It has been awhile since I came down to the go-kart circuit of Sepang, and I was surprised with the hectic environment of the circuit. It was close to a carnival-like event as the area was full of activities. The Rotax Max Challenge will never be short of participants as well as the crowd cheering for their favourite drivers.
It was a dominant performance by ISRacing with Akito Saito and Lee Wai Cong securing a 1-2 win in the Senior categories while Arsh Johany took the podium in the MicroMax category during the opening round of the Rotax max Challenge Asia series during the weekend.
In the Senior category, ISRacing’s Lee Wai Cong had a healthy start and put him in the lead of Teruhisa Tanaka and his compatriot, Akito Saito followed by Teruhisa Tanaka and Calvin Wong of ART GP Asia. Lee Wai Cong kept a steady lead in the early laps while Akito Saito battled for a better position before overtaking Teruhisa Tanaka. With another 7 laps to go, Akito Saito made a clean overtaking and lead Wai Cong to the finish. It was a 1-2 finish for ISRacing with fellow driver Lee Wai Cong, followed by Teruhisa Tanaka and Izzat Hanif Norazlan in 4th.
While in the Junior category, Daim Hishamuddin was unchallenged in the final as he pulled out a bit of a gap on the opening lap and stretched it to 2.5 seconds by the end of the race. Mitchell Cheah of Prodigy Racing was overtaken by Muhammad Luqman Hakim early in the first quarter of the race, but it only took one lap for him to get 2nd place back, after which he built a gap but was unable to close in on Daim. Luqman finished the race in 3rd ahead of Presley Martono and Ben Grimes.
Ang Kok Wee went undefeated in the DD2 category winning all heats. The final was the closest contested, with Malaysian driver Melvin Moh setting similar lap times but not quite able to match the pace of the race winner, eventually finishing a bit over a second adrift. Yong Boon Tirachaimongkol from Thailand took 3rd place ahead of Kyle Blockley of Singapore.
In MicroMax category, Arsh Johany of ISRacing controlled the pace but not without occasional threat from Muhammad Sidqi and Christopher Daryl Wenas. It was in the final that Arsh kept the pace from the start pulling away from any given threat from Wenas and Gezha Sudirman. The race was not without drama as the middle group of the drivers got into a tangle of accidents, resulting a number of drivers unable to continue the race.
The 2nd round of the Rotax Max Challenge Asia & Malaysia series will be held again at the Sepang Circuit on the 6th-7th of April.
words & pix: ISRacing