Kenny Lee looking for the double and redemption

Published on August 3rd, 2010

With the Sepang 1000 Kilometer (S1K) race title already in the bag, Kenny Lee is aiming for a double as he and Australian team-mate Chris O’ Shannessy target glory at this weekend’s Merdeka Millennium Endurance Race (MMER) at Sepang Circuit.

“The target is clear – a double and match the achievement of last year’s winners,” Kenny said in reference to sensational achievement of Type R Racing Team, which won the overall S1K crown and the A1 class at the 12-hour endurance race.

“It will be difficult and we are ready to take up the challenge … in fact, we feel very optimistic and confident about our chances,” said Kenny, who be competing for Wing Hing Motorsports and Chuah Kuan Chew as the third driver.

Competing in a two-liter Toyota Altezza in the new Touring Production Class, Kenny would not have the defending champion as among his challengers this year though their top driver Boy Wong Yew Choong would still be around to spoil his day.

“Boy is very good. He can be in any team but would always be a strong contender for the race,” said Kenny, heaping praises on Boy, who would be partnering US professional drifter Charles Ng and Asian Touring Car Championship driver Harry Chai for this year’s MMER race.

“They will be very strong; but sincerely, I feel that the overwhelming favourites for the class would be the super rich Honda Malaysia Racing Team. They have huge budget as compared to any of us in the class,” said Kenny, whose race ended after seven hours last year after mechanical problems.

“Hopefully, this year will be different … we have tested the car and it felt good. We like the new Pirelli tyres. It provides better grip as compared to the Michelin tyres that we used last year. But then, we are using wider tyres this year … I am confident and really looking forward to the race and make up for last year’s disappointment,” he said.

2010 marks the 11th edition of the MMER, which introduced for the first time three new classes. Along with the Touring Production class that would pit Wing Hing Motorsports, Honda Malaysia Racing and G Harry Racing Team against each other, the two other classes are the GT class and the Sports Production class.

With 36 entries this year, the race would be flagged off at midnight on August 8; finishing 12 hours later on the same day. Qualifying would be held on Friday to decide the grid positions and Thursday is the Official Free Practice.

For the first time in the MMER, Pirelli had been installed as the Official Tyres.

Boy, who came second to Kenny in this year’s S1K race with his Tyre R Racing team-mates, hailed the move to have a single tyre make for the race; saying that it provided a level competition field among the competitors.

“I think it’s very good. Now, nobody can complain that their rivals had better tyres when they lose,” said Boy, who is arguably Malaysia’s top touring car driver; winning the Malaysian Super Series Supersixteen title four times, Supersaloon title in 2008 as well last year’s class win in the MMER.

“I am really looking forward for the race and driving with Charles. He is a very good driver,” said Boy, who looked set to deny Kenny’s double dream.

words & pix: SIC

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