Proving that the old adage, slow and steady wins the race holds true in endurance racing, Type R Racing Team waited patiently before going for the kill to win their second title in the Class 2 after a gruelling 9 hours Sepang 1000 KM at the Sepang International Circuit last night.
Using their experience as champions in the inaugural edition in 2009 and runners up the following year, the trio of Lai Wee Sing, Soh Kee Koon, ‘Boy’ Wong Yew Choong produced a controlled performance in their Toyota Altis to finish head and shoulders above the rest, completing the 181 lap race with a time of 8 hours 48.06.567.
Starting third on the grid, behind the 2 more fancied Proton R3 Racing Team machines, Type R fell back to 9th place on the first hour, as a strategy to conserve energy with 22 laps completed.
One hour later, they were up to 6th and then began their assault on the front pack led by pole sitter, Faidzil Alang and James Veerapan in a Satria.
By the 5th hour, they were content to sit in second as Faidzil and James’ machine suffered a mechanical failure, which put paid to their hopes of wresting the title for the title for the first time in S1 K debuted in 2009.
Into the last hour, they finally made their move to overtake Keifli Othman, Halim Mu’azzam, Kesavamoorthy Ayyavvu to finish 1:59.871 above their closest challengers from JC Racing who made the leap from 6th place at the start.
And that wasn’t the end of the story as Type R Racing were made to wait anxiously as their win was vehemently protested by their fellow competitors, alleging their Toyota Altis of not fulfilling the requirements of a 1.6 cc car.
“We were confident our car met the requirements. If not we were just as happy if the organizers were to award us RM500 as our prize money to cover our food expenses,” said Boy Wong cheekily.
Their competitor’s protest did not hold water after the organizers declared that Type R Racing had done the necessary modifications to replace the 1.8 cc engine of the car with the required 1.6 cc.
Class 1, which saw 3 entries was won by Lim Chun Beng/Vincent Ng in a Toyota Celica, finishing eight overall, 10 laps behind in a time of 8 hours 49:02.989.
“Our aim was to maintain our consistency throughout the race. This is our first win, coming in our debut in the S 1 K,” said a delighted Chun Beng.
A total of 28 cars featured at the grid during the flag off at 1 pm by SIC’s Board of Director, Datuk Muhammad Aini Taib with 9 cars failing to finish when the race ended at 9.30 pm.
Earlier in the day, Ismail Samin, got more than he bargained for when he decided to bring his 3 boys to catch the action at the S1 K.
Not only did they managed to witness an exciting race featuring 28 of the best production cars in Malaysia circling the SIC for 9 hours non-stop, Ismail, 42, was overjoyed after being among the lucky race goers to purchase 10 exclusive Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix tickets at an unbelievable price of RM100!
“I read about the promotion from the newspapers the other day and decided to come here and get my F1 tickets.
“This will be my third time attending the Sepang grand prix and I hope to bring all of my 10 family members here. Before this I also brought 10 of my family members here but I had to fork out a considerable amount of money.
“This time, I only had to spend RM100 for 10 tickets to enjoy the race with them on the Hillstand. I hope SIC will continue with these exclusive promotions for the fans,” added Ismail, who came from nearby Putrajaya.
In conjunction with S1 K, 1,000 Hillstand tickets, were offered at a promotional price of RM10at the pass collection centre @ PG3 (just before paddock tunnel) and Corporate Suite 6, Main Grandstand Mall Area.
Besides watching the action unfold, the fans took the opportunity to indulge in the many side activities held around the circuit including pocket bikes demonstrations, drifting, go-kart rides and motorclub gatherings.
The drift car demonstration was a big hit with the race goers as hundreds throng the circuit’s car park which was transformed into a drift circuit, to catch a glimpse of all the top drifters in action.
words & pix: SIC