A trip to the southern part of the Peninsular Malaysia has always been a trip of gaining more weight and a bulge in the stomach. Johore has always pamper us with its delicious food and various eateries of sort. Losing weight at this age proved to be quite a challenge. The fats insistently adamant to stay for keeps and I hate it, the least I can do apart from numerous unsuccessful attempts to shed off the pounds. Despite the fact that it’s inevitable, I called up Fariqe as he’s been inviting us to come and have a taste of his very own steamboat restaurant, Lagi Best Restaurant.
Fariqe is not just any ‘budak steamboat’ as one of our friends in JB called him. He’s been a professional driver for Petronas Motorsport for the past 13 years if I’m not mistaken. He’s been making a name to be reckoned with in the Endurance Race, Super Taikyu in Japan where the Petronas Syntium Team has been dominating the podium for quite sometime now. As for MMER (Merdeka Millenium Endurance Race), Petronas Syntium Team is a dominating force in the series. There were quite a number of accomplishments and it keeps piling up over the years, so it’s safe to say that he’s not just another budak steamboat at that.
I’ve heard about his Mitsuoka for quite sometime, and I have been looking forward to have a go at it in Pasir Gudang Circuit as promised by Fariqe… but then our trip to JB was a short and busy one. Hopefully I’ll get another chance at that. After a sumptuous dinner at Lagi Best, we went back only to receive a call two hours later from Fariqe, forcing us to come with him for supper. He was driving his ol’faithful Merc… and since it was right after a drizzle and the road was wet… he and his family of three, Sylah and his daughter Yaya had some fun going sideways on the way to the restaurant. Despite being an ol’geezer, (the Merc not him… but he’s getting there sooner than he thinks) it packs quite a punch. After mugs of Teh Tariks and all sorts of other drinks, we retreated to our rooms and had some rest.
The next day, we had a heavy breakfast at Lan’s Coffee House, munching down his infamous chicken rice before heading to Fariqe’s restaurant, Lagi Best to get a glance of the Zero 1 and share it with the rest of the world. It’s quite a beauty… that is putting aside that it has not being maintained as it should have. Understandable as Fariqe’s too used with having crews taking care of his track car all this while. The Mitsuoka Zero 1 might be a Lotus Super 7, Caterham or even Westfield wannabe but it sure as hell as great as the other three of the makes.
At first I thought Misuoka is a Korean manufacturer instead of Japanese due to all sorts of weird models that churned out of the factory. They’ve been in the market for quite sometime now and were known for building cars of unconventional styling, some of it imitating the British makes form the ’50s and 60s. Mitsuoka Jidousya Kogyo has been around since 1968 founded by Susumu Mitsuoka with their own sports car, the Orochi complementing their models. 1968, Feb “” was founded individually by Susumu Mitsuoka.
Thanks to Fariqe, he let me have a spin in his Zero 1 and the feeling of the wind in your face while steering the car out of a drift was out of this world. It packs quite a punch and since its a lightweight thingamagic, the power-to-weight ratio was perfect. It’s the best toy a speed freak can have but it doesn’t come cheap as Fariqe had to fork out more than RM100,000.00 to get one of these Zero 1. The Zero 1 was introduced back in 1994 as a kit car and Fariqe got one straight from Japan.
Packing a 1.8liter from the Mazda Eunos Roadster, a healthy 150hp is quite a handful as the Zero 1 only weighs 690kg with the driver in it. The rolling stock would be bigger if it’s mine but Fariqe is way much contented with a 14″ wrapped in Advan Neova AD08 which was a present from his beloved wife, Sylah. According to Fariqe, it’s easy and cheap for him to maintain the Zero 1 as he only had it serviced after three years while he only change the tyres every four years. Seriously he needs his crews to maintain his cars. He simply loved it when the tyres were hardened as rocks as it’s easier for him to swerve the Zero 1 in and out of corners in style.
The only thing he changed was the muffler as he said it was a bit too quiet for his liking and so a Supersprint Muffler with custom made piping from TOP SPEED Exhaust Specialist replaced the stock for a better thundering sound off the exhaust. The best part of Fariqe’s very own Zero 1, it’s numbered 001 out of the limited stock of 60 units all over the world. He’s one lucky chap ain’t he? Having the first Zero 1 out of 60 units surely didn’t get him to keep the car in pristine condition as he’s a pure-breed driver instead of a collector… and that’s the best thing to do if you have a fun car to drive and a heavy right foot as well.
Engine: 1839cc, 1.8 DOCH 16V Eunos Roadster engine, 83.0 x 85.0 mm (bore & stroke), 9.0 comp ratio
Max Power: [email protected]
Max torque: [email protected]
Wheels: F 6JJX14 R 6.5JJX14
Tyres: Advan Neuova AD08
Weight: 690kg with driver
Exhaust: Supersprint Muffler with custom made piping from TOP SPEED Exhaust Specialist.
words: Hage’ pix: Hazwan Najims, Jeo & DICE