Malaysian Rally Championship Round 4 at Perlis – Karamjit Clinches Victory, Rafiq Grabs Overall Title
Malaysian Rally Championship (MRC) 2010 season concluded at Chuping, Perlis with Karamjit Singh securing his 2nd win of the season. But the grand prize belongs to Rafiq Udhaya as he was crowned the Overall Champion for the 1st time in his career after finishing the 4th round of the championship in 3rd spot behind Karamjit and his teammate Gunaseelan Rajoo.
Rafiq started the event with big lead in the championship, and needing only to stay close to Karamjit to secure the overall title. And that’s what he did, racing through the muddy sugar cane course without making any mistakes with the help of co-driver Sean Gregory.
Karamjit gives his all throughout the 2 day event, finishing every stage on top of the time sheet. Even though he has the pace to upstage Rafiq, mechanical failures in earlier rounds of the season came back to haunt him as his old Mitsubishi Evo aren’t reliable enough to compete with Rafiq’s Subaru Impreza.
55 points collected by Rafiq from the 4 rounds of the championship was too much to overcome for Karamjit, as he could only muster 32 points to finish 2nd overall. Rafiq teammate Andrew Miller of Hong Kong complete the top 3 with 23 points.
The hard work for Rafiq had been done much earlier in the opening leg in Johor Baru and then Negeri Sembilan and Kuala Terengganu, which left him in an unbeatable position as the final round got underway.
Rafiq Udhaya and Sean Gregory receiving their Championship Trophy
Rafiq Udhaya : “All of us never doubted Karamjit’s talent. But today I am driving under a different set of circumstances. And when you enter a race knowing well that whatever happens in the end and you will still be champion, it’s a different feeling. I told my co-driver Sean (Gregory) before the start of the race that we need to compete but to finish in the top three would be enough. Also the conditions are not good. Rain over the past couple of days in Kangar has made the track very muddy. And in fact we suffered some minor problems like overheating and suspension problem too. Karamjit is such a talented driver and it will get harder for me too next year. I am sure he has revenge on his mind. But for now I can savour my victory until next year.”
In the 2WD category, the title went to Muhammad Siraj Abdullah in his MRU Motorports Proton Satria Neo. He accumulate a total of 38 points this season, 6 points ahead of another MRU Motorsports driver Francis Lai. Jamaluddin Tukimin takes 3rd spot with 29 points.
But all is not lost as Karamjit still showed his ruthless driving in the Rally of Perlis, even the thick mud on the rally course due to rain for the last couple of days could not stop the ‘Flying Sikh’ from registering fastest time on all 10 stages contested. He finished in time of 01.37.00.1s.
Gunaseelan Rajoo and Jagdev Singh, also in the Mitsubishi Evo makes it a 1-2 finish for GSR Pennzoil Team with four minute deficit (01.41.03.0s) to Karamjit and co-driver Douglas Pickering over the two days across the muddy terrain in Kangar.
Karamjit Singh : “I lost the overall crown because of the mechanical failures I had suffered in Johor Baru and Kuala Terengganu. Otherwise things could have turned out differently. Maybe it’s time I get a newer car, a more reliable one and mount a serious challenge next season. Maybe a newer and more reliable car will help.”
Karamjit celebrates his win with Douglas Pickering.
To add cherry to the cake, Rafiq’s very own team MRU Motosports also grabs the Overall Team Champion title ahead of GSR Pennzoil Racing Team. The rivalry between this 2 top rally teams in Malaysia is the one to watch for Malaysia rally fans in the coming years.
Andrew Miller in action
Team FA Racing.
Lake Timah Tasoh, venue of the rally flag off ceremony.
Kuala Perlis, just a short distance away from the rally venue.
Photo : Nazim Idris / Pulse Media Communications
Editorial : Nazim Idris