Following her second overall placing in the Renault Clio Cup China Series in 2016 and a one year hiatus, Leona Chin is back at it again in the newly-launched MINI Challenge Asia Series. The one-make race features the MINI F56 JCW – a 255hp, sequential gearbox-equipped race car based on the road-going F56 JCW.
The MINI Challenge Asia Series sees the world-renowned MINI one-make race series making it’s way to Asia, with the hopes that it will eventually grow in scale to match the original series’ 17 year history in the UK. Racing with Team GreatDrive, Leona proved that she could tangle with some of the best drivers in the region. Two notable opponents were Nobuhiro Murata, a Japan Super GT driver, and Nattanid ‘Kat’ Leewatanavalagul, currently the best female driver from Thailand.
The first leg of the series was held at the Zhuhai International Circuit – a track that Leona is familiar with herself given her past racing experience in China. Race day was divided to two races, where Leona finished 4th in the initial race and 3rd in the second race, with just one second off the pace behind 2nd place Nobuhiro Murata.“I would like to thank GreatDrive for giving me the opportunity to compete in this round of the MINI Challenge Asia Series. The car performed well during both races, was really easy to drive and also light on its feet”, Leona said. “It’s a nice step up from the Clio cup car I raced in two years ago. I’m looking forward to the next round on the 16th and 17th of June which will also be at Zhuhai International Circuit”, she added.