The tight contest between two of Malaysia’s top talents in drag racing – Sheikh Mohd Salimee Mohd Fowzi and Boy Tai Wai Loong – continued at Round 3 of Sepang Drag Battle last Saturday with the Sheikh and defending champion repeating his second round feat to score his second win of the season at Sepang Circuit.
Taking the top two spots in the preliminary rounds for competition in Class A, Boy clocked the fastest time of the night on his very first run with a time of 9.584 seconds in his Mitsubishi Evo 3 machine with Sheikh coming a close second with a time of 9.833 seconds in the 400-meter sprint contest.
That effectively put them on the different half for the quarter-finals rounds; offering a dream final battle for the premier category. Both Sheikh and Boy played to the script; sweeping aside their rivals as they set a final showdown and the penultimate event of round at 1.50am as some 3,000 spectators waited anxiously at the Main Grandstand terrace.
Making perfect starts, both drivers blazed through the racing tarmac; finishing almost simultaneously to the naked eyes as their machines shot out parachutes to assist their stops as they took the checkered flag. But, almost instantly, the scores came flashing on the display panels; confirming Sheikh Mohd Salimee as winner for Class A.
Salimee’s awesome Nissan 180X drag machine clocked 10.011 seconds to collect another five championship points and a total haul of 11 points; granting him sole possession of the top spot that he had to share with Boy before the start of Round 3. Boy – winner of the opening round – clocked 10.088 seconds and collected three championship points; giving him a total haul of 9 points with two more rounds to go – Round 4 on September 9 and the final round on October 27.
While Salimee undoubtedly scored a massive victory, Round 3 had a bigger that night in Nur Faizun Nasri, who competed in four categories, taking home three winners trophy for Class B for two-wheel drive cars with a single forced induction, Class D for two-wheel drive cars up to 2000cc engine capacity with turbo and Class F, which grouped 2000cc cars with Non V-Tech engines.
In his participation for Class C for two-wheel drive natural aspirated cars with engines up to 2000cc, Nur Faizun came in third; behind Mohd Iqbal Ismail Tajinder and Ahmad Firdaus Azman, who took first and second place respectively in a field of 16 entries.
Nasrun, who entered Round 3 with oozing confidence after winning the opening two rounds for Class D and F, was in fearsome form as early as the preliminaries in the battle of the non V-Tech engines cars as he topped the qualifying round with a time of 12.700 seconds.
Driving a Honda Civic, Nasrun cruised through the quarter-final and semi-final duel before finishing off the aspirations of Khairul Asri Mohd Sani in the final battle to collect another five points to lead the championship standings with a maximum haul of 15 points. Ahmad Firdaus Azman took third; beating Azhar Othman in the contest for third place.
In the battle of Class D, which had a massive 38 entries, Nasrun was third fastest with a time of 11.700 seconds in the preliminary round; which was topped by Mohd Iqbal Ismail Tajinder, who clocked 11.518 seconds in his Proton Satria machine.
Iqbal, however, lost in the semi-finals; losing to Kamarul Nazran Jaafar, who, however, had no answer to Faizun’s slick driving in the finals where he clocked 11.550 seconds against Kamarul’s 11.800 seconds. Iqbal, however, had some consolation by taking third place where he defeated Khairul Anuar.
With another five points, Faizun remained perfect in the championship with 15 points; opening an 11-point gap over Muhammad Ridzuan Ahmad, which remained with four points after three rounds. Khairul, who took fourth placing in Round 3 and one precious championship point, moved into third overall with three points.
Faizun’s third victory for the night came in Class B, which saw him initially being upstaged in the preliminary round where he was second fastest behind Chua Soon Chuan in a field of 12 entries. They met in the final run and Faizun turned the tables over his rival; beating Chua with a time of 11.488 seconds against 11.732 by his challenger.
Fourth overall at the start of the round, Faizun rose to the top of the standings for Class B; joining Chua on eight points. Mohd Syukri Mohd Nor is third with five points and Ahmad Firdaus Azman, who finished fourth for the round, is fourth with four points.
Class C, which saw Faizun taking third and two points, was won by championship leader Mohd Iqbal Ismail Tajinder. He defeated Ahmad Firdaus Azman in the finals. Like Faizun for Class F and D, Iqbal has a perfect score of 15 points; holding a nine-point advantage over second placed Ahmad Firdaus, who has six points.
In the contest of the sub-1000cc compact cars for Class E, which had 11 entries, championship leader Hamdani Abdul Ghani was in unbeatable form in Perodua Kelisa. Topping the preliminaries with a time of 13.768 seconds, Hamdani cruised through the quarter-finals and semi-finals before beating Azery Mohd Norzali in the final run to cement further his position at the top of the championship standings.
The win gave him another five points to take him to a total of 11 championship points. Azery moved to second with seven points and Mohd Afizi Abdullah, who took third place in Round 3, moving to third overall with five championship points.
First organized in 2003 as a club event for members of Sepang Circuit Motorsports Club, the event was upgraded to national level in 2005 with participants requiring to have racing license from either Automobile Association of Malaysia (AAM) or Motorsport Association of Malaysia (MAM).
Since turning into a AAM-sanctioned event, Round 3 attracted a record entry of 108 cars.
Sepang Drag Battle 2012
Round 3 – Results
(Open category/no limit engine capacity)
Winner: Sheikh Mohd Salimee Mohd Fowzi (Nissan 180SX)
Second: Tan Wai Loong (Mitsubishi Evo 3)
Third: Ahmad Raihan Mubin (Mitsubishi)
Fourth: Musa Al Hafis Mohamed Sharif (Proton Wira)
(2-wheel drive limited forced induction category/no limit engine capacity)
Winner: Nur Faizun Nasri (Honda Civic)
Second: Chua Soon Chuan (Honda)
Third: Mohd Maziz Abdullah (Honda Civic)
Fourth: Ahmad Firdaus Azman (Honda Civic)
(2-wheel drive natural aspirated category/engines up to 2000cc)
Winner: Mohd Iqbal Ismail Tajinder (Honda CRX)
Second: Ahmad Firdaus Azman (Honda Civic)
Third: Nur Faizun Nasri (Honda Civic)
Fourth: Ikmy Adzwan Jamuri (Honda Civic)
(Turbo front wheel drive category/engines 2000cc and below)
Winner: Nur Faizun Nasri (Honda Civic)
Second: Kamarul Nazran Jaafar (Honda)
Third: Mohd Iqbal Ismail Tajinder (Proton Satria)
Fourth: Khairul Anwar (Proton Satria)
(K-car category/engines 1000cc and below)
Winner: Hamdani Abdul Ghani (Perodua Kelisa)
Second: Azery Mohd Norzali (Perodua Kancil)
Third: Mohd Afizi Abdullah (Perodua Kancil)
Fourth: Azizul Arif Ahmad Zaki (Perodua Kancil)
(Non V-Tec category/engines below 2000cc)
Winner: Nur Faizun Nasri (Honda CRX)
Second: Khairul Asri Mohd Sani (Nissan Sentra)
Third: Ahmad Firdaus Azman (Proton Satria)
Fourth: Azhar Othman (Proton Satria)
words & pix: SIC