The ruler and Sheikh of Sepang Drag Battle – Sheikh Mohd Salimee Mohd Fowzi is again the overall champion for the premier open class; winning the crown for the third consecutive year after victory at Round 4 at Sepang International Circuit last Saturday night.
Again, his Nissan Fairlady 180SX machine was no match for his rivals in Class A as the Penang-born driver cruised through all the preliminary stages before comfortably finishing off the challenge of Muhammad Zaidi Amzah and his modified Proton Wira in the final run.
His quest for a third crown was made easier when closest rival Tan Wai Loong, winner of the opening round and beaten finalist in the last two rounds, lost his car during the free practice run. Tan’s Mitsubishi Evo machine damaged its long shaft and was unable to start the race; forcing him to join some 3,000 others as spectators to witness Sheikh Mohd Salimee’s glory night.
“Naturally, I am happy but, I would be much happier if I had won it with Wai Loong among the competitors. I have always enjoyed competing with him. But, that’s motor racing, anything can happen. Remember Round 1, I had problems as well,” said Sheikh Mohd Salimee, who now has an unassailable 16 championship points after four rounds.
With just the final round on October 27 to go and offering a maximum of five championship points, Tan, who remains on nine points, is second in the overall standings for Class A. Finishing second on the night for Round 4, Muhammad Zaidi collected three additional points to take his total haul to eight; hence staying at third overall in the championship standings.
He would be looking forward to the final round to challenge Tan for the overall second position. But, both would again need to be at their best as Sheikh Mohd Salimee confirmed that he would not be skipping the final round despite already clinching the title.
“I would want to win in style for the team and for our sponsors and they had been great in supporting us. Unlike other racing championships, it’s very, very hard to get sponsors for drag race,” said Sheikh Mohd Salimee, who thanked his sponsors Ten Tel and Construction Sdn Bhd and DO Performance.
Participating in Sepang Drag Battle since the last three editions and winning the overall crown for all three years now, he hoped for more efforts to be done for sports and for the players to emulate initiatives undertaken by the drift community, who now pride themselves with an Asian Drift Series.
“I wish for the sports to become bigger and more sponsors come in. Our team has big plans for the sports if there are more competitions and more sponsors,” said the newly-crowned champion, who expressed his delight and happiness for the clear skies and dry weather.
Originally scheduled on September 8, Round 4 was postponed to last Saturday night because of a wet track. Race stewards decided to reschedule the round in the interest of safety of the competitors although the rain had already stopped way before the event was scheduled.
Joining Wan Mohd Salimee as 2012 champions with a round to spare was Nur Faizun Nasri, who took home two overall titles – Class F for non V-tech engines cars below 2,000cc and for Class D, which groups turbo front-wheel drive cars with engines 2000cc and below.
Competing in only his second season in the Sepang Drag Battle, Nur Faizun is also certain to win the Class B for two-wheel drive cars with limited forced induction. Winning Round 4 last Saturday, Nur Faizun took his total haul of championship points to 13; giving him a five-point advantage over second-placed Chua Soon Chuan, who has collected eight points after four rounds.
“I am delighted to be champions and for last year, my best result was third overall in one of the classes,” Faizun said at the prize presentation ceremony.
While his victory for Class F was spectacular as he collected his fourth straight win for the season; bringing his total collection of points to a perfect haul of 20 points, Nur Faizun’s title for Class D was handed to him on a platter.
“I decided to skip Class D tonight because I want to give full focus on the other classes especially Class B, which was still an open affair. I felt that the lead that I have for Class D was big enough for me to win the class. So, I just took a risk here,” said Faizun, who usually races on four categories at the event.
True to his predictions, none of his closest rivals in Class D managed to challenge his overall lead of 15 points. Khairul Anwar scored his first victory of the season of the season to win Round 4 with Mohd Iqbal Tajinder taking second place; and Ahmad Firdaus took third place.
In the battle for Class C two-wheel drive two-liter cars with natural aspirated engines, Mohd Iqbal Ismail Tajinder has been forced to battle it out in the final round on October 27 in accomplishing his mission to win the overall crown.
Winner in all three races in the first three rounds, Iqbal was sensationally eliminated in the quarter-finals by Nur Faizun; keeping the championship leader stuck on 15 championship points. Second-placed Ahmad Firdaus Azman, however, failed to make full use of Iqbal’s loss after managing only second place in Round 4; losing to Mohd Anuar, who scored his first victory of the season.
After four rounds, Iqbal holds a four-point advantage over Ahmad Firdaus, who now has 11 points; courtesy of his second place in Round 4. Ikmy Adzwan Jamuri sits in joint overall third with Mohd Anuar with five championship points.
It was a similar case in Class E for the sub-1000cc compact cars as championship leader Hamdani Abdul Ghani would need to wait to hold his celebration until the final round.
Hamdani was left disappointed by his rivals when he had to be contended with fourth placing in Round 4 and only a single point to take his total championship collection to 12 points. Fortunately for him, none of his closest rivals managed to take advantage of his setback and he managed to open his lead to five points over Azery Mohd Norzali, who has seven points.
Round 4 for the class was won by Mohd Aniz Aizaq, who defeated Mohd Salihin Ismail in the final run. Muhamad Rosmaidi beat Hamdani to win third place.
First organized in 2003 as a club event for members of Sepang Circuit Motorsports Club, Sepang Drag Battle is the only drag racing event sanctioned by Malaysia’s governing body for motorsports – Automobile Association of Malaysia (AAM). It was upgraded to national level in 2005 with participants requiring having racing license from AAM or Motorsport Association of Malaysia (MAM).
Sepang Drag Battle 2012
Results Round 4 – Top Three Finishers
(Open category/no limit engine capacity)
1. Sheikh Mohd Salimee Mohd Fowzi (Nissan 180SX) 5 points
2. Muhamad Zaidi Amzah (Proton Wira) 3 points
3. HairulIzane Mohd Ashror (Honda CRX) 2 points
(2-wheel drive limited forced induction category/no limit engine capacity)
1. Nur Faizun Nasri (Honda Civic) 5 points
2. Mohd Syukri Mohd Nor (Proton Satria) 3 points
3. Ahmad Firdaus Azman (Honda Civic) 2 points
(2-wheel drive natural aspirated category/engines up to 2000cc)
1. Mohd Anuar (Honda) 5 points
2. Ahmad Firdaus Azman (Honda Civic) 3 points
3. Nur Faizun Nasri (Honda Civic) 2 points
(Turbo front wheel drive category/engines 2000cc and below)
1. Khairul Anwar (Proton Satria) 5 points
2. Mohd Iqbal Ismail Tajinder (Proton Satria) 3 points
3. Ahmad Firdaus (Honda Civic) 2 points
(K-car category/engines 1000cc and below)
1. Mohd Aniz Azaq (Perodua Kancil) 5 points
2. Mohd Salihi Ismail (Perodua Kancil) 3 points
3. Mohd Rosmaidi (Perodua Kancil) 2 points
(Non V-Tec category/engines below 2000cc)
1. Nur Faizun Nasri (Honda CRX) 5 points
2. Khairul Asri Mohd Sani (Nissan Sentra) 3 points
3. Zulkifli ZainalAbidin (Honda CRX) 2 points
words & pix: SIC