Hayden Haikal is off to a great start for his 2023 international racing campaign. In last weekend’s opening 2 rounds of the Idemitsu Super Turbo Championship, Hayden raced to back-to-back victories.
This is the 18-year-old’s 2nd year of racing in Thailand, but his first appearance in this championship. It is also his team’s (Wing Hin Motorsports) first time racing in Thailand. For the team, bagging 2 victories on debut is an unforgettable achievement.
“To win our very first race here on our debut is just crazy and we hope to continue this momentum for the rest of the season,” said Hayden who piloted the #437 Toyota Vios to victory at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram.
“The drivers in my category are very competitive as I had expected. The cars the top drivers are running turbocharged cars that are way faster to the normally-aspirated engine our team is running. Thanks to the team, our car however, seemed to be the most reliable and had better handling and this resulted in us having better cornering speeds and braking compared to the rest of the field,” he added.
In Round 1’s race on Saturday, 11 March, Hayden was fastest in his class (D4 class for cars with normally aspirated engines of up to 1,550 cc) and dealt well with the pressure of a 22-car grid to finish 8th overall and 1st in his class. He is also the only foreign driver registered in the championship.
“The Chang International Circuit has traditionally been good to me. I’ve won here on 3 different occasions in the past and it suits my driving style very well. There was nothing more I could have done. The turbocharged cars just had greater straight line speed, acceleration and pace,” commented Hayden.
The young race is working to clinch his first international racing title. Last year, Hayden finished as the overall first runner-up in another Thai championship – the Thailand Super Eco Saloon Car Series. Winning the first 2 rounds this time means he is now leading the Idemitsu Super Turbo Championship.
The championship will continue with another 4 rounds. Rounds 3 and 4 are scheduled for 19 – 21 May, while the remaining Rounds 5 and 6 will be held on 16 – 18 June 2023. All races for this series will take place at the 4.554 km Chang International Circuit in Buriram.