Falling short of his target of winning his class at the recently-concluded Malaysia Merdeka Endurance Race (MMER), Zen Low of Aylezo Motorsports can make up for his disappointment by winning his first ever Malaysian Super Series (MSS) crown at Sepang International Circuit (SIC) this weekend.
Finishing second in the Sports Production Class for the 12-hour endurance contest, Zen can wrap up the championship battle for the same class, but in a sprint race of another competition organized by SIC with a round to spare at the MSS, which hosts its penultimate Round 4.
After three rounds, Zen, who raced for Malaysia at international jetski competitions in the 1990s, has 105 points and a massive 45 points over second-placed Bruce Lee, who has 63 points. Tan Kok Ho, who like Zen and Bruce, competes in a Lotus machine is third with 58 points. Gerard Yap and Harry Chai, both driving Aston Martin N24 machines, are tied in fourth with 45 points.
Based on his performance in the previous rounds, Zen looks good for the Sports Production overall title. He was simply unbeatable in the last two rounds as the Sarawakian driver took maximum points and full control of the championship.
Zen, who is Aylezo Motorsports team owner, said preparation for this weekend’s race had been comprehensive; similarly to what they had done in all their previous races to ensure the team achieved the best possible results.
“Over the years, we have learned a lot on preparing our races and needless to say we made many mistakes over the time. However, we also gain countless knowledge.
“Therefore, preparation for our races is our everyday routing; and we always make sure we are always ready to go racing and no last minute surprises … that’s what we trained to do at Aylezo,” Zen said, adding that the team’s aim is always to qualify at pole position and finishes at the highest step of the podium.
The MSS, he added, would be a different kind of challenge for him and his team as compared to the MMER, where his team fell short of their target to finish second in the class; though Zen had personally said before that race it would be a mountainous task despite being an achievable one.
Zen said the MSS was a different kind of race; offering a different kind of challenge though would be equally demanding in its own way.
“The MSS is a one-hour race format for this time round. It will undoubtedly be very tough for the driver especially with our hot and humid weather. But, we are really looking forward to the race … if we keep our heads together and stay away from trouble, we should finish this weekend’s race on top.
“Hopefully, we can also celebrate in winning the overall crown as well,” said Zen, who partnered Patrick Ng and Marcus Chye at the recent MMER race and finishing second for the class behind the awesome trio from Nexus Racing – Fahrizal Hassan, Adrian d’ Silva and Daniel Bilski, who completed 283 laps in their Aston Martin; against Aylezo’s total haul of 268 laps.
Commenting on the MMER, Zen said that it remained a massive achievement for him personally and the team as a whole despite finishing on the second step of the podium.
“Finishing in 12-hour race itself already an achievement for any racing team. For our Team, to take the checkered flag with a podium finish is even a greater achievement. Every podium effect is like a magic potion that will magically transform the team to work at a higher level,” Zen said.
Zen would be meeting again Fahrizal, Adrian and Bilski at the circuit this weekend; but would not be competing head-on against them as all three drivers would have their own private battles in different championships of the MSS event.
The trio would be desperate to build on their success at the MMER to improve their current positions in their respective championships.
Fahrizal is currently second in the Touring Production class; trailing championship leader Perajun Krishnan by five points. Adrian, on the other hand, is fourth in the GT Open class, which is currently led by Noel Becker with 66 points. Adrian has 35 points; trailing behind Vignessa Moorthy (61 points) and the partnership of Rocky Siow and Rhommel Singh has 42 points to sit in third placing.
Bilski competes in the open class of the Asia Classic Car Championship (ACCC), which he currently leads despite mixed results in the previous round where he failed to finish the opening race; but bounced back to win the second race.
Apart from the ACCC, other support races for Round 3 this weekend are the Hong Kong-based Touring Car Series Asia; the China-based VW Scirocco Cup; Hong Kong Touring Car Championship and a new addition, Westfield Sportscar Series.
This weekend would also feature Round 3 of the MSS Bike championships, which included the Superbike Championship, the Superstock Championship, the 600cc Supersports Championship as well as Round 2 of the SIC Ninja Cup.
Malaysian Super Series Cars
Top Five Leaders After Round 3
GT Open Class
1.Noel Becker (Lamborghini LP520) 66 pts
2. Vignesa Moorthy (Radical) 61 pts
3. Rocky Siow/Rhommel Singh (Lotus Exige) 42 pts
4. Adrian d’ Silva (Porsche 997) 35 pts
5. Dedy Widiyanto (Lamborghini LP520) 30 pts
1.Zen Low (Lotus) 105 pts
2. Bruce Lee (Lotus) 63 pts
3. Tan Kok Ho (Lotus)58 pts
4. Gerard Yap (Aston Martin) 45 pts
5. Harry Chai (Aston Martin) 45 pts
Touring Production Class
1.Perajun Krishnan (Honda Integra DC5) 60 pts
2. Fahrizal Hassan (Honda Integra DC5) 55 pts
3. Hidehatu Kutoki (Honda Integra DC5) 50 pts
4. Kenny Lee (Toyota Altezza) 45 pts
5. Damian Dielenberg (Honda Integra DC5) 40 pts
Malaysian Touring Car Class 2
1.Shafiq Ali/James Veerapan (Proton Satria Neo) 125 pts
2. Kok Pak Chiang/Sutan Mustafa Salihin (Proton Gen 2) 49 pts
3. Ahmad Faizry Mohamed/Juzaili Jasmay (Proton Satria Neo) 45 pts
4. Soh Kee Koon (Toyota Altis) 40 pts
5. Alvaro Maurato (Proton Satria Neo) 36 pts
words & pix: SIC