Over two legs, Karamjit, the defending overall champion, found himself fending off the challenge of the rest of the field to win both the rounds, covering a total distance of an estimated 125km race over 16 stages.
Together with co-driver Nicole Ann Gill in their Mitsubishi Lancer, the pair clocked a total time of 1hr 20:50.7secs with New Zealander Brian Green and co-driver Fleur Pedersen in a Subaru Impreza who did a total time of 1hr 22.50.03secs.
Third was Muhammad Rafiq Udhaya of the MRU Racing team in a time of 1h 26:15.9secs. On Saturday in the opening round, Karamjit was hardly in trouble as he raced away to take the crown and on Sunday, it was also business as usual for the man whom they call the Flying Sikh.
He got off to a flying start in the opening stage on Sunday, which is Stage 9, covering a distance of 8.02km and he was in his element. From then on it was smooth sailing, minus a little hiccup here and there.
“But in the end we came good. The stages were a bit too straight for my liking and it could play havoc with the handbrakes. But we kept clear of trouble and I am happy,” said Karamjit.
The action shifts to Johor Bahru for the third round of the 2012 Malaysian Rally which also coincide with the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) where some big names from the region are expected to take part.
But by then Karamjit will have a “new” car to handle. A three-year old Mitsubishi Lancer which his team GSR Repsol Air Asia have bought for him from New Zealand.
“I am looking forward to driving the new car and it will be a totally refreshing experience. I have not test driven it yet but I am sure it will be fast,” said Karamjit.
And the return of China’s Fan Fan, last year’s winner of the Malaysian leg of the APRC in Johor Bahru, will only add competitiveness to the championship.
Fan Fan’s million ringgit Mitsubishi Lancer was supposed to have raced in Kangar but because of it’s late arrival due to customs clearance, the car did not see action in Kangar.
“But I will be back. The car is still in Malaysia (Kangar and then Kuala Lumpur) and I will be ready to race in Johor Baru,” said the Beijing based Fan Fan.
words & pix: MRC