After a month since the AMC Round 2, The AMC Round 3 returns to Elite Speedway Karting Circuit on the 20th and 21st May 2017. Weather was extremely hot and burning before the race weekend but luckily mother nature mellowed down. Drivers participation was all time low for this round as many were taking their exams in their respective countries. The most affected are the junior and senior classes. The organisers had Darrell Smith from Rotax flown in, especially for this 3rd Round to explain the issues faced using the new D3 tyres for the DD2 class and also on how to get right proper set up. Many DD2 drivers faced problems with the D3 tyres but after testing and set up was done, many were able to find the right set up despite the tyres wearing off faster.
Krit Boonyang (Thailand) won the Micromax category, bagging his 2nd podium win of the season. Krit bagged 1st in the AMC Round 1 but didn’t quite work things out in Round 2 which he had to settled 5th place. Things almost didn’t work for Krit in the race as he was penalised 10 seconds for overtaking under a yellow flag. This caused Krit the pole position for the prefinal race. However Krit drove a good race and was able to pull away from the other drivers in both prefinal and final race. He built quite a gap, leaving the 2nd to 4th drivers to fight it out amongst themselves for 2nd place. Hebiete Nasen Yu, started 2nd in the finals was dropped to 4th at the start but managed to regain back his position after a brief tussle with Adam Mikail. Adam was also in good form but just didn’t have the necessary pace to chase the pack leader. Cui Yan Pu and Aditya Wibowo fought it out at the last 4 laps for 4th place and in the end it was Aditya who held on to secure 4th. The race ended with Krit Boonyang 1st, Hebiete Nasen Yu 2nd, Adam Mikail 3rd, Aditya Wibowo 4th and Cui Yan Pu 5th.
In the senior category, Ahmad Gunadi (Indonesia) won the senior category. Ahmad Gunadi was fast in all the races but he lost out to Arsh Johany in the prefinal, the only sore point in his whole race weekend. Arsh, the winner of the senior category in Round 2, didn’t have the same pace in Round 2 and was lagging behind Ahmad Gunadi and was falling even further behind until he landed in 4th place. Rakamulya Rifiq had a good weekend despite winning 2nd. Raka had some tussle with Arsh Johany and both switching positions throughout the race. However this gave Benson Lin the opportunity to close the gap between them and make his move to overtake Arsh who was at 3rd place. James Veerapen finished 5th but was fined 10 seconds for a dislodged nose cone. Ting Hau Shiu was promoted to 5th place due to the result of James dropping down to last place.
Tai Zulberti (Phillipines) won the Junior category, beating fav Muhammad Ibrahim and Romain Leroux to the finish line. It was quite an upset win as nothing seems to work for Tai during the whole race weekend. In Heat 1, he was DQ for post race technical infringement. In Heat 2, he was forced to retire after a rolling lap incident with pole driver Muhammad Ibrahim that resulted in a dislodged radiator. In the prefinal, he was fined 10 seconds penalty for a dislodged nose cone. In the final, everything seems to change for Tai, in a good way. Through 2nd lap, he was able to leapfrog 4 drivers to gain the pole position. Things got worse for Muhammad as he got knocked down to 4th. Muhammad was leading in all the races that weekend but when come the final race, he didn’t have much luck then. Muhammad was knocked all the way back when he was involved in a tussle with Akmal Mohd Ashibli. But Muhammad continued on and managed to win 5th place. Romain Leroux also had a miserable race weekend as well. He didn’t manage to complete his races on Saturday. There were issues with his engine during time trial, chain broke and sparkplug issues plagued Romain the whole Saturday. During the prefinal he started behind the pack but shoot up to 2nd and maintain it till the finish line. In the final, Romain held on to first place briefly before overtaken by Tai. Akmal Mohd Ashibli finished 3rd and Ananthorn Tangnainatchai finished 4th respectively after the tussle that led Tai to leapfrog everyone.
In the DD2 category, drivers were coping with the new D3 tyres and while drivers were able to find their set up, the tyres doesn’t seem to be able to last. The organiser gave free D3 tyres for the drivers to test and get their set up and additional 2 rear tyres for the heats as only the rear tyres seems to be affected. With all the testing done, it was Manav Sharma who was the fastest at the time trial. Manav also won in the Heat 1 and Heat 2 and started pole in the Prefinal. However he was quickly overtaken by Senna Sulaiman Noor at the start and dropped down to 4th place. It looked like it’s going to be a Senna vs Prass race in the final but Eshan Pieris (Sri Lanka) surprised both drivers and took the 1st place after overtaking Prassetyo Hardja in the 1st lap and Senna Noor in the 2nd lap. Eshan was much faster than the 2 drivers managed to keep his distance and cross the finish line. It was a memorable race for Eshan as he was always overshadowed by Senna and stuck at 2nd or 3rd but this time it was absolutely his win.
For the DD2 Master category, Riki Tanioka won first in all the Master category races. There doesn’t seem to be anyone in the Master category that can stop Riki from winning all the Master category. In the DD2 veteran category, it was the same sad story for Eric Mancini. Having leading all the races and on the last lap of the final, he made a mistake of braking too hard which allowed Vica Chong (Hong Kong) to overtake him and claim the winner in the Veteran category. Eric has been driving really well since the start of the season but luck just wasn’t on his side as other competitor exploited his mistakes at the very last min to secure the win.
The AMC Round 4 will be held back at Elite Speedway Karting Circuit again and then its off to Sepang for the last 2 rounds. With half of the season gone, there is still no clear winner yet as the new format allows them to drop one of their worse round. It looks like the battle will continue all the way to the last round to determine the winner to go for the Rotax Grand Finals 2017.