Djan leads the local drifters ahead in the wet

Published on December 20th, 2009

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The clouds were anything but merciless as rain heaved its hand of havoc on the Top-32 qualifying for the Goodyear Formula Drift Malaysia 2009 round but even water wouldn’t wash away Malaysian hopes as The Prince of Drift, Tengku Djan, leads the leaderboard and 14 other local drifters into the Top-32 for tomorrows finals.

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With almost half the Top-32 filled by Malaysian drifters, things are looking very promising indeed that a Malaysian could be occupying the top podium spot tomorrow evening.

Djan, in his Bridgestone Nissan 180SX, netted the highest score of 88.7 during his second qualifying run with smoking entry velocity and a near perfect line that would have definitely tingled the concrete barriers. Playing bridesmaid was another Malaysian, Hanizam, in his GT Radial Nissan Cefiro A31, with a score of 81.2, quite a bit off Djan’s benchmark.

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Japanese Ryuji Miki was third in his Toyota Supra while Ariff Johanis lifted local pride up by taking fourth. Ariff booked his spot with his first run but the competitive spirit might have been the culprit as his second run followed Djan’s best run and he pushed a pinch too hard, getting a little too chummy with the barrier and leaving his Nissan 180SX needing some repairs for tomorrow’s tsuiso battle.

All in all, there are eight Malaysians in the top 10 which just goes to show that not only local drifters keeping up with the foreigners now, they’re leaving the foreign drifters eating their smoke.

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A heavy drizzle the second time around during the last part of qualifying might have had a cameo role in messing with some of the driver’s qualifying runs. Although there weren’t any heavy mishaps, the rain did result in some spinouts that left a few big names narrowly making it in or heading for an early drive home.

Things did look up as the clouds cleared and the track started drying up resulting in the entry speeds getting faster but by then some of the drifters had already completed both their qualifying runs.

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Coming in fifth was local Ser Ming Hui followed by Team Bridgestone drifters Ivan Lau and Tan Tat Wei with Nazrul ‘Along’ Afifi of Team Toyo and Drift House’s Lim Joe Han in the most aurally stimulating car, a Nissan Cefiro A31 with a VK45 V8 engine, behind them.

Making the top 10 was Indonesian rally driver turned drifter Rifat Sungkar piloting the ex-Proton R3 Waja RWD. Expectedly, the Waja lighting up its rear tyres got some of the loudest cheers from the crowd. Rifat threw together a good line as well during his second run to cement his spot in the Top-32.

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The other Malaysians in the Top-32 are Faireen, Ee Yoong Cherng, privateer Lee Mun Hoong, Mervyn Nakamura, Heng, Kevin Rajoo and Lim Zee King that that grabbed the last qualifying spot by the tips of his finger.

Every cloud has a silver lining and the clouds that showered today’s qualifying certainly left us with an interesting Top-32 that in return will see an explosive tsuiso battle tomorrow although with such a large number of local drivers in the mix, almost half of them would be gone in the first round of tsuiso as they come up against their fellow countrymen.

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Nonetheless, if today’s results are anything to go by, there might just be more than a coupe of local drifters surprising the foreigners and lifting the nation’s name on the international drifting stage.

In the mean time, enjoy the thrills and spills from today’s qualifying and practice. The photographer bows on his knees and humbly begs for forgiveness on the lack of race queen shots.

text: Dinesh Appavu  pix: Hage’ & Dinesh Appavu

Comments

  1. Posted by Mak Uia on December 20th, 2009, 08:16

    What happened to Mad Mike? 19th spot?

  2. Posted by Traffic Mag on December 21st, 2009, 06:08

    mad mike finished third

Reply

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