Though waves of challenges continue to hit Suzuki M-Seki Liberty Racing and its two riders-Sasitharen Sukumaran and Elly Idzliaikmal Ilias in the PETRONAS Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC), team manager Chong Kok Ming has yet to lose hope.
Instead, he maintains an optimistic mindset and feels the team has done a good job wrapping their heads around seeing that this is their debut-season in the PETRONAS ARRC.
With that he looks forward to a fruitful outing come Round 5 set to kick off at the Zhuhai International Circuit (ZIC) this 29 to 31 October to where he hopes Sasitharen and Elly can secure a top eight finish.
Currently, Sasitharen sits 17th spot in the Underbone 115cc standings with 17 points while teammate, Elly comes in 22nd (11 points)
"We started off the season not knowing what to expect because this is our debut year. It goes without saying we face a lot of challenges and there is a lot for us to learn. However, we have no intention giving up on the fight just yet. We have analyzed our weakpoints from the previous rounds and both Sasi and Elly have been keeping themselves fit. If all goes well I hope they can finish among the top eight riders at Zhuhai this weekend," said Chong Kok Ming.
When asked what obstacle the team face, the team manager commented, "The circuit, engine and riders. This is our first year so most of the circuits are unfamiliar to us, not to mention we compete against international riders who have been doing it for years.
He went on to add, "We are the only team riding a Suzuki make in the Underbone 115cc category after Affendi Rosli (Harian Metro SCK Honda Racing) bagged the title last season. In order for up to live up to such a high expectation, the pressure is high for us to do so. Besides that, rider's strength and riding skills is another area that we really need to work on it. These are the key areas we need to work on if we want to improve in the upcoming seasons. Also, I would like credit the team who dealt with the pressure professionally and always trying their best."
On the bright side, while Sasi and Elly have yet to make an impression, Chong Kok Ming is certain their experience in the PETRONAS ARRC will help them be more competitive on the national front, the PETRONAS AAM Malaysian Cub Prix Championship.
Meanwhile, Indonesian rider Denny Triyugo of Yamaha TOP 1 FDR Racing tops the chart with 94 points followed by compatriot Hadi Wijaya (Kawasaki NHK Rextor MTR Manual Tech) with 89 points and Fitriansyah Kete (Bikers BRT Indonesia Racing Team) 65 points.