Djan does it again at FX Open

Published on June 8th, 2010

Once again, the Prince of Drift, Tengku Djan Ley, outsmoked the competition to claim victory in the inaugural round of the FX Open 1Malaysia Drift Series 2010 held at the Speedway Plus Circuit last weekend.

Solo qualifying commenced on Saturday afternoon with the 40 drifters clawing for a spot in the Best 32. No surprises again as Tengku Djan, of the FX Formula Drift-Bridgestone team, topped the solo run sheets followed by Tan Tat Wei in the 13B rotary-powered Team Federation D-Bridgestone AE86 Coupe. Rounding up the top three was Fazreen Ismail from Team FX Formula Drift.

The top eight qualifiers get automatic-bys into the Best 16 while the remaining 24 qualifiers had to draw their gear sticks and shift into battle again on Sunday to complete the Best 16.

It’s the tsuiso battles that separate the men from the boys and once the tandem battles kicked off, it was clear that upsets were going to be the order of the day. Crowd favourites such as Lim Zee King (Team Toyo Drift), Ivan Lau (Federation D-Bridgestone), Nazrul Afifi (Team Toyo Drift), Ariff Johanis (Goodyear Racing) and even Mohd Fazreen Ismail, the third qualifier, were headed for early showers.

Once the smoke had cleared, the Best 8 compromised of Tengku Djan, Tat Wei, Ser Ming Hui (Team Exotic Drift), Hanizam ‘Loyai’ Hamzah (Goodyear Racing), Lim Kim Wan (Team ISC), Mervyn Nakamura (Federation D-Federal), Ng Choon Lai (Boostzone) and Hashiguti Anderson (Team After12).

At this stage, there was no letting up from the drifters. It was evident that they were all driving their machines to the ground.

Right from the get-go, Tat Wei’s rotary AE86 Coupe was clearly benefiting from its new heart in the lightweight chassis. The nimble coupe seemed to effortlessly accelerate away from the opposing car even during a drift. Speed seemed to be the decisive factor on the day, with Djan’s strikingly-coloured Sil1580 leaving the competition eating its smoke due to its sheer speed on the tight circuit. Not to be outdone, Kim Wan, in his ISC RX-7, was also several clicks ahead of the other cars.

The Final 4 battle was so intense that we lost count of the One-More-Times called by the judges. Of course, being an exhibition sport, the spectators made their feelings felt too.

At the end of a very hot day, Tengku Djan had defeated Tat Wei in the final while Ming Hui edged Loyai to claim third. It just wasn’t Loyai’s day though as his RB25-powered Cefiro A31 developed mechanical trouble towards the Final 4, effectively ending his battle before it even begun. Nonetheless, Loyai being Loyai, he wrangled every ounce of performance out of his misfiring RB25 to give it a shot on track.

The current standings see Tengku Djan, Tat Wei and Ming Hui enter the second round with a comfortable lead over the other drifters.

Touted as the biggest drift series in the country, the FX Open 1Malaysia Drift Series 2010 is backed by the world renowned investment firm FX Open and is fully supported by the Kementerian Belia dan Sukan (KBS) and Rakan Muda. The guest of honour for the event was Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Minister from KBS, and he even took the time to flag off the drifters in the tandem battles.

words & pix: Dinesh Appavu

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