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PRESS RELEASE

RAIN 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.



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