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The Singapore Invitational 2008 is a yearly event held at the East Coast Park Raceway. It is a 2-day event and foreign drivers from Indonesia are the first to arrive at the track 2 days before the event, followed by drivers from Brunei and Malaysia. The race format for this event is A, B and C finals for the 1/8 class, and Christmas tree format with no top 4 sit-out for the 1/10 class. The schedule included 3 rounds of qualifying on Saturday and all the finals on Sunday.

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(click to enlarge)

Saturday (Qualifying Rounds)

Qualifying started at 10:00AM after the opening ceremony. The weather was good in the morning and early afternoon and 2 rounds of qualifying were run successfully before the lunch break. Unfortunately, the sky suddenly turned dark after the lunch break and it started to rain heavily. The rain stopped after about an hour and there was no way to get the track dry for that day. As such, the Race Director decided to move the third rounds of qualifying to Sunday. At the end of the two rounds, there were four XRAY cars in the top 10 with Erwin Luhur securing the TQ position, Sadikin in 6th position, Jessie in 7th position and Danny in 10th position.

Sunday (Qualifying round 3 & finals)

The third qualifying round was run on Sunday with many drivers pushing very hard to improve their qualifying positions. The traction had change little from Saturday and therefore there was a good chance that many drivers would improve their positions. At the end of the third round, Sadikin and Danny improved their qualifying positions and the final qualifying results are as follows:

1) Erwin Luhur XRAY NT1
2) Daniel Chee
3) Philip Lee
4) Sadikin Sutrisno XRAY NT1
5) Barry Ng
6) Nelson Lee
7) Jesse Wu XRAY NT1
8) Danny Iswahyudi XRAY NT1

9) Hengster
10) Roy Chong

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(click to enlarge)


In the semi-final (A), it was a good start with the top five cars pulling away without any incident with Erwin leading the pack followed by Philip, Barry, Jesse and Tom. At about the 3min mark, Erwin ran into problems with 2-speed gearbox and was driving with only 1st gear throughout the 20-min race, thus slowly dropping him back. Jesse also ran into engine trouble with multiple flameouts, thus dropping him back as well. With consistent driving, Tom managed to climb and finish in 2nd position with Erwin in 5th position, Hj. Irman in 6th position and Jesse in 7th position. The top 6 positions in this semi-final would move into the Grand Final, putting three NT1 cars into the Final.

In the semi-final (B), it was a good start as well with Sadikin and Danny pulling away from the rest of the pack. With smooth driving, Danny pushed through to the lead position and finishing with the most laps, thus putting him onto pole position for the Grand Final. Sadikin drove a trouble-free race and finished in 3rd position. The top four positions in this semi-final would move into the Grand Final, so a total of five NT1 cars from both the semi-finals A & B would move into the Grand Final.

The starting positions for the Grand Final were as follows:

1) Danny Iswahyudi XRAY NT1
2) Daniel Chee
3) Philip Lee
4) Sadikin Sutrisno XRAY NT1
5) Tom Goh XRAY NT1

6) Barry Ng
7) Hengster
8) Hj. Irman XRAY NT1
9) Erwin Luhur XRAY NT1

10) Andrew Chin

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(click to enlarge)

Grand Final

Most cars had a good start with Danny in the lead and the rest of the pack close behind. Danny immediately had engine problems and was unable to hold his position. He slowly dropped back to 6th position before coming into the pit for some engine adjustment at the first fuel stop. Unfortunately, Tom broke his rear belt around lap 38 and was unable to continue with the race. Sadikin had some problems with the steering linkage and had to come into the pit for repair, thus dropping him back as well. Meanwhile, Erwin Luhur was driving a clean race and was slowly climbing up 9th position to 4th position and lap 65 his engine finally broke, probably due to the stress by running in 1st gear in the semi-final for 17 minutes. Danny continued to drive at a consistent pace and after 45min he crossed the finish line in 4th position, missing the podium by about 10 seconds. Hj. Irman climbed from his starting 9th position to finish in 6th position. Although we did not manage a podium finish due to bad luck and some technical problem, all the NT1 cars were on pace as we managed to get a TQ position by Erwin Luhur and a pole position by Danny Iswahyudi.

Final results:
1) Philip Lee
2) Barry Ng
3) Andrew Chin
4) Danny Iswahyudi XRAY NT1
5) Daniel Chee
6) Hj. Irman XRAY NT1
7) Sadikin Sutrisno XRAY NT1

8) Hengster
9) Erwin Luhur XRAY NT1
10) Tom Goh XRAY NT1