Winner of three titles last season, Nur Faizun Nasri’s bid to defend all his titles was ruined by the rain and tyre choices as he kicked off his 2013 season with mixed results at the opening round of the 2013 Sepang Drag Battle at Sepang International Circuit.
“Let’s just says it was not the start that I had hoped for. It could have been much better,” said the Banting-born mechanic who dominated last year’s championship with an unprecedented treble by winning classes B, D and F.
Held on the night of April 6th and finishing after midnight, the season opener of 2013 Sepang Drag Battle – Malaysia’s premier drag racing event and sanctioned by the national sports governing body, Automobile Association of Malaysia – attracted a strong participation of 91 cars, competing in six categories.
“We came with dry settings for all the cars, which we have well prepared and upgraded with new parts. Unfortunately, the track was wet. Hence, the problems began. But, to be fair, not just for us, but also most of the teams. We were all looking forward to a dry affair,” said Faizun, who was victorious that night in Class F for sub 2000cc cars with non V-Tec engines.
He added: “Like last year, we came to compete in four categories. But, managed just one win and unable to compete in Class B, which was cancelled along with Class A in the open category because of the wet conditions.
“It rained before the event started, which was fine actually. But, after the practice runs, it rained again and competitors in Class A and B decided that it would be too wet for their slick tyres. Therefore, they decided not to run for the round.
“The other classes proceeded. And, I decided to take my chances despite knowing that conditions were actually not favorable to me and the team with the cars’ setting and the tyres that we had,” said the 30-year old Faizun, who even failed to qualify for the quarterfinals in the battle of Class D for the turbo-powered sub 2000cc front wheel drive cars.
The category was topped by Mohd Iqram Ismail Tajinder who defeated Mohd Hafiq Fawwaz Basirun in the battle of the Proton Satria machines in the final run. Mohd Isa Mohd Nor took third place in a Proton Wira.
In the battle of Class C for 2-wheel drive cars with natural aspirated engines up to 2000cc, Nur Faizun lost in the quarterfinals to defending champion Mohd Iqbal Ismail Tajinder. Driving a Honda Civic, Iqbal, who is Iqram’s brother, beat Syed Yusof Syed Shafie in the finals. Adib Affandi Mohamad took the third place defeating Muhammad Ridzuan Ahmad.
“This was the category that I could not win last year and was looking forward to have a strong start this year. Having said that, Iqbal is very strong in this category … it would be quite a challenge for me and the team.
“But, I look forward to Round 2 … Hopefully, it will be a different story on a dry track,” added Nur Faizun.
Round 2, of the five-leg championship, would be held on May 11.
Sepang Drag Battle 2013
Round 1 Results – Top 4 Finishers
(2-wheel drive natural aspirated category/engines up to 2000cc)
1. Mohd Iqbal Ismail Tajinder (Honda)
2. Syed Yusof Syed Shafie (Honda)
3. Adib Affandi Mohamad (Honda)
4. Khairul Najib Mohamed (Honda)
(Turbo front wheel drive category/engines 2000cc and below)
1. Mohd Iqram Ismail Tajinder (Proton Satria)
2. Mohd Hafiq Fawwaz Basirun (Proton Satria)
3. Mohd Isa Mohd Nor (Proton Wira)
4. Muhammad Ridzuan Ahmad (Honda Civic)
(K-car category/engines 1000cc and below)
1. Mohd Amri Na’aem (Perodua Kancil)
2. Mohd Aniz Aizaq Mohd Affandi (Perodua Kancil)
3. Hamdani Abdul Ghani (Perodua Kancil)
4. Firdaus Mohd Sain (Perodua Kancil)
(Non V-Tec category/engines below 2000cc)
1. Nur Faizun Nasri (Honda CRX)
2. Mohd Isa Mohd Nor (Honda CRX)
3. Ashraful Mohammad Rumai (Proton Satria)
4. Ahmad Firdaus Azman (Proton Satria)
(Note: Competition for Class A for the Open category and Class B for 2-wheel drive limited forced induction category and no limit engine capacity)
words & pix: SIC