THE RACING PARTY RETURNS TO SEPANG WITH THE START OF SNF RACING SEASON 2014
SNF Racing 2014 Round 1 took place on 1 March 2014 at Sepang South Circuit to great fanfare with high-profile racers, new one-make racing tyres, and a dance party at the Grandstand.
The rave dance party ‘ElectroQash in conjunction with SNF Racing’ featured DJ LissaQash and the EQ DJ team spinning the high-beat music to the sweet melody of roaring engines and screeching tyres for 1,600 party-goers, as the SNF racers fought for supremacy, logging-in the seriousness of their 2014 challenge by striving to take first blood. Taking an early season win will always set the tone for the rest of the year as the top teams announce their intentions by backing it up with results, which presented fierce racing through all the categories.
Achilles Radial upgraded their presence in the local motor-racing scene by becoming the official tyre for SNF Racing 2014, their motorsports-derived Achilles 123S previously never available in Malaysia, now specially available for SNF Racing categories.
Ducatus Oil is partnering SNF Racing this year as the official lubricant, focusing on improving its product and branding via the opportunities presented by this harsh form of motorsport with its short, high-energy racing.
In SNF Moto 150, the incumbent Champion Mohd Zaki Misman was toppled by newcomer Muhd Emran Zulkafli, the two of riders finishing just ahead of Muhd Fazli Mansuar, all astride Kawasaki Ninja 150 RR. Mohd Zaki had to fight his way up from a low-finishing in the earlier qualifying heat, and the top-5 riders were flying down the main straight footpeg-to-footpeg in nail-biting duels till the chequered flag.
The new category ‘Street Tuned’ was the exciting race to look forward to as it grouped together a good mix of comparable-performance tuned vehicles including Protons, Mitsubishis, Toyotas, Hondas, and a BMW. The drivers didn’t disappoint as they provided multiple sub-battles all through the race, but it was Phagvinder Singh in his incredibly quick Proton Satria 1.8 MIVEC that raced away when the lights turned green, never to be challenged and taking the win.
Further down, Adian Yein in his BMW 325i E30 over-estimated his abilities heading into the tightening Turn 14 in the 2nd lap, and knocked into Shazli Mohd’s Proton Satria 1.8 MIVEC under-braking. This inspired Mohd Faiz Sulaiman in the Toyota Corolla AE80 Blacktop and Ahmad Nazri Minhat in the Lightning McQueen Mitsubishi Mirage CJ4A to scramble ahead. Adian took chase, and the three caught up to the slowing top-runners Aril Hamka in his Toyota Starlet Turbo EP82 and Gan Kim Koa / Philip Tang in their Honda Civic EF9. A colossal battle saw Adian Yein emerged 2nd narrowly beating Mohd Faiz who kept it cool to take 3rd. The Street Tuned category has surely proven to be an exciting category that should prove to entertain the crowds for many an SNF race!
Another new category that revved up the spectators’ excitement was the Proton 1800 NA category (for ‘Naturally Aspirated’ non-turbocharged cars). For the first Qualifying Heat, Mohd Abd Halim Jamalluddin was on pole with Johan Harun Jaafar next to him, both in Proton Satria GTi. But if you thought it would be all about the older, larger capacity Mitsubishi-derived cars, then you’d be surprised to find the Proton Satria Neo of both Hasrin Tahir and Ifwat Ataa right behind them. But even more surprising is that ahead of the two Satria Neo was a Proton Saga Megavalve Aeroback, albeit running in the Super 1500 NA category, with owner / driver Ahmad Mozambique proving that there is a lot of fight left in this relic of the 80s!
At the start it was Halim that lead all the way ahead of Johan till the last lap, where a stalling fuel pump caused his car to slow. Johan took the win to place first for the Final Heat, and unfortunately Halim was unable to get the car started and had to sit out the Final. The opening heat also saw a crash between Mohd Azmi Yaacob and Awangku Faresman who were both trying to avoid a spinning Proton Saga Megavalve of M Attaq from the Super 1500 NA category which ran at the same time. The incident left both cars sidelined with damage and out of the race.
In the Final Heat, Johan blitzed off at the front in this 1.8L Satria but chased hard by fellow SNF veterans Hasrin and Megat Shazreal in the Matspeed Waja. But a coming together and spin for Hasrin at Turn 14 dropped him way down. Megat went hounding after Johan but was then caught by a flying Ifwat Ataa in his Satria Neo who fought his way up from 8th to 3rd by the end of Lap-3. Ifwat and Megat were pulling all the tricks in the book over the next 5 laps as they duck-and-dove trying to best each other. Megat narrowly beat Ifwat at the flag, taking 2nd place to Johan Harun who won the category.
The climax of the weekend was most certainly the Race Cars Class 1 category which saw some of Malaysia’s fastest, most successful racers go wheel-to-wheel, the likes of which haven’t been seen at the races in a long time since the demise of the Proton Series of the early-noughties. The presence of Boy Wong, Keifli Othman, Faidzil Alang, Faizal Hassim, and Alif Hamdan added spice to an already boiling potpourri of talented racers and powerful race cars in this category.
Alif Hamdan’s Honda Integra DC5 unfortunately was not ready in time, and he decided to run his Porsche 997 Carrera Cup car which he used to win Class B at Macau Grand Prix last year. Unfortunately the Porsche is built to run on full-slick tyres, and having to qualify on the regulatory semi-slick tyres quickly saw them wear off at an alarming rate. Although he set a new South Circuit lap record of 1m06.402, his race was done for the night.
In the Final Heat, all eyes were on whether Keifli in the FAST Autoworks Honda Civic EG6 2.0L could hold off a charging Boy Wong in his Type R Racing Honda Civic EK9 2.0L and Faidzil Alang in the Fawster Motorsports Honda DC5. Sadly Faizal Hassim’s DNT Tune Honda Civic EK9 2.0L couldn’t make the start, but would we see some new challengers emerge?
At the rolling start it was Keifli that shot into the lead, his FAST Autoworks Civic visually faster than the competition. It was a tight fight into the first corner as Boy Wong dived but couldn’t mount a serious attack. The top cars from Class 2 were snapping at Boy Wong’s heels, so quick where they: his team mate KK Soh, and Ahmad Firdaus Azman, both in Honda Civics.
Mohd Zahir Basharuddin in his privateer Mitsubishi Evolution 3 was fending off Faidzil Alang who was in battle-mode: lap after lap Zahir held tight defensive lines through Turns 12 through to 14, keeping Faidzil behind. Faidzil finally got through on lap 5, reversing the roles as it was now Zahir’s turn to pressure the experienced Faidzil. At the chequered flag, it was Keifli who won ahead of Boy Wong, followed by Faidzil and Zahir.
The next round of SNF Racing will take place on the weekend of April 26, once again at the Sepang South circuit. Rumours are that some teams and tuners are preparing some serious monster-racecars: don’t miss it!
RESULTS – ALL CATEGORIES
SNF Moto 135
1st Mohd Rizal Johari; LC 135; PMP Racing 12:30.528
2nd Muhd AlHakim; LC 135; Redspeed Racing 12:40.351
3rd Allen Wong Wah Heng; RXZ 135; DRS 13:06.864
SNF Moto 150
1st Mohd Emran Zulkafli; Ninja 150RR; 12:09.986
2nd Mohd Zaki Misman; Ninja 150RR; Mulisha Motorsports 12:10.035
3rd Muhd Fazli Mansuar; Ninja 150RR; BMC Motorsports 12:10.275
1st Phagvinder / A Fauzi; Satria MIVEC; ProDrag Motorsport 10:34.554
2nd Adian Yein; 325i E30; RS Ignition 11:16.262
3rd Muhd Faiz Sulaiman; Corolla AE80; Motor Addict Team 11:16.847
1st Ahmad Mozambique; Saga 1.5; KYM 11:17.612
2nd M. Khairul / M. Ataq; Saga 1.5; SuciMuci Msport 11:34.326
3rd Khairi Mohd; Satria 1.5; DRX Automechanic 11:36.124
Proton 1800 NA
1st Johan Haron Jaafar; Satria 1.8; Infinity Speed Works 11:02.607
2nd Megat Shazreal; Waja 1.6; Matspeed Racing 11:08.935
3rd Ifwat Ataa / Najiy Ayyad; Satria Neo; DNT Tune 11:10.629
Honda 1800 NA
1st Soh Kee Koon; Civic EK9; Type-R Racing 10:23.014
2nd Hazrul Mizat Razlan; Civic EK9; AHS Racing 10:25.514
3rd Winston Tan; Civic EG3; 10:29.583
Race Cars Class 1
1st Keifli Othman; Civic EG6; FAST Autoworks 9:47.301
2nd Boy Wong Yew Chong; Civic EK9; Type-R Racing 10:03.666
3rd Faidzil Alang; Integra DC5R; Fawster Motorsports 10:31.833
Race Cars Class 2
1st Ahmad Firdaus Azman; Civic EK9; GAB Suspension 10:05.549
2nd Soh Kee Koon; Civic EK9; Type-R Racing 10:08.027
3rd Yong Kok Kit; Satria GTI; 95 Racing 10:50.302