Entering the third year since its inception, Saturday Night Fever proved to be a great platform for grassroots drivers as well as the professional drivers. It’s the common ground for ’em drivers to fight it out against each other, giving it their all to become the top crew and driver.
It’s been quite a wait for all of us drivers and we’re more than ecstatic to be pitted against one another after more than three months of rest. As usual the pits were cramped up with the machines except that this time around, there was a new category for the two-wheelers to compete in SNF. There were about 18 bikers participating in 135/150cc category of SNF 2013. Racing at night has never been easy for the drivers, it would be harder for the bikers and hats off to them for completing in Round 1 without any mishaps.
It was quite a carnival at the Sepang International Circuit as early as 4pm as the drivers came for registration and drivers’ briefing as well as the bikers. From the minute yet powerful classic Minis to evergreen Starlets, Kei-machines to the no-holds-barred machines of the Race category. With a number of pits being reserved for Porsche due to their Porsche Driving Experience and the launch of the new Carrera 4S, the pits for SNF were cramped to the brim.
As for the race, since it comprised of 8 laps per heat instead of 5 laps as in the previous years, quite a number of cars suffered mechanical problems. Even an Evo3 had blown its engine. As usual the races were furious but since most of the participants were still using their old set-ups, the engine can’t quite bear the brunt of a longer race. An AE111 driven by Ghazi Fawwaz was engulfed in flames entering the fifth lap in the final heat, while another six cars of the usual podium winners DNF’ed in the Race category.
As for our very own team, Kekure Racing, it suffered an unidentified problem which only arised upon arrival at the Sepang International Circuit leaving Azham, my partner to drive the slow-poke GC8 at less than 70km/h in the second heat to fourth spot thanks to all the DNF drivers. Faizal Hassim kept the top spot followed by Joshua Thiran of Millenium Motorsport and Hafidz Fahro Rozi in class 1 of Race category while Soh Kee Koon, Abdul Razak Hamdi and Winson Eu in class 2.
The Starlets kept their stronghold of the Super 1500 category with car #18 at the top spot, driven by Aril Hamka and Norhadiman followed by Muhammad Nazif Othman and Ahmad Ezani. The dynamic duo Syafiq and Haziq Ali dominated the MINI category followed by Hairani Mohd Ariffin and Mohd Hamdan while Singh Boy kept the top spot to himself in the Special Kei category.
In the Superstreet category, an Evo 8 MR had everyone agape with its fast-pace driving leaving the other competitors quite a distance while the closest driver, Desmond Yee was 8 seconds behind. It was none other than renowned Keifli Othman and Badrul Hisham showing off their mettle at the Sepang International Circuit.
With Round 1 having quite a substantial number of DNFs, most of the tuners will have a whole lot of tuning and changes of set-ups to consider in order to have a reliable engine to fight it off in the upcoming Round 2 of Saturday Night Fever on the 4th of May. It will be the first time ever for SNF to be using the South Track as the battle playground for the drivers and riders.
words: hage’ pix: Faiz Zakariah & Qief