YOUNG Malaysian racer Hayden Haikal will be putting in his strongest effort when he competes for the prospect of being crowned the overall champion in the Thailand Super Eco saloon car series at the Buriram Chang International Circuit located towards the northeast of the country.
With three 2nd places and two race wins in 6 rounds of racing so far, the 18-year-old is currently 2nd in championship and just 20 points behind Na Dol Vatanatham who has 105 points to his tally.
Both drivers have proven to be dominant in the series and their races results almost identical, but Vatanatham has the advantage of one extra race win as a result of Hayden’s misfortune in scoring any points in Round 2 due to a technical issue with his Honda Brio.
“Mathematically, I have a good shot at winning the overall title in the Thailand Super Eco Series but it’s going to be a very tall order, especially with the dominance championship leader Vatanatham has demonstrated over the last six rounds. Anything is possible is the last two races of the season. I just have to remain focused, drive my own race and let the math sort itself out,” said Hayden, admitting that while he would be gunning to end the season on a high, the prospect of coming in second in only his first full season competing in Thailand would be equally an achievement he can be proud of.
The final two rounds of the Thailand Super Eco series will consist of two 12-lap races on Saturday and Sunday. A total of 23 drivers will be taking to the grid with Hayden being the only foreign driver. For a first-timer competing in Thailand, Hayden has quickly established himself as one of the series’ favourites with his matured driving and consistent results.
The Thailand Super Eco Series is run on both street and permanent circuits. Hayden’s Thailand Super Eco Series campaign kicked off in June with the first two rounds held at the Bangsaen street circuit before rounds 4-6 moved to the Buriram Chang International Circuit.
Already having 5 years of experience competing on street and permanent circuits in the Malaysian Vios Challenge one-make racing series, his debut at the Bangsaen Grand Prix proved anything but intimidating for Hayden who confidently raced to a second place finish in the race.
“Overall, it has been a fantastic year of racing for me, having won the Super Sporting Class for professional drivers in the Vios Challenge and recently being placed second overall in the Sepang 1000KM Endurance Race. And now, being in contention for the championship in Thailand in only my first year racing abroad is just phenomenal,” he said.
“My original intention was to gain as much exposure competing abroad. To be in the position that I am going into the final two races is indeed a huge boost in my racing career and another important step in moving up the motorsports ladder,” Hayden said.
Let’s wish him all the best of luck this weekend for a position on the podium at the Buriram Chang International Circuit.