Under clear skies and sunny weather, the fourth edition of the Sepang 1000 Kilometer (S1K) race officially takes off at Sepang International Circuit (SIC) today with the defending champion Type R Racing Team beginning their quest for a third crown from the third row in their trusted 1600cc Toyota Altis.
Flagged at 12.02pm, the parade of 31 cars, which started behind a safety car, was led by an awesome trio from Kegani Racing – a Malaysian-Australian partnership of the veteran Jim Hunter, Chris O’Shannessy and Kenny Lee in an 1800cc Toyota Celica.
Winners of the inaugural race in 2009 but beaten to second place by Kegani Racing in 2010 which had Kenny, O’Shannessy and Hsiao Tung Wei of Taiwan in a Toyota Levin in 2010, the illustrious Type R Racing Team had Lai – a two-time Malaysian Super Series (MSS) and a two-time Sepang Drag Battle champion – starting the race.
The contest would run for 181 laps and expected to be completed by 9.30pm depending on weather conditions.
“Hopefully, we have a dry race right to the end. Driving in the wet will not just be difficult; but more importantly, unpredictable especially with quite a number of first-timers in this year’s race,” said Boy Wong Yew Choong, another multiple MSS champion, who with former MSS Supersaloon champion Soh Kee Koon formed a formidable partnership and always a top favourite at the S1K and the 12-hour Merdeka Millennium Endurance Race (MMER).
At the end of the first 10 laps of the 181-lap contest, the defending champion was lagging in seventh place behind race leader Kegani Racing, which completed the 10 laps in 26 minutes 54.711 seconds.
Tedco Racing; which started from third in the grid and featuring Chun Kie Chandra, Andrew Haryanto and Fitra Eri, was second with the first of the Honda Malaysia Racing Team, featuring Eddie Lew and Aaron Lim in third place.
Proton R3 Racing, which started from second and featuring newly-crowned MSS champion Syafiq Ali and Super GT driver Morio Nitta, was fourth in a Satria Neo alongside their team-mates James Veerapan and Masedenial Ali on fifth position in a debutant Proton Preve.
The partnership of Sutan Mustaffa Salihin, Kok Pak Chiang and Siah Woei Pyng was sixth after 10 laps in a Proton Gen 2 machine.
SEPANG 1000 KILOMETER RACE – FULL ENTRY LIST
1.Kenny Lee/Chris O’Shannessy/Jim Hunter (Toyota Celica) – Kegani Racing
2. Naputt Assakul/Loo Chiew Koy /Umar Abdul Rahman (Toyota Celica)
3. Lee Kok Kwan/Peter England/Vincent Leong (Toyota Celica) – Formula Iris-Racing Kegani
4. Lai Wee Sing/Soh Kee Koon/Boy Wong Yew Choong (Toyota Altis) – Type Racing Team
5. Aaron Lim/Eddie Lew (Honda Jazz) – Honda Malaysia Racing Team
6. James Veerapan/Masedenial Ali (Proton Preve)- Proton R3 Racing Team
7. Syafiq Ali/Morio Nitta (Satria Neo) – Proton R3 Racing Team
8. Chun Kie Chandra/Andrew Haryanto/Fitra Eri (Satria Neo) – Tedco Racing
9. Tengku Ezan Ley/Farriz Fauzy (Honda Jazz) – Honda Malaysia Racing Team
10. Alvaro Maurato/Ricardo Lopes/Rui Valente (Satria Neo) – Tedco Racing
11. Keifli Othman/A.Kesamoorthy/Akash Nandy (Suzuki Swift) – JC Racing
12. Chia Lek Seng/Chan Soon Chuan/Ng Hong Leong (Suzuki Swift)
13. Roy Haryanto/Hari Darma Manoppo/Renaldo Koesoemo (Honda Jazz) – Honda Surabaya OWS
14. Wong Chun Wei/Lai Wee Hon/Tai Choo Xiang/Lee Wai Chong (Satria Neo)
15. Chin Hwa Lip/Admi Shahrul Ahmad Safian (Suzuki Swift)
16. Ahmad Faizry/Juzaili Jasmay/Kosmas Kalaitzidis(Satria Neo)
17. Mark Darwin/Ng Yi Ming/Rezza Amir/Amnit Mirchandani (Satria Neo) – Red Bull Rookies Racing
18. Michael Chua/Joseph Chua/Rick Cheang (Suzuki Swift) – Mike Racing Team
19. Gilbert Lim/Timothy Lam/Edwin Yow/Tan Yean Ming (Suzuki Swift)
20. Marcus Goh/Ken Yap/Chris Tan (Honda Jazz)
21. Lim Juin Cheng/Winson Eu/Lim San For (Satria Neo)
22. Desmond Khoo/Teo Jon Tatt/Chong Boon Kiat (Suzuki Swift)
23. Sutan Mustaffa Salihin/Kok Pak Chiang/Siah Woei Pyng (Proton Gen 2)
24. Foo Yung Chieh/Yee Kok Jun/Ong Chee Yong (Satria Neo)
25. Tan Chaw Wee/Lee Hong Chi (Satria Neo)
26. Mohamed Nazir/Mohamed Ridzuan/Khairul Anwar (Mazda 3) – Fawster Motorsports
27. Melissa Huang/Siti Zirwatul Iradah (Satria Neo) – Red Bull Rookies Racing
28. Nazaruddin Nordin/Tarmizi Nazaruddin/Edwyn Bow(Satria Neo)
29. Hsiao Tung Wei/Desmond Yee/Ong Soo Yong (Satria Neo) – N1 Racing
30. Maziyar Moghadam/Tun Ammar Mahfuz/Hossein Mirza Khan (Satria Neo)
31. Shaiful Nizam/Rashid Ramlan (Proton Gen 2)
words & pix: SIC