiliana (AUS/17/Atlantic Racing Team) continued to improve in Round 5, while fellow Junior and team mate Chris Wootton (AUS/20/Eurasia Motorsport) was unable to finish the race after an incident at the start.

“I had a fantastic start again, it worked really well,” Jefferies said. “I thought I had to pull away because Gary was very fast. We had a bit of a battle for the whole race, but I think it was a good, clean race and we all did really well.”

Thompson has landed on the podium in each of the series’ five races this year. With 10 races still to go, the Irish driver said he wanted to race smart and not throw the season away by pushing for the win: “In a way, yes it’s frustrating to keep coming second,” Thompson said. “But second is still good. I pushed Axcil really hard. I’m happy to keep scoring points and we have a bit of a lead right now. The win does not matter as much and I’m not going to risk everything for it. The championship matters more.”

Still, Thompson, who will start this afternoon’s Round 6 on the first row with pole-sitter Fahmi Ilyas (MAS/17/E-Rain Racing), said he would try to capitalize on his position advantage over Jefferies, who will start from fourth.

“I think we’re in good shape for the next race,” Thompson said. “I hope I get a good start and I’ll be ahead of Axcil at least at the start, so I’ll see what we can do.”

The grid for Sunday afternoon’s Round 6 is determined by the results of Round 4.

In Round 5, Jefferies got off to a strong start and Thompson was not far behind. By the end of the first lap, just three hundredths of a second separated the two, with Khushlani also pushing hard. Dominic Ang (MAS/19/Team Holzer PFX) worked his way up from eighth on the grid to fifth, crossing the line in sixth.

Mid-way through the 10-laps, Thompson began his attempts to grab the lead. He did manage to get by Jefferies, only for the Junior to immediately retake his position. Khushlani was able to briefly slip into second, but Thompson re-took second place and all three drivers finished in the positions in which they started.

Haryanto was the top mover in the race. After starting at the back of the grid in 13th position, Haryanto worked his way up the field to finish fourth.

“I kept pushing at the beginning,” Haryanto explained. “Everything went well for the first five laps and I managed to gain a lot of positions. I thought I might have been able to get a podium.”

Haryanto will have a better chance to do so in Round 6, when he starts third on the grid. Round 6 will take place this afternoon on the 5.543 km Sepang International Circuit as part of the Asian Festival of Speed.

Round 5 Results

Pos. No. Driver/Nat. Entrant Time
1 22 Axcil JEFFERIES•* (ZIM) Eurasia Motorsport 22:12.618
2 7 Gary THOMPSON• (IRL) E-Rain Racing +0.668
3 49 Akhil KHUSHLANI (IND) E-Rain Racing +2.862
4 88 Rio HARYANTO (INA) Questnet Team Qi-Meritus +4.295
5 38 Dustin SOFYAN • (INA) Questnet Team Qi-Meritus +10.139
6 2 Dominic ANG (MAS)td> Team Holzer PFX +10.531
7 3 Calvin WONG• (MAS) Team Holzer PFX +13.821
8 17 Fahmi ILYAS• (MAS) E-Rain Racing +14.164
9 16 CAO Hong Wei (CHN) Ao’s Racing +16.793
10 10 Antonio Martinez# (ESP) Eurasia Motorsport +22.279
11 27 Fahad ALGOSAIBI (KSA)• E-Rain Racing +23.012
12 8 Steel GUILIANA*• (AUS) Atlantic Racing Team +23.391
13 4 Muhamad Alif JAFRI• (MAS) Team Holzer PFX +24.612
14 11 Chris WOOTTON* (AUS) Eurasia Motorsport DNF

Pole Position: Axcil Jefferies 2:11.719
Fastest Lap: Akhil Khushlani 2:11.257/152.028 kph/lap 9

*Scholarship driver
•Rookie Cup
#Non-Series Registered

Prepared by Formula BMW Pacific