Boy Wong and race partner Akina Teo won the Race Cars Class 1 category in the second annual SNF Racing Enduro which was held at the North Track of the Sepang Circuit on 24 May 2014. The SNF Enduro which features two drivers per car and a 35 minute race format attracted a huge entry of 65 cars, with some drivers such as Mitch Chong and Mohd Azman making their debut from Ignition.my’s feeder series SNF Touge.
Returning to Sepang’s North Circuit, SNF Enduro featured new booths together with new SNF Merchandise to pull a huge spectator crowd. Chief Financial Officer of SNF partner Clixster Mobile, Encik Fakhruddin Abdul Ghani visited the race this weekend and exclaimed simply, “This is really, really exciting!”
Although this time around the SNF Racing series solely focused on the Enduro, many were looking forward to a big fight between Boy Wong and his main rival this year, Keifli Othman. “It’s unfortunate that my car is not ready for the Enduro and we’re missing all the action. But as they say, that’s racing!” said Keifli when met in the paddock.
So its advantage to Boy Wong from Type R team with the absence of his main rival. However it was no easy path for him and team mate Akina Teo as they had to fend off the hard charging cars of Ong Chee Yong / Vincent Chen from Guang Racing and Mohd Faizal Hassim / Najid Ayyad from DNT Tune, especially so in the opening laps when these attackers seem to always be well within striking range. Without doubt the Type R racing drivers were faster but as the Enduro requires a driver change pit-stop, timing and strategy was essential and their slim lead was constantly under threat.
The top-three were flat-out running in the 1m 15 bracket, and it would take just a minor error for either one to capitilise on each other. Realising this, the Boy Wong / Akina pair started to push hard to open a gap, setting a benchmark time of 1:14:570 in the process to stay out of range, and this effort secured their win with their Civic EK9 2-litre crossing the finishing line first, ahead of CY Ong / Vincent Chen and Mohd Faizal Hassim / Najid Ayyad.
“We knew we would have to push hard in the first stint to ensure a good margin for the driver change pit-stop, and our success here tonight we wholly attribute to our team members that enabled this fantastic result!” exclaimed an ebullient Boy Wong after the race.
In Race Cars Class 2, Ahmad Firdaus extended his championship lead further as he beat his main rivals to the flag. Partnering his previous Championship rival from 2012 Philip Tang, they provided great entertainment for the fans whereby the race was a close battle between them and Type-R Racing’s Soh Kee Koon who had the experienced Harry Chai as his teammate. Coming in third was the pairing of Shairulnizam and Steven Lai who obviously lacked the pace of the frontrunners and even others who were behind them with their Nissan Sentra B13, but put in a slick drive to make it to the podium.
A lot of eyes were on the Moto categories, as they encountered their first SNF Enduro. For the motorbikes, it would be a flat-out 20-minute race, no rider change nor pitstop. Such a long race at night puts huge mental and physical stress on the riders, and only the strongest would raise the trophy. Would the boys take it easy and save energy in the first half, before attacking hard in the second? Or would they ride as hard as they could and gamble that they would have the strength to make it to the flag?
However right from the greenlight it was clear that the only strategy was Flat Out! Pole-sitter and Round 2 winner Mohd Kanafi (MK JB Racing Team) didn’t have a great first lap and dropped down to 5th, while archrival Mohd Imran (Botok Mystery Machine) started P11 but made huge overtaking moves into T1 and through T5-6 to cross the line in the lead at the end of the first lap! Kanafi was back with him by Lap 3, from which point the two rocked away from the rest of the chasing pack and indulged in an incredible wheel-to-wheel battle which lasted throughout the complete race. Strike, punch, lung, dive.. Kanafi and Imran whipped out every trick in the book as they put on a textbook display of dogfighting.
After 20-minutes and 15-laps it was Mohd Kanafi that just pipped Mohd Imran to the flag with the impossibly small margin of only 0.218 seconds! The relief in Kanafi’s body-language was visible as he punched the air then slumped over his trusty Kawasaki KRR150’s fuel tank from exhaustion on the slow ride back to the paddock. Taking up third was Mohd Edzwan Esa (StuntTroopers Msports).
Back to the car categories, there were fireworks in Honda 1800 as the battle for top honours presented some close racing amongst the top two leaders. It was double duties for Type-R Racing’s Boy Wong and Soh Kee Koon during the Enduro as they also competed in this category as teammates. They were hounded closely by Afiq Affi and Mohd Fahmi Awang from Revolution Autoworks throughout the night. The pair made their intentions clear, matching the pace of the Boy Wong / KK Soh Honda EK9 but just not being able to make the pass, and they remained in second position to the chequered flag followed by Ooi Cheng Lee / Heah Chong from team JDM Racing.
There was consolation for team JDM Racing as their sister car which competes in the enjoyably varied Street Tuned category finished first with their drivers Gan Kim Goa / Lai Chee Kwin. Amidst the more powerful rivals the partnership of Adian Yein and Porsche Carrera Cup Asia winner Alif Hamdan in the seemingly underpowered BMW E30 came in second against all odds. Finishing a close third after a tough battle with the BMW was JMS Tuner with the Toyota Corolla AE101 driven by Muhd Hazlami Hazim / Muslim Mustafa.
The Special Kei category witnessed the return of last season’s champion Logesvaran Kaliaperumal a.k.a. SingBoy with his car sporting attractive new red paintwork. Absent from round 2, most were looking forward to him to provide some challenge to his arch rival Syazril Amri. Unfortunately, for the Enduro only 4 cars took part and the spectacle of the category was sorely missing. This was compounded further when most of them encountered problems during the race. Incredibly and a first for SNF, there was no official race winner as none of the cars qualified as finishers, which was most unfortunate!
Running in tandem with the Special Kei was the Super 1500 and Proton 1800 categories which presented its own climax and further upsets for some teams.
As always the Proton 1800 category is about the rivalry between the 1800cc Protons and the Campro-powered cars, both camps working hard to prove which engine is dominant. Although the Campro cars exhibit a power deficit over their bigger capacity siblings, on more than one occasional they’ve been able to provide a consistently close challenge to the 1800 engined teams.
However this time it was the 1800 Satria of Johan Harun Jaafar from Infinity Speed Works partnered with Sutan Mustaffa that took the honours, closely followed by Fazril Ahmad Zabidi / Mohd Noor Fairuz (the 2012 Street 1800 NA Champion) from GOMS Auto Services also racing a Satria 1.8. The young, capable duo from DNT Tune Ifwat Ataa and Nijya proved the capabilities of the Campro-powered Satria Neo by taking third place, proving their giant-slaying performance in the series this year.
Khairi Mohamad took the Super 1500 category win as his 4G91-powered Proton showed blistering pace throughout the night, especially as he paired SNF 2012 Street 1800 VTEC Champion Ahmad Firdaus Azman. With a fabulous fastest lap of 1:24:326 they were almost untouchable. Their closest rival Ahmad Mozambique / Hasrin Tahir were lapping in the 1:26 in he trusty but quick Proton Saga Aeroback 1.5 Megavalve. Taking the final step of the podium were the pair of Manveen / Kesavamoorthy (legendary SNF cowboy) driving impressively and consistently with their Perodua Myvi 1.3.
SNF Racing will take a long break after the Enduro round and will resume again on August 23 2014. But should you need some additional dose of motorsports action before then, there’s still one more event by Ignition.my which is the SNF Touge which happens on 31st May 2014 at MIMC Melaka.
Full race results and the latest updates are available on http://www.SNF.my
Words & Photos: SNF