SNF Round 3: Dragon struggles, Tiger fights
Although it was late in the month and many the Common Man was starting to suffer from that monthly epidemic known as “Thin Wallet”, thanks to Round 3 of Saturday Night Fever providing a whole host of entertainment and activities on and off the track, the crowd turnout was still tremendous and the action enthralled all that watched.
Most prominently, activities within the paddock have now grown to encompass a bazaar and street stalls, a larger range of food on offer, and most importantly more girls to please the eye! Street vendors from the popular ‘Uptown’ bazaar opened shop at the paddock entrance, displaying an astounding array of wares from slippers and smoke-pots, to car-boy t-shirts and even a Garrett T5 turbo!
In an effort and support to make motorsports more affordable, Vision Motor Sports were promoting the new HKS Super Response Special synthetic motor oil at an incredible low price of only RM 100, and without a doubt all cans were sold out by the end of the night!
Round 3 also saw the introduction of a new category for which we had been receiving a lot of interest for: Super 1.3 Open! This category is similar to the Ultra Racing Street 1.8 Open in that anything goes, as long as the physical swept capacity of the engine is no more than 1349cc.
Most people were expecting the usual sweep by the handsome, regular champion K Perajun in his Francis Motor Kancil turbo, but alas this round it was not to be and with his demise, it was the other lesser known but just as handsome SuperCompact stud K Logesvaran who took the honours, smashing Perajun’s previously best lap by 3-seconds! Logesvaran in his little SuperCompact was lapping in the 1m23s bloody hell! You wouldn’t believe it if you didn’t see it!
Filling up the other podium spots was Mohd Yuszaidi Supangat and Mohd Firdhaus Muhli who fought hard and close against Hanizam Samsudin and Mohd Shairazi Izhar for their places.
Super 1.3 Open
Being their first outing, no one knew what to expect of the 1.3s, but neither did anyone predict that they’d be popping consistent 1m22s laptimes! To quote Avril Lavigne: “Whaaaa-at the hell?!?”
We knew there were some baby monsters silently lurking in the 1.3 class: Super- and Turbo-charged Myvis, Suzuki Swifts, and Starlet GTs. We were thinking beforehand that they’d probably drop down to 1m29s at most. No way. The Starlets unfortunately obliterated the competition, not only because of their powerful and boosted 4E-FTE engines, but also because they were the most well prepared: semi-slick tyres, properly set-up suspension, and light-weight interiors. Make no mistake: SNF is not just about power, it’s about the whole package, and the Starlets were better prepared.
In the 1st heat, the Starlets of Ahmad Shariffudin and Ghazi Fawwaz battled hard to make it 1st and 2nd, while Shaiful Nizam put his Satria Neo 1.3 to good use to hold off the boosted Myvis of Jaycee Chan and Lim Seh Wan.
For the final, the 1.3s ran together with the Hyrax Oil Campro Chase category and nominally blew them away! By the end of the 2nd lap, Ahmad Shariffudin and Ghazi Fawwaz were off and away, with no one giving chase. Unfortunately, Shaiful Nizam did not make the start, which left the third Starlet of Muhamad Jamili the opportunity to come in 2nd runner-up.
Hyrax Oil Campro Chase
Always proven to give us a good show, the Campro Chase category gained a Category Sponsor in Hyrax Oil, an emerging player in the high-performance speciality automotive lubricants market.
After dominating Round 2, we expected nothing less from Michael Ayyavu for this round, especially so as his closest rival Rosman Azlan and his Neo has moved up to full Race Car. Rightly so then that Michael did not disappoint his legion of fans that came all the way from Johor Baru to support him. With both car and driver perfectly setup, Michael smashed all-comers, putting in 1m23 – 1m24 laptimes.
However it was Megat Shazreal in the F3-Matspeed Waja and Izwan Baharom with his Gen2 which put on one of the best shows of the night. In Heat 2, Megat spent the first 3 laps shadowing Izwan and finally made the pounce in front of the crowd down the front straight at the start of Lap 3. Izwan, being cheated of a podium finish in Round 2 after a gritty fight with Rangzeeb Fahmi, never gave up and hounded Megat all the way to the chequered flag, pulling out from the slipstream right at the flag and ending up 0.031 seconds ahead!
But Izwan lost out during Lap 1 of the final heat with the Starlets getting in his way, and that made all the difference: Megat slipped through, pulled a small gap, and even though he closed it towards the end with some hard driving, Izwan ran out of laps and it was Megat who took 2nd position at the flag.
Ultra Racing Street 1.8 Open
From humble beginnings in a small Cheras shoplot in 2003, Ultra Racing are now internationally reknown and feature what must be the largest selection of quality safety and chassis-strengthening bars in the world! Now aiming to be part of our Saturday Night fun, Ultra Racing has graced the highly-competitive Street 1.8 Open category as the Category Sponsor.
Look at the Results Sheets and you’ll see a different finishing order of teams for each heat, such is the close competitiveness of the Ultra Racing Street 1.8 Open category! In Heat 1, previous champ Ahmad Rizal Omar in ProDrag’s Honda EK9 decline to participate: “Simpan power!” they said. That left the rest of the rabble to duke it out, and Oh-My-God did they fricking mix it up hard and fast!!
Initially it was Tiong battling tooth-and-nail with the now famous turbocharged Vios of Steven Lai, and the humble Satria GTI of Seremban hero Alizan Tambi. Tiong cracked open a gap in Lap 2 which left Steven and Alizan to clash, and it was massive: Alizan would get Steven down the back, but the Vios would use its power advantage down Sepang’s 900m long front straight. In the end, Steven had just enough power to out-drag the venerable Satria GTI to take 2nd in just 0.001 seconds!! It was tighter than Kim Kardashian in, err.. tights. So tight that until we looked at the time sheets we had no idea who had got it!
And if you thought that was crazy, a couple of seconds behind, KM Chew held off Francis Ng to take 4th, also by only 0.001 seconds! If you’re reading this and didn’t make it to SNF to catch the action, then this alone should convince you that you’re missing out on some of the best, closest, tightest door-to-door battles in the region!
But Oh-No, that wasn’t the end. The 1.8 category is never so clear cut. In the 2nd heat, the ProDrag EK9 joined the fray and it turned into a four-car fracas that had everyone on the rooftop shouting and screaming! Fathers forgot their children, BM editor Zahrin was jumping all over the Control Room in excitement, and I almost picked up smoking again, such was the extent of the brawl. One moment it was Tiong’s KE70 holding off Steven’s Vios, the next it was KM Chew’s Corolla SEG out-braking down the inside, while the ProDrag EK9 decided to try go around the OUTSIDE. It couldn’t last, it just couldn’t. Under such extreme pressure, something.. someone.. had to give!
Unfortunately for Tiong, it was he who didn’t make it to the flag. Such was the pace of the front runners that in Lap 4 they stumbled across some backmarkers, and just like a good old school F1 race, it was the backmarkers which came to play a major role in the outcome of this skirmish! Blasting down towards T4, they pounced on Amer Fadzlan in his Satria GTI. Left, right, right, left.. they exploded past in a blur of screaming engines, whooshing blow-offs, and red hot brakes. He must have been suddenly overwhelmed, and lost the back of his car into the corner, fishtailed, and broadsided the ill-fated Tiong who was going around the outside. Ahmad Rizal took the flag ahead of KM and Steven.
Heading towards the Final, Ahmad Rizal knew he had to make an early breakaway or he’d be stuck within the scuffle of lead cars. It didn’t work out, and the torquey turbo cars swamped him at the start as they swooped into T1 5-abreast (yes, really!!).
He then picked his way back to the lead, past KM Chew in Lap 2 and pulled enough of a gap to ensure security of the position. KM Chew then had his hands full defending against numerous attacks from Steven, Alizan, and Francis Ng. Alizan especially gained respect from the crowd who were Wowed to see a Satria GTI trading blows with the top runners. Who was it that said Satria GTIs can’t be competitive against VTECs and turbos??
KM buckled under the pressure running wide into the last turn at the last lap, awarding Francis the last spot on the podium.
4WD Battle / RWD Pursuit / EuroCup
Run simultaneously but with separate sub-categories allowed for some intense action from the Big Boys with their powerful rally pedigree turbocars and Supercars.
Hsiao Tung Wei brought along a new *deep breath* Subaru WRX STI Spec-C Type RA-R to challenge his good friend and hard nemesis Jon Teo who has dominated everything he touched in SNF since day 1. In Heat 1, it looked as if he had made the right choice, and held on to the lead he had at the start all the way to the flag. Mind you, Jon was still right there behind, such is the intensity of their fighting that just one small slip and the other would be past: definitely not for the faint-hearted or short of skill!
However at the start of Heat 2, although Tung Wei defended hard, Jon dived down the inside into T1 and made it stick, and the two of them set off again at a blistering pace, setting a new lap record and breaking down into the 1m14s. Heat 3 was more or less a repeat of the same, Tung Wei trying a desperate lunge at the line and crossing only 0.174 seconds behind Jon Teo, who holds his place at the top of the SNF Ruling Class. Niki Tham from that little island down south came in 3rd.
In RWD Pursuit, Shedden Ee brought his Cayman S to the playground, but left with top honours that he never initially expected! Such is the fear that Ken Tai’s flame-spitting yellow-peril Silvia S15 imbues in his rivals before they go up against him! Chiew Rouh Peng upped his ante with a brand new Exige Cup 260, and Erwan Azizi brought his Porsche 996 GT3 to the fun, while Ashok Kumar was back with his ear-blistering loud (and classic!) Mazda RX2.
Shedden is a very experienced competition driver and put it his knowledge and skills to full use against Ken’s S15. Make no mistake, Shedden earned his reward that night, as the S15 was clearly more powerful down the long straight and as they reared up side-by-side into T1, lap-after-lap Ken put in one attempt after another but to no avail. The Porsche clearly had a braking and cornering advantage thanks to its supercar-engineering pedigree, and Shedden was able to maximise its capability and take the win. Erwan Azizi kept ahead of Chiew’s Exige Cup to take 3rd place.
In the popular EuroCup, it was again France defending against Germany. Through all 3 heats, Syed Mohd Rizal was in-charge, his Megane RS250 being driven deftly and expertly to keep ahead of the rampaging gothic hoards of VWs. First time at SNF, Griffin Tai took his very sporty-looking Green Goblin Scirocco to 2nd ahead of his friend Lim Wai Ken in a Golf GTI.
Prior to the event, SNF “dragon” Kesavamoorthy had been taunting the opposition on the web and Facebook, clearly trying to upset and unnerve them in the run-up to SNF Round 3. Psychological warfare is every bit as important in a battle and Moorthy has an obvious upper-hand, proven from the comments and feedback we received of his cockiness by his competitors!
Every dog has it’s day, so the classic idiom goes, and SNF Round 3 did not belong to Moorthy. In Lap 2 of Heat 1 whilst in the lead, his gearbox ran out drive and Moothy coasted into the pitlane and retirement, handing the win to N1 Racing’s Desmond Yee, who has long waited for this moment! Of note was young Mark Darwin who made it to 3rd and erased any doubt as to why he was chosen by a certain energy drink to be part of the Under-21 racing team for this year.
Moorthy however was not down and out, sourcing a Civic FD2R to replace his stricken DC5R for the remaining heats. Obviously of a much lower state of tune than his SNF car, it would take every drop of skill that he had to make the podium. It was incredible to watch him in Heat 2: a dive here, a twitch there, going around the outside of both T5 and T6. Moorthy drove so hard, it was mastery at work. Impossibly, he had carved his way through traffic from the back of the grid to finish in 2nd, putting him on the front row for the Final!
The Final Heat was fabulous to watch: Desmond Yee drove a clean and smooth run, unperturbed by Moorthy’s early attempts to take the lead, and powered away to win. Moorthy now found himself having to drive hard to fend off Ahmad Rizal Omar’s EK9 and Taj Madira and his mad EG6-K20. The ProDrag EK9 got close in Lap 2, but having to both attack and defend at the same time was difficult, and he fell back into the clutches of Taj, who was nipping at his rear right to the flag. But Ahmad Rizal held on, and proudly mounted the podium in 3rd place once again.
Round 3 saw interesting newcomers to SNF: a pair of drift Nissan 180SX, retuned and reset for circuit brawls! Would these powerful RWD racers pose a threat to the Satrias and Civics?
The Race Cars category features very, very tight action, each driver having to simultaneously get into an attack position yet still defend against being over-taken at every turn, which makes for extraordinarily exciting action!
Heat 1 got off to a great start but was marred by Mohd Durani’s engine blowing and spewing oil all over the circuit. Kelvin Low and his powerful DC5R took the win ahead of Hyrax Oil’s Faizal Hassim and Jeffrey Moo’s CRX.
In the 2nd Heat, Deric Lim fought hard and took his 180SX up to 2nd position as Faizal Hassim faced engine trouble, proving that these powerful but heavier cars can be a serious threat.
When the red lights turned to green at the start of the Final, Kelvin Low pulled ahead while Deric found that he had the impossible task of trying to protect his line into Turn 1 at 3 different places! Both Sheikh Fidzral and Winson Eu found a way past, while further down the back Jeffrey Moo was recuperating from a transponder problem which caused him to have to start from the back, and he was making up places very quickly.
Winson Eu continued in pursuit of Shiekh Fidzral, while Deric got monstered by Lee Kum Suen and dropped to 5th. Jeffrey Moo was carving his way up, and was chasing down Deric’s 180 SX when the chequered flag fell. In the end it was Kelvin from Shiekh Fidzral from Winson Eu.
With so much action on hand, be sure you don’t miss the next SNF: be there, June 11 at 7pm as usual!