The second round of the popular Saturday Night Fever 2012 series was held with much anticipation from both crowd and participants. Not as much drama, per se, but it was nevertheless quite a spectacle to see track tuned machines slapping Sepang vampires silly with their high-cams knocking and tyres screeching.
Track driving is already quite challenging which requires much needed racing lines, braking points and apex attacking, but racing at night is a different feeling altogether.
Last Saturday night’s battles were quite, for a lack of better terms, rough, comparing to previous rounds of SNF. Increase of power was quite apparent all around, probably with an added ferocious desire to overtake previous champions.
We did not want to stay at the paddock area this time, and we were seen consoling the vampires on the service road from time to time. The revving sound rattles their coffin, you see, “it’s hard to redecorate every single time, we don’t have a lot of space in there,” lament one of the vampires, who refused to be named.
The vampires were not the only ones needed consoling. Towards the end of the night, there were quite a few disappointed faces walking around looking for consolation around the paddock area.
Editor of Trafficmagonline Khairul “Botak” Azlee took part in the race, together with one of the founder of the original Traffic Magazine Azham Zainol. Driving a track-prepped Subaru “Tottis Junior” GC8 Impreza for the Race Cars category, and after extensive handling tuning, they came to take the fight to the VTEC machines.
Their hopes were cut short when the car’s cooling system malfunctioned during the first heat. Probably Lady Luck was jealous of Khairul for bringing his fiancé to the track, and refused to kiss the car on the other two heats, resulting in firing problems and loss of power during the last two races.
On the lower cc category, Aril Hamka, Ahmad Shariffuddin (Pokdeng), and Muhammad Nazif represented the Toyota Starlet community, battling it out against the insanely fast Kancils and ferocious Swift GTs.
Pokdeng had some traction problem, unfortunately, during the first lap of the last heat. Tractions were lost on Turn 1 in the middle of the rush (but Lady Luck kissed all the other cars away from hitting him). He was leading the first heat. “It was a tough and much more challenging Super 1500 category because of the Swift GTs and the turbocharged Perodua Myvi. I enjoyed the fights, and more effort had to be put in to get past the Super KEI cars group. They’re fast, really fast considering their small engine capacity. Good and unique skills, to say the least. It was a good fight,” said Pokdeng after the race.
“I started on the 13th place for the first heat and struggled to get ahead on the first lap. I switched strategies on the second lap and managed to get pass the cars for 1st position. I had some problem with my tyres during that run, and decided to change the front tyres for the 2nd heat. As soon as the green lights went off, I saw Aril accelerated straight on the left side towards the front of the pack, and I followed closely behind. My gamble with my tyres were off, I understeered and spun in the middle of Turn 1 in complete darkness. I admit, my heart stopped, because I know the rest of the cars were coming. I thank God that no other mishaps happened, and prayed some more for better traction. Managed a second place behind Aril, so I guess it was okay,” he finished.
Aril, who had received a green light to play with the throttle a little bit more, conquered the last heat.
A nice battle between a very balanced Nissan 180SX and a Mitsubishi Evo8 caught our eyes when we were consoling the vampires lurking around Turn 2. The Evo caught up with the 180SX and squeezed into the inside line, pushing the 180SX wide into Turn 1. A little handbrake play, with a very quick steering response, and an RWD advantage, the 180SX drifted to counter the Evo’s move and started chasing the latter to return the favour. The battle went on for all three heats for the Super Street category, despite the absence of the very fast Civic FD2R driven by Desmond Yee. Evo8 driven by Badrul Hisham took second place behind Sebastian Lee in the 180SX.
words & pix: Al-mu Syahrisyawal Ahmad