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Phuket Sports: Scores, storms and Sepang – F1

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Sports: Scores, storms and Sepang – F1 | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Well, Melbourne was a great Grand Prix, and we now have some answers to those intriguing questions from the off-season.

Last week I put my neck on the block and made some predictions about the Australian GP (click here for article) that were against conventional wisdom. How well did I do?

I said slower teams have had a better chance to copy and catch-up than have faster teams to increase their lead with innovations. So I expected the smaller teams to show this season. Force India looked awesome at Melbourne, with Adrian Sutil leading for two long periods and finishing 7th. He was unlucky not to beat Mark Webber and Lewis Hamilton.

I think that throughout this season we shall see blazes of surprise from Force India, Williams, Mercedes and Sauber.

I also said the management of the new Pirelli tyres was going to be a decider.

It was. Pirelli included supersoft tyres to spice up the Aussie barbie. It worked, providing varied success for two and three stop strategies and seven different leaders. Might they do the same in Sepang?

I thought Sebastian Vettel would be lucky to make the podium in Melbourne. But McLaren could not compete at the top, so Vettel took third fairly easily, but conspicuously 22 seconds off the pace.

Despite the great support for Red Bull, I thought Ferrari would be the team to beat. It was. They now lead the Constructors’ Championship. I said Fernando Alonso would be on the podium. He was. But Ferrari ran a three–stop sprint strategy, and Lotus’ deliberate two-stopper was a race winner.

I said that if McLaren could sort their tyres, I would not be surprised to see Jenson Button on the Melbourne podium alongside Alonso.

Actually he was never a contender. McLaren has not got its package working, and are unlikely to fare better in Sepang.

But don’t write them off; they are the only team to go for a new package this season instead of upgrading the 2012 car.

They have time to come back, and if they do, their new car could dominate the rest of the season, because other teams may not be able to compete by tweaking. But McLaren needs to be turning around by Catalunya in May. There’s a lot to do.

Despite being fastest in testing, I said I would be surprised if Mercedes managed a podium finish in Australia. Hamilton finished 5th, well off the pace, particularly in straight line speed, and Nico Rosberg DNF. They are likely to stay mediocre in Sepang.

I tipped Kimi Räikkönen for a podium position. He won of course. Lotus demonstrated perfect tyre management, and made a two–stop strategy work when others, notably Mercedes, failed.

The Iceman’s penultimate lap was pointedly the fastest lap of the race, on tyres that were 22 laps old. On this showing, I would tip Kimi to revisit the podium in Sepang. I understand that Kimi griped at having to rise early for Q2 and Q3, delayed from Saturday by the stormy weather in Melbourne. If so, he had clearly recovered his good humor by the time he won.

The Constructors’ Championship scoreboard shows Ferrari top with 30 points, Lotus 26, Red Bull 23, Mercedes and Force India 10 and McLaren 2.

There were five rookies in Melbourne and no bad incidents. Max Chilton, who finished 17th for Marussia, looks like he belongs in F1. He’s a classic driver and one to watch in the future. He had to stop for a wing change after a kiss with Van der Garde early in the race. Look to him to make midfield in Sepang.

Sepang will be hotter than Melbourne and better suited to the tyres. There is always a likelihood of rain to add spice to strategy which may help the best drivers. So it would be no surprise to see a podium of Kimi, Alonso and a wild card. Vettel, Massa, Webber and Sutil may all be in with a shout. Last year a rank outsider made the podium, and might have won, so who knows?

Qualifying for the Malaysian GP starts at 3pm on Saturday, and the race is at the same time on Sunday. Watch both with me at The Green Man, Chalong (click here for map)!

— The Digby

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Crime

Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft

Greeley Pulitzer

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Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Patong Police

Patong Police have yet to develop any tangible leads tracking down a foreigner who made off with US$30,000 in cash from a currency exchange booth in Kalim, north of Patong in Phuket, last Tuesday.

The man is about 168 centimetres tall with grey hair and around 60 years old, Patong police told The Phuket News.

“We have no clue what nationality he is.”

He was last seen at the currency exchange booth wearing a purple polo shirt, blue jeans and black cap. Police have checked hotels in the area, police stations across the island and Phuket Immigration, but have yet to join the dots and come up with firm leads.

“Investigators have checked CCTV in the area and collected what evidence we have but we still do not know the man’s name or where he was staying.”

The man had visited the booth several times before Tuesday, when he disappeared with the $30,000 in US banknotes, according to police.

“It was always small amounts”, he added, noting that the amounts didn’t warrant staff at the exchange booth to check the man’s passport before making the exchange.

The man arrived at the booth again at about 1pm on Tuesday, saying that he had 900,000 baht cash to exchange.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Crime

Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room

The Thaiger

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Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phuket Hot News

The security guard of a hotel in Nai Yang, northern Phuket, 52 year old Yingyot Butsabong, from Maha Sarakham province, was found dead yesterday (October 16) in his room. Police remain mystified how the man came to grief.

A woman named Supattra received a call from the hotel he worked at and was informed that he didn’t show up at work yesterday, so she went to his apartment to check on him.

She saw that his room was locked from the inside, so used the key she had in her possession to open the room and found Yingyot laying on the floor, face down. She thought he was just sleeping so she tried to wake him up but once she flipped him, she found that he already passed away.

She immediately called Saku police, and once on the scene, police found that there was some blood on the floor. The man had a 2 centimetre wound on his left eyebrow which was deep into his skull. There was also a wound on his chin about 1 centimetre long and about a centimetre deep. His left eye had a bruise which looked like he was attacked by a hard object.

Police report that he had been dead for around four hours in the room.

The room was not ransacked and there was no sign of fighting or theft. His body has been sent to Thalang Hospital for a detailed autopsy and to look into the cause of death.

SOURCE: Phuket Hot News

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People

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people

Nattha Thepbamrung

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‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | The Thaiger

On October 18, the ‘Always Smile Journey’ group and its partners will host an exhibition with plenty of fun activities at the Yak Yai Market, near Chalong Circle, in Phuket. This event was designed to raise funds to provide free English classes for underprivileged people on the island of Phuket on Saturdays and Sundays. The group does not accept donations but aims to raise money through the sales of the products available at the event.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

From 2 pm to 8 pm, there will be a number of artists, musicians and performers who will keep the attendees entertained along the way. There will be a short film about His Majesty King Rama 9 as well as fun activities and games for kids and families, which are all free of charge.

The big bike crew is also a part of this event. They will ride a parade from Rawai Beach heading to the market and showcase their gorgeous two-wheel buddies.

One of the highlights of the Always Smile Journey exhibition is the ‘Happening’ artists group, who will draw and paint a picture of the His Majesty King Rama 9 under the name ‘Street Art King Bhumibol’ on a 4×10 meter sign live at the event so the guests will experience this large-scale art in action. The Happening will also offer portrait sketching for the participants.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

One of the works created by the Happening team; a painting of HM the King Rama 9 on a huge wall (Photo credit: Chawat Chumpasan)

There will also be some western menus available at the event which will be donated to underprivileged children.

This free English class project has over seven years of experience through its cooperation working with individuals and other charity organizations. Throughout the years, the group visited several areas such as Ban Laem Hoy School, Ban Bopud School and Ban Angthong School in Samui, Surat Thani province, Ban Bueng Ao Oun School and Ban Kakoh Rayong, in Surin province, Jalae Village of Lahu (Muser) in Chiang Rai province, as well as community education centers in Siem Reap, Cambodia and in Luang Prabang, in Laos.

This event is a cooperation between several groups, including Happening, Yak Yai Market and Arrow Media, Tattoo artist group, Thonburi Art School Alumni, International School of Tourism, Suratthani Rajabhat University, big bike group from Phuket, artists/performers/musicians from many provinces as well as several businesses across Phuket.

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