21st December 2013 was the date of Ultra Racing Gymkhana Challenge Series final round. It was also Malaysia’s first official Saturday night basement car park gymkhana event, held at Panther Mall, Cheras. An event organised, promoted and jointly organised by Kuraz Events & Wheelspin Malaysian Motorsports Group. Thanks to the venue sponsor, Downtown Motorsports Malaysia, the event was viewed as a successful one as there were up to 50 participants. Other booths were available as well to promote their products and services; among those who took part was Drax Tuning Innovation, Sucimuci Motorsport, Ftuned Racing, Toyo Flush King, Ducatus Malaysia and others.
As scheduled, the registration for participants opened at 3pm, but of course it was quite impossible to reach there in a brief, due to the severe traffic jam caused by the MRT project in progress nearby. Anyway, I arrived there around 4pm (from Bukit Antarabangsa at 2.30pm) after enduring the oh-so-really bad traffic jam from MRR2 to Panther Mall; just in time for registration and drivers briefing. During the briefing, we were told that Downtown Motorsports Malaysia is officially going to hold the basement car park gymkhana event for the rest of 2014 a championship series. For those drifters and gymkhana enthusiast who are craving for something different than the normal sort of autocross-ish layout, this would interest you.
The event has two different categories with the concept of a single car run; different from the usual twin battle run because of safety concerns. The two categories are the Precision gymkhana and the Open gymkhana. Precision gymkhana disallows skids, handbrakes and only grants points for the cleanest, most precise turns around the cones layout. On the other hand is the Open gymkhana where skidding, drifting, e-braking are all allowed. That’s my category there! Every category was divided respectively into their own cc class and sub-class like mine, was 1000-1300cc class and the lady category was a sub-class. Along in my cc class were the famous undefeated Red Baron driver, Mohammed Azman, Vava Loh and other famous stars drivers such as Malaysian Girl Drifter Leona Chin, Ultra Racing stars; Tommy Ho, Hugo Chai, Kenny Kuan, Mitch Chong, Mickey Teoh, Mike Ng and many others.
Nervously I went through the course to memorise the layout; I noticed that the surface was quite sleek. Just to everyone expectations, many fears of under-steering may occur. Each participants were given three runs. On the first, everyone went slightly slower than usual. For me, my first run was my best timed. I had a little trouble with rear tail – it won’t slide! Ftuned racing was there to give me some field support and made some changes on my suspension setup, then we noticed one important bar was missing. Unfortunately, the silly little me forgot to put back on the upper rear bar after taking it off for last time attack event. Yeah, nice one. I know! Nevertheless, there was some ‘hitting the pillar’ action happened too. Finally, some action! A Proton Satria driven by Pakelo actually hit one of the pillars while doing some e-brake actions after he went over doing the figure 8. The hit was quite bad for the car as there were oil leaking as the car exited the layout. Front side was dented quite severely that they had to call it quits for the night.
Meanwhile, runs were being conducted as planned whereas the organisers took a break after every class and category runs. The basement ventilation wasn’t that pleasant and carbons were filling up the atmosphere, so was the heat. Kudos to the organisers for making a good planning by taking a 15 minutes break after every category and class runs. Face masks were used by plenty to avoid breathing in the dust. Rest assured, everyone managed to have a good time.
Furthermore, the night became more entertaining with the appearance of the youngest and No.1 Thailand rally navigator, Miss Nipaporn Assaisart. Such a wonderful personality, she went around and everyone welcomed her with the familiar Malaysian warmth. This Thai sweetheart did flag off for some runs as well and presented the prizes during the prize giving ceremony. I was acknowledged that Miss Nipaporn also known as Hin-On, will be paired with the Malaysian Girl Drifter, our Miss Leona Chin next year into the rally scene. Is this just rumor or a fact indeed, I am not so sure. But if it does happen, I believe that it is awesome that these two girls will be working as a team. Girl power there!
The night ended right before midnight after the prize giving ceremony. Thankfully overall championship points, I won 3rd place in 1000cc – 1300cc class and Champion in the lady driver sub class. Not bad to end 2013 huh? My heartfelt appreciation goes out to all those who were present, especially my family, friends, fellow motorsport sponsors and organisers for a glistening year of events. I hope that events like this will develop to be better and bigger next year. Keep it up, and see you in 2014 with greater prospects and a brighter future. #motorsportsforlife.
words: Faye Kusairi pix: DICE Photowerks