MRC: Saladin eases to victory in Johor

Published on August 19th, 2009

A potent combination of soggy, slippery tracks and the mandatory sun could not prevent Saladin Mazlan of the Felda Rally Team from snatching victory in Round Three of the Malaysian Rally Championship 2009 (MRC) in Kota Tinggi, Johor.

Piloting his 4WD Proton Gen2 in the P12 class, Saladin was in command from day one after coming out tops in the first leg and completed the sixteen Special Stages over 227.70km in a time of 3hr 39min 01sec.

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Like icing on the cake, teammate Rozali Abdullah finished third in 3hr 47min 58sec with Gunaseelan Rajoo of GSR Pennzoil Racing Team sandwiched between the Felda boys having chalked up a time of 3hr 41min 48sec.

“We were fortunate to get a good lead over Guna yesterday because our rear disc broke in the second last SS today and we had to cruise to the end,” said Saladin. “We have learnt a lot and have improved the car in the last two events, so now the car is very strong. The Pennzoil team better watch out from now on,” joked Saladin at the finish line.

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It wasn’t all a bed of roses, or in this case overgrown ‘lalang’ in the oil palm estates for Saladin, as his co-driver Arish Qutb Ahmad Khan explained, “We had a bit of trouble in SS1 and 2 when our brakes failed, but once they were fixed we pushed hard and got a great result.”

Gunaseelan too ran into some gremlins with his turbocharger in the first leg and the end product was lost time in SS3, 4 and 5. Nonetheless, the problem was dealt with and he managed to make up time in the remaining stages.

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Rounding up the 2WD, P10 and Junior classes was privateer Faidzal Alang, stopping the stop watch at 4hr 14min 18sec. Playing bridesmaid to Faidzal in the 2WD class was Hong Kong driver Clayton Check. Clayton had reason to sport a smile though as he still topped the charts in the P11 class.

Wrapping up the podium for the 2WD class was Azmir Yusri Yusoff of the Felda Rally Team. It was a sweet weekend for him too as he notched second in the Junior category behind Faidzal.

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“This was the toughest rally I have ever competed in. It was a true Malaysian rally with the rain, slippery tricky stages and heat. It was very tiring and I found it difficult to keep my concentration. I am very happy that I finished so well,” disclosed Faidzal at the end of it.

The N4 trophy was awarded to Indian driver Arjun Rao who finished a strong fourth amongst the 4WDs in his Mitsubishi Evo 6.

The spotlight though for the weekend was certainly shone bright and glaringly on the wide arches and 280hp naturally-aspirated horses of the Proton Satria Neo S2000 under the Proton R3 Malaysia team banner.

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With none other than local rallying legend and internationally renowned driver Karamjit Singh behind the wheel, it had all the forged parts for a bomb-proof race. However, the Flying Sikh ended up parking the car in a ditch during the SS2, effectively ending their assault on the first leg of the MRC as well as the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) that was running concurrently during the weekend.

“In SS1 we stalled many times and we had to reverse many times so we lost more than a minute. Then in SS2 we were doing much better but unfortunately I clipped a corner too early and ditched the car,” diagnosed Karamjit on the team’s weekend.

It was definitely an eventful weekend over in Kota Tinggi to say the least and for the next 2 months the MRC will go into hibernating until the next round in Negeri Sembilan kicks up a dusty trail. Hat tip to the boys over at www.geartinggi.com for spreading the love.

text: Dinesh Appavu  pix: GearTinggi

Comments

  1. Posted by GearTinggi on August 19th, 2009, 15:07

    Yeay!

  2. Posted by GUNA on August 20th, 2009, 09:00

    U are doing a great job guys ….keep it up ya . Just let me know if you need any help from me .
    tq

Reply

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