WINS BATTLE FOR FIRST
1st November, 2009, Sepang - Saladin
Mazlan of the Felda Rally Team won the heated battle for first place
in the fourth Round of the Malaysian Rally Championship 2009 (MRC)
in a time of 1hr 23min 50.1sec. He took home the trophies for first
place Overall and first in the 4WD and P12 categories.
Saladin started Leg Two today with a 24.4
second lead over defending champion, Karamjit Singh of the GSR Pennzoil
Racing Team, who was clearly on a mission to reduce the deficit.
Karamjit finished the Rally 20.1sec behind Saladin.
“We were the fastest overall today,
we won the Leg, but we couldn’t make up the time we lost yesterday.
We found a leak in our turbo pipe in the first Service today which
had been slowing us down. That fixed, we pushed as hard as we could
but there weren’t enough kilometres in the Stages to reduce
the time,” said Karamjit’s co-driver Jagdev Singh.
“Saladin drove a superb rally and did
a beautiful job,” Jagdev added. “It’s been a long
time since we’ve had competition like this. This is what rallying
is all about!”
A delighted Saladin drove his Proton Gen 2
home to a jubilant team. “We were pushing all the way but
we were always in control. I think we have another ten percent to
give, so in the next rally, the battle will continue,” Saladin
said. “To win like this gives us a good feeling.” The
final Round will be held in Perak on 5th & 6th December.
The two leaders left a huge gap between them
and Gunaseelan Rajoo and Muhammad Rafiq Udhaya who finished third
and fourth respectively. Guna finished 10min 57sec behind Karamjit
and Rafiq was a further 44sec behind him.
Rafiq had finished yesterday in third place
but lost critical seconds when he slammed his Subaru Impreza into
a tree in Special Stage (SS) 19 giving Guna the all clear to race
home for a podium finish. Rafiq took home the N4 category trophy.
Hong Kong driver Clayton Check Kai Liang,
was the fastest 2WD for the Rally and took home the P11 trophy.
Junior driver Faidzal Alang continued with
his dream run of strong finishes this season and took home the P10
and Junior category trophies. Faidzal won his ticket into the MRC
2009 via the reality TV show Malaysia’s Next Rally Champion,
Zero.2.Hero. He has continued to exceed everyone’s expectations
and clearly has a promising future in Rallying. “I hope I
am an inspiration to the next round of competitors in Zero.2.Hero,”
The P9 category trophy went to brother and
sister team Jamaluddin and Rozita Tukimin.
The Rally was held in the oil palm
plantations of Ladang KLIA, Sepang. Competitors completed 20 Stages
totaling 481.08 km (including transport stages) over two days.