Sunday, May 26, 2024

Aaron Haikal springs surprising podium finishes in his Thailand Super Series debut

THE biggest surprise for the Haikal family at this weekend’s Round 1 of the Thailand Super Series was the performance of 16-year-old Aaron who went on to claim three podium finishes in his first ever international saloon car race.

Triumph came in the form of finishing 2nd overall in Race 1 by upstaging elder brother Hayden who was 3rd and also into his third year of competing in the Super Eco championship, and clinching 2nd in class in both races held over the weekend.

In Race 1, the 12-lap race at the Chang International Circuit saw the two brothers jostling for 2nd and 3rd several times that went all the way to the chequered flag as Aaron secured his first podium finish for Pipekids Racing and coincidentally driving the same Honda Brio his brother had finished in third overall with last season.

“This was my first time racing not only in the Thailand Super Series but also abroad and I am very happy with the results I would like to thank the team for preparing a race-winning car and placing their trust in me,” said an elated Aaron who showed a rather dominant side of himself from the usual quiet individual he is known to be.  “This is a super competitive 12-lap race from start to finish and with track temperature surpassing 60-degree celsius, the conditions were even more challenging.”

Race 2 however, proved to be an uphill battle for Aaron who was forced to start from pit lane instead of taking his place on the second row of the starting grid alongside Hayden.  From last place (30th position), with a deficit of almost 18 seconds to make up to the race leaders, Aaron eventually fought his way to finish 7th overall and was classified 2nd in class.

“I was hoping for another strong overall finish in Race 2 but it was unfortunate that some confusion in the pit led to me along with several other cars being released late to take up our positions on the starting grid. That immediately placed me on the back foot. These are challenges and setbacks that are part and parcel of racing, but overall I am thankful that I have a solid team and car behind me as we move forward in the championship,” said Aaron. – REFLEKS!

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