DOESN’T DAMPEN RALLY SPIRIT
11th April, Cyberjaya – Day
One of the first Round of the Malaysian Rally Championship (MRC)
2009 season was halted after seven Special Stages (SS) due to heavy
rain but the rally competitors’ spirit was not dampened.
The Organisers, Wheel Sport Management, opted
to stop the Rally at 4.30pm when the skies opened washing out the
SS. The drivers had completed seven SS.
Clerk of the Course for the Championship,
Tengku Shaharin Abu Bakar Almarhum Tengku Suleiman said “There
is no way the 2WDs would make it through the muddy SS. The third
SS was particularly soggy and had earlier been re-routed before
eventually being closed completely.”
Despite the difficult conditions only two
of the ten newcomers didn’t finish the first seven SS.
Faidzal Alang, recently crowned Champion of
the Rally reality TV show “Malaysia’s Next Rally Champion,
Zero.2.Hero” was one of the lucky ones.
Faidzal Alang finished the SS in his Proton
Satria 1.6 in a time of 35 mins 49 secs.
“My goal was to finish the race and
I achieved that. I am very happy,” Faidzal Alang said. “Tomorrow
could be a different story because of the rain. I will most likely
find it difficult to get traction.”
2008 MRC Champion, Karamjit Singh of the GSR
Pennzoil Racing Team was in the lead at the end of the day with
a time of 27mins 16 secs.
He led Saladin Mazlan, driving a brand new
Proton Gen 2, by 2 mins 9 secs.
In third place was Indian driver Arjun Rao
with a time of 29 mins 31 secs.
All the international competitors finished
the race. Hong Kong driver Clayton Check Kai Liang was delighted
to finish his first ever Rally in a time of 35 mins 39 secs with
his wife and co-driver Tracy Li Pan Chi by his side.
Sri Lankan’s Ashan Silva and Muhd Sabry
Abd Salam finished in a time of 35 mins 19 secs.
There were not as many casualties as expected.
At the end of the day only 9 of the 28 starters did not finish (DNF).
Gunaseelan Rajoo of the GSR Pennzoil Racing
Team had a close shave in SS6 when he bent his sump guard and his
car was stuck in the mud. He managed to get out of the SS and back
to the Service Park but the SS was later cancelled.
To the delight of the spectators two Mini
Coopers battled their way through the SS. Unfortunately only one
finished the race.
The Rally will continue tomorrow (Sunday) in Cyberjaya but the first
car will start at 10.13am instead of 8.43am as previously scheduled.
Only two SS will be used tomorrow- SS1 & SS2.
Full results and the Spectator Guide
can be downloaded from www.malaysianrally.com.