With only 7 laps to go in the Finals, Miguel Quiñones came together with another driver at the Shah Alam International Kart Circuit in Malaysia. The Filipino karter may have survived the contact and made it to the finish, but it was enough to take him out of contention for a podium.
The newly-crowned Golden Wheel Driver of the Year awardee was using the IAME Asia Finals 2022 as a training ground ahead of 2023 karting season. It was also a good opportunity for him to get accustomed to a Parolin chassis, which he will switch to this year. And to make the most out of the outing, he brought along with him coach and multi-awarded former karter VJ Suba for the weekend.
Despite it being his first time at Shah Alam, Miguel was only about half a second off the front runners and placed midway up the time sheets after all the work his team Double R Motorsports (DRM Racing) put in during Practice. He eventually managed to get some consistency and build on his confidence by Saturday afternoon just in time for the main event the next day.
His best efforts yielded 6th during the Time Trials then a 6th and 7th during the Heats, respectively. Making steady progress at every session, Miguel later landed in a strong 5th place in the Pre Finals.
Now starting from the third row of the grid, he got his head down and went on attack mode during the all-important Finals. He found a way up to P4 in the opening stages and had the karter in P3 in his crosshairs.
But as the late Formula 1 commentator Murray Walker used to say, “catching is one thing, but passing is quite another.”
He made a clean overtake to move up to P3 and was en route to chase after P2. But the other karter was not willing to give up the position that easily. His rival forced his way around the outside in an attempt to regain the place. However, the move did not stick and Miguel ended up getting hit from the side with force.
Although he was able to continue, it dropped him down to a lowly 9th place and lost him a possible podium finish.
Looking past the missed opportunities, there were still a lot of learnings from the race weekend which will greatly help Miguel when the season begins back home in February
Miguel Quiñones: “The whole weekend was decent and we were able to achieve our goals, but it definitely could have been better. I was only a few tenths off my teammate who’s also the current champion even if it was my first time at Shah Alam. We missed out on a possible podium finish if it weren’t for the crash in the finals, but I hold no grudges against the other driver as it was a racing incident.”
VJ Suba, Driver Coach: “ It’s a pity that Migs missed out on a podium finish, but overall we’re happy to see him battling with big names in Asia. We’re proud of him on how much he has improved over the last year. But he still needs a bit more experience competing with big grids which is why we have a program to race in different regions.”
Miguel Quiñones is sponsored by RZQ The Aesthetic Surgery Clinic, RZQ Aesthetic Medicine Institude, Derma Medica, Wuerth Philippines, and Vanguard Guarantee Insurance Consultancy.
[Photos by Dice Photowerkz]