After another season of awesome racing in the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup, the season finale is finally upon us and Sepang International Circuit will once again play host. The Malaysian track is a technical challenge and a slipstreamer’s dream, and the two races that will decide the Cup will likely be two of the most spectacular of the season.
Leading the way into the final round is Takuma Matsuyama, who took another impressive win last time out in Race 1, despite some injury struggles, and took a top five in Race 2. He’s on 169 points and 12 points ahead of closest rival Sho Nishimura, but Nishimura was the man who struck back in Race 2 at Motegi to really turn the heat up on the title fight. After a couple of tougher weekends for the former points leader, he was back on top and won his first race since Round 3.
And where was that Round 3? Sepang International Circuit. On the IATC’s first visit to the venue, however, it was the man third overall who took the biggest points haul over the two races: Afridza Munandar. He’s 27 points off Matusyama’s lead, but with 50 points still in play, it’s still more than possible to see Indonesian lift the crown. Can he pull a late surprise?
If the men fighting for the title are expecting the two races at Sepang to be a three-way battle though, they will probably be wrong. With the long straights at the track and the slipstream turned up to 11, there will likely be a host of names in with a shout. Thai rider Tatchakorn Buasri is fourth overall and already a winner, Adenanta Putra will want to bounce back, and the likes of Warit Thongnoppakun and Herjun Firdaus will want to end the season on a high.
The man with the real momentum as it stands, however, is home hero Syarifuddin Azman. The Malaysian has hit the ground running after summer break and taken three podiums in four races, so he’ll be gunning for glory on home turf - and have the crowd behind him. There was some big drama last time the IATC raced after Sepang, but can he bring it home on top second time around?
Race 1 for the IATC sees the lights go out on Saturday 2nd November at 16:30 local time (GMT+8), before Race 2 on Sunday at 10:30. Who will take the final wins of the sAnd beason, and who will lift the 2019 crown? Tune in to find out!
Before the race weekend begins in earnest as well, stay up to date with everything from the 2020 Selection Event as next year’s grid starts to take shape. The hopefuls take a spin on Tuesday and Wednesday so check asiatalentcup.com to see who makes the cut!