It’s that time of year again… make it every two years as the Japanese secretly enters the ghost town of Sepang International Circuit to endure the scorching sun competing against one another while going at it in the small compact kei-machine. All in all there were 46 cars competing with 4 teams of our very own holding high the Malaysian flag, three entries from China and an entry from Singapore completing the entrants of K4GP Malaysian Round.
K4GP is held twice a year in Japan usually in August and February apart from Sepang Circuit once every two year. The very first time the race is held as a 24-hour endurance was back in 2011. K4GP has always been a family and friends kinda event. Even the itinerary was written out and printed before being distributed among the teams participating on the event day itself at first light.
The rules are simple, each teams have 300 – 500 litres of fuel to complete the race with a minimum of four drivers per car. Back in 2011, there was a Malaysian teams with 20 drivers per car! This year, it’s quite frustrating as there were only four participations from Malaysia. Nevertheless, Malaysian teams proved to be a force to be reckon with despite the lack of experience K4GP. The race was started at 12 noon as variety of funny costume-clad crews ran towards the parked race kei-cars and with a touch on the hoods… Le Mans style but in an amusingly funny way instead.
Our every own Malaysian teams, FH Motorsport #88 Perodua Kancil with Fariqe Hairuman as the team principal managed to climb from 21st spot to 16th in the first hour and managed to steal spots up to 11th by the 12th hour of K4GP. One Motorsport with two cars in the race had the #101 Kelisa in the 27th spot. #303 Sport Compact Motorsport started late as the engine was still out of the car when the race started. All four cars from Malaysia still ran strong by the 16th hour while FH Motorsport gained a better spot at 7th overall and third in its class. Disaster struck two hours later as FH Motorsport #88 Kancil suffered from a snapped clutch cable taking the team to the 12th spot overall.
As for the race leaders, it was a battle between # 171 Nuovo Kasai, #908 Pasadena Racing, #66 Team Viva and #299 Team Nekomaru all featuring prototype race cars with high-revving superbike powerhouse as their engines. By the 16th hour #66 Team Viva lost its standing to 8th. Nuovo Kasai, Pasadena Racing and Team Viva race cars were in Gulf Racing liveries and bears quite a similarity between each other apart from slight differences.
After leading the pack since late evening it seemed that nothing can disrupt #299 Team Nekomaru at the top spot as the race entered the 18th hour followed by #908 Pasadena Racing and #171 Nuovo Kasai in their category. With another two hours to go, Team Nekomaru maintained their position at the top of the game leading 6 laps followed by Pasadena Racing and Nuovo Kasai while other teams were dropping like flies due to wear and tear apart from mechanical failure.
In another category, #156 Ams & West led the pack followed by #41 RSC Honda Kumamotou and #68 Bold Ecsta. Our very own Malaysian team, #88 FH Motorsport managed to be in the top five of its category while the rest managed to finished the 24-hour endurance race of K4GP. Congratulations to all the winners and participating teams.
words: hage’ pix: Hazwan Najims, Faiz Zakariah, Geg & Jeo