Round 4 of Saturday Night Fever was cut short with a dramatic ending when one of the top contenders was involved in a disastrous accident at the high-speed Turn 6, and it was a lucky thing that no one was seriously injured. This highlights the competitiveness to which SNF has become, and also supports the reasoning behind the decision to upgrade SNF to club-level status and safety degrees before the end of the year.
SNF is ever growing, and the popular categories such as Ultra Racing Street 1.8 Open and Super 1.3 Open were full 2 weeks before the event, and we had a record 130 entries that hit Sepang North Track that night.
Early on there were expectations that K Perajun would be back this round to take the fight to K Logesvaran “Sing Boy” after having to retire last round, but such was not the case. Perajun’s famous Francis Motor turbocharged Kancil was nowhere to be seen, and as for Perajun.. you’ll see!
But the lack of the competitive Perajun and Francis Motor in this category did not undermine the competitiveness of the other players, and it was by no means a walk in the park for the dashing Logesvaran.
Pushed hard by Mohd Afiq, Iskandar Fitri and Roduan Rashid at the green light, Logesvaran initially pulled away but such was the pace of the challengers, towards the closing stages of Heat 1 they were breathing down Sing Boy’s tailpipe.
For the Final heat, Sing Boy took no chances and gunned it hard when the lights turned green. Much to the surprise of the crowd, Ahmad Zamri was upfront and challenging hard! But SNF isn’t just a one-lap wonder, and Ahmad Zamri’s pace was temporary and he got overhauled by Mohd Afiq, Iskandar Fitri, Roduan, and Noor Zaharuthul (Kutoi).
In the GAB SuperCompact category, they’ve been getting more and more competitive and pushing the cars so hard, as evident by the many blow-ups and technical problems. Yet it was Kutoi’s car that blew big time approaching T1 for the 2nd time and subsequently lit an oil-fire in the engine bay. The Final heat was stopped temporarily as the oil spill was cleaned up.
Upon the restart, Sing Boy took the lead and held it all the way to the end, followed by Mohd Afiq and Hairil Anuar.
GAB SuperCompact cars ready to go!
SUPER 1.3 OPEN
After last round’s outstanding performance by the little 1.3-litre boys, everyone’s curiosity was piqued and close fights, big surprises, and huge disappointments were expected from this category, and it did not let us down!
In heat 1, as expected, the returning winner Ghazi Fawwaz sped off into the lead in his beloved ‘Sophia Starlet’. Right up his backside followed fellow Starlet compatriots Mohd Affiz and Ahmad Shariffuddin. Try as they might they couldn’t make a straight move on the ‘sifu’ and that’s how it went to the flag.
But it was the next group that kept us on the edge: Jaycee’s Supercharged Myvi has had a dose of steroids and was fighting tooth and nail with Shaiful Nizam’s 1.3 Satria Neo and Muhd Jamili’s Starlet. The experienced Shaiful never gave Jaycee a moment’s rest as he kept the pressure on. These boys attacked T1 three-abreast, finding new lines (and balls!) they previously never knew existed!
With such close dogfighting, all eyes were on their Final heat and at the start, mush to the surprise of many Ghazi Fawwaz did not leap into the lead, it was later determined that he was suffering a misfire throughout the final.
Ahmad Shariffuddin shot to the front and controlled it from there, defending against Muhd Jamili. Behind them, Jaycee took advantage of Ghazi’s problems to get ahead into T1 and fought hard, lap after lap to keep him behind. Ghazi finally made a move stick at the start of final lap and held 3rd to the flag, behind Ahmad Shariffuddin and Muhd Jamli.
Close action in the Super 1.3 category!
HYRAX OIL CAMPRO CHASE
Remember the Couch Racer Challenge that Ignition.my organised earlier this year, selecting a bunch of drivers via PlayStation GT5 racing at Motorsports Playground and training them up for SNF? This is our way of nurturing new motorracing talent in the country!
Ng Hoi Yew, the final selected Couch Racer champion, made his debut in the Hyrax Oil Campro Chase category of SNF4 in a F3-Matspeed prepared Satria Neo. How would our zero-to-hero driver do, would he pose a serious threat to the establishment?
It’s been two rounds now that Michael Ayyavu of Ayyavu Jr Racing Team has been Big Red Rooster for this category, and F3-Matspeed’s Megat Shazreal has indicated that he’s not taking it lying down, hoping to stamp his mark. This can only mean one thing: prepare for fireworks!
In the first heat Michael made a clean start and pulled off 1m23s laps, whilst Megat and the other top-contender Izwan Baharom got mixed up in the traffic, fighting side-by-side all the way to the flag. Selim’s Satria Neo ClubSport was hit hard in T4 in the early stages and also had to pull-in. Nothing surprising, just all the usual drama then..
Starting on the front row for heat 2, Megat made good on his promise and got a good drag on Michael heading into T1. Michael went the long way around as Megat swiped the inside line, but out of T2 it was Michael ahead of Megat by a nose hair.
Megat kept the pressure on, jinking to take a look down the inside for T4 but Michael ignored the threat and focussed on trying to pull away. Not for a second did he manage to relax thought as Megat trailed him close all the way to the flag, showing intentions of mounting a strong challenge for the final.
As the green flag dropped for the Final heat, once again the F3-Matspeed Waja got the hole-shot and streamed ahead of Michael’s Satria Neo, but this time the kid from Johor was ready, and once again out of T2 it was Michael in front and Megat a close second, as the rest of the field came zooming through.
But at the end of Lap 2, Megat was missing and Michael was a 10 metres ahead of the next challenger, Izwan Baharom, always ready to pounce. What had happened to Megat? Brake failure, we later found out. A shame, as everyone loves a good, hard race. Izwan tried to get close to Michael, but once again the Ayyavu Jr Racing Team driver was just too quick. A surprised Oliver Ong beat previous podium-sitter Rangzeeb Fahmi to take third.
And how did our Couch Racer champion do? “It was totally exciting,” enthused Ng. In just three 5-lap heats, Ng learnt that he needs to be calm at the start, and to always have a defensive line, and finally euphoria as in the Final heat he went dogfighting head-to-head with experienced driver Ramsey Rizal. “I ended up losing my placing to him at the very last corner of final lap. That session was totally unforgettable. Ramsey came to me after and said, ‘good one, clean fight. That was impressive!’” Will Ng be back again? Well last I heard, he’s started asking around to prepare his own Satria Neo for SNF haha.. another racing-victim successfully converted!
Lots of Satria Neos in Hyrax Oil Campro Chase category
ULTRA RACING STREET 1.8 OPEN
Oh, boy. Just thinking back of how this category went that night, my heart rate starts to race, blood-pressure increases to unhealthy levels, and I start to sweat. If there is ever a category that epitomises SNF, it’s the Ultra Racing Street 1.8 Open!
The Ultra Racing Street 1.8 Open category has come to be known as the “Mafia” category, where only the hardest of the hardcore racers pit their machines, skills and wits against each other. There’s the HitMen, the MadeMen, the Capos, and of course a GodFather.
Heat 1 started off well, considering that the category was over-flowing with a total of 24 entries. Steven Lai (Vios Turbo), Mohd Danil (Civic EG), and Fadli Hisham (Yellow Putra) took the spotlight, going at it neck-and-neck and leaving the Honda VTECs for dead. Who said it’s necessary to have a VTEC to do well? Absolute rubbish! You should have seen these jokers and the fantastic show they put on. I nearly shit my pants as they criss-crossed positions hard on the brakes at the 50m point into T1. Dude, braking at 50m and changing lines at the same time? WTF?! We’ve said it many times before, a statement all good racers acknowledge: the car is only 10%, 80% is the driver, and errr.. 10% is luck!
In Heat 2 the Godfather himself made his appearance, choosing to sit out Heat 1 to save his ride: enter Ahmad Rizal from Team Prodrag Evotec and his unassailable Civic EK9.
The crowds ran to the pitwall not wanting to miss the start, and as the cars crossed the green light Sepang North Circuit erupted in a hurricane of wailing VTECs, whistling turbos, and whooshing blow-offs as the car sped down towards T1. Steven Lai used the power of his turbocharged Vios to great effect, gunning ahead of the pack, with Fadli Isham’s Yellow Peril Putra giving chase. Fadli actually closed the gap to Steven throughout the 5-laps, as Ahmad Rizal charged from the back to finish 3rd and right up their backside at the chequered flag.
The question was, could Steven and Fadli Isham keep Ahmad Rizal behind in the Final? As they say, there’s only one way to find out!
When the lights turned green at the rolling start it was Steven Lai once again that made it to T1 first, and held the inside line to block all attackers. Through the first lap and Fadli Isham got entangled with a gaggle of HitMen intent on taking out Steven Lai, whilst the Godfather Ahmad Rizal made it past at T4 and drove hard to open a gap to the gangsters chasing behind.
Into Lap2 and Zailan Marjanon and his VTEC were starting to elbow past the Protons of Fadli Isham and Johan Harun. Aun Yue Wei and Havy Zulkifli were also in the fray, making it a 7-car scrap for 2nd place as Ahmad Rizal calmly pulled ahead.
Past the line for the start of Lap4 and it was still madness, Zailan and Yue Wei trying to take the little Vios Turbo into T1 on the left and right, with the Protons lurking right behind and ready to pounce unforgivably on anyone that dares make the slightest mistake. I watched the monitors as 2 rows of 3 cars each side-by-side streamed into T5, positions swapping at the changed direction for T6 and into the T6.5 chute. Mate, I nearly took up smoking again from the tension! Let’s just hope they all make it through, the mad men..
But past the Finish line it was Ahmad Rizal 10s ahead of Steven, who managed to hold off Zailan Marjanon and the hording attackers. Less than 3s separated 2nd to 8th with anyone having a chance at a Podium, with a mixture of cars ranging from Toyota Vios and Honda VTECs to Proton Satria GTIs. Forget Katy Perry mud-wrestling with Scarlett Johansson, Ultra Racing Street 1.8 Open is porn!
Gorgeous Starlet in the 1.8 category!
Tung Wei resumes his fight with Jon Teo this round with further improvements to his car featuring new suspension, but will it be enough? Wong Kok Foo also makes his return in the RWD category with his Tokyo Drift RX7 FD3S, the last time he was here in Rnd 2 he gave Ken Tai (mellow-yellow S15) a run for his money. Add two drifter wildcards in the form of Simon Chong’s 180SX and Adrian Yeap’s Cefiro A31, and anything could happen!
In the first heat, Tung Wei showed his hand early on by taking the lead in his Subaru WRX STI Spec-C RA and holding it all the way to the flag with Jon Teo’s Evo 5.5 glued to his exhaust pipe, with RWD top guns Ken Tai and Wong Kok Foo just 2s behind after having provided an entertaining tussle throughout all 5-laps.
In heat 2, the RWDs stormed ahead, Ken Tai and Kok Foo taking up where they left off, swapping the lead several times along the way. Their brawl was tight but clean, providing a very close fight that entertained the spectators thoroughly. Eugene Lee in his Lotus didn’t make a clean first lap and couldn’t fight them this time. But that was about to change..
No more monkeying around in the Final heat, the mighty machines of this category blew past the pits at the start and into T1 it all happened very quickly: Tung Wei covered the outside, Jon Teo headed for the inside, with Kok Foo trying to get inside Ken Tai who was feeling the pressure as Eugene’s Lotus came in to attack. Kok Foo and Ken Tai both spun hard, as Eugene evaded them and shot ahead, and the group behind spewed left and right and onto the grass to take avoiding action.
Tung Wei with Jon Teo in chase powered ahead, with Eugene next leading the RWDs. Ken Tai and Kok Foo had a lot of work to do, both getting going again at the same time and spending 5-laps slicing through the field in pursuit of Eugene’s cocky little Elise.
Alas they were running out of laps and Eugene held on to take the win in RWD ahead of Kok Foo and Ken Tai. In the 4WD category, Tung Wei finally punted Jon Teo of his lofty crown as the uber-SNF Champion, with Amir Bakhtiar taking third. Two delighted new champions in both categories, hinting at things only getting more exciting next round!
Now, THAT'S a rear wing!!
The FF Festival category has become the most controversial, with big words and psyche games spilling over onto Facebook and the Internet. Awesome! Everyone loves a good fight!
After losing out in SNF3 due to having to run his road FD2R, Ayyavu Jr Racing Team’s Moorthy was back for vengeance and hoped to retake his position as FF Festival Champion from N1 Racing’s Desmond Yee.
In heat 1, Moorthy took an early lead, but under-pressure from Desmond and a new gaggle of challengers including Taj Madira (EG6-K20), Ahmad Rizal (EK9 B18) and Ahmad Mamduh’s VTEC turbo (also a previous nemesis of mine back in the Batu Tiga night CCT era). Moorthy got messy at T6.5 and the last turn, giving Desmond the chance he needed to pounce and pull away into the lead.
Things were really beginning to get hot, and in heat 2 Desmond dragged away into T1 under attack from Moorthy. But Moorthy left it too late, outbraked himself, and dropped down to 9th. Ahmad Rizal and Taj Madira shot off in pursuit of Desmond, hounding his ass through the early laps but falling back as Desmond upped the pace. Moorthy was a man possessed, and drove very hard to make it back up to 5th at the flag. Down the back, the Mazda Familia 323 turbo of Ahmad Suffian out-braked himself into T4 and smacked into Kamarul Hisham’s gorgeous (and new!!) VW Passat, taking them both out. Ouchh!
With competition this fierce, and pressure so high, we were starting to get worried. Something, somewhere had to give. When the lights turned green for the Final heat, Taj Madira made the most of his better power-to-weight ratio to pull aside and dive inside into T1, taking the lead. However it was brief, as Desmond shot to the outside of T4 to take the lead as Taj had to defend from so many angles, being attacked by 4 different cars at the same time!
The N1 Racing FD2R was unassailable and pulled out a lead as the 4 contenders for runner-up gave everything they had. Moorthy would be quicker at T5-T6-T6.5 and come out ahead as the started down the front straight. But Taj had the power along the 900m straight stretch, and was able to fight for the inside line even as we watched Moorthy try to squeeze him towards the pit wall. Twice Moorthy hounded Taj around the outside of T1 to dive up the inside of T2, only to lose on corner exit as Taj had a better line out and down to T3. ProDrag’s Ahmad Rizal was right behind them, waiting for a mistake and the opportunity to jump ahead of them.
Up in Control I was keeping a close watch of the action on the circuit monitors when there was a sudden bark over the walkies: “Yellow light, yellow light! Car stalled at T6 apex!”. Oh no!
Desmond came flying around T6 and saw the stricken Satria #95 of Mohd Khairul, got hard on the brakes and swept past the outside. Behind him, the 3-car battle of Taj / Moorthy / Ahmad Rizal came sweeping down T5 heading towards the lurking danger: Taj on the inside, Moorthy on the outside, Ahmad Rizal sniffing up Moorthy’s ass.
Noticing the yellow lights and catching a glimpse of the Satria at the corner of his eye, Moorthy braked and dove out to the outside of Taj. Ahmad Rizal saw the car too, swerved onto the grass and past. With heat breathing down all sides, Taj unfortunately could not take action in time and at almost undiminished speed slammed into the driver’s side door of the stalled Satria. It was a Big One.
We’re happy to note that the safety marshals were there in a jiffy, and thankfully there were no serious injuries for what could have so easily been so much nastier.
There's something for everyone at SNF
How happening is SNF? How about Drift Queen Leona Chin in a brand-new-for-2011 race-prepared Silvia S13 in full Ultra Racing colours and a cutesy anime chick on the side? That’s hot, man!
K Perajun brought his Lochi-tuned Honda DC5 to play in the Race Car category for SNF4, which brought a rumbled of whispers to the paddock. Firstly, coz it means that now most of the Batu Tiga Saturday night CCT old-timers are represented (ProDrag/Lydia, Matspeed, and Lochi). Secondly, an experienced and proven driver (and one of my old nemesis in the early days of MSS Super16!), will Perajun be able to teach these SNF race boys a lesson or two? Or perhaps it would be the other way around? Nothing surprises us anymore in SNF!
At the drop of the green flag in heat 1, Faizal Hassim and Kelvin Low barrelled into T1 side-by-side in pursuit of Jeffry Moo’s CRX EF taking no prisoners, with Perajun having started further behind. Through lap 2 Team Hyrax Oil’s Faizal edges ahead, leaving N1 Racing’s Kelvin Low having to fend off Jeffrey Moo. Perajun gets his head down and charges after them, clawing up the field in a blitz of quickest laps: in lap3 he eases down into the 1m14s, and then sets a new SNF lap-record of 1m14.289 in lap4 as he screams past Kelvin and Jeffrey in pursuit of Faizal. The bugger is damn quick! At the flag it’s Perajun from Faizal Hassim, ahead of Kelvin and Jeffrey Moo.
At the start of heat 2 Perajun wasted no time and powered into the lead, one for which he was unassailed till the end, with Faizal Hassim taking second. Behind him, Kelvin Low messed up and overshot during the 1st lap, allowing Jeffrey Moo and sneak past to hold 3rd position till the flag.
Unfortunately due to the big accident in the previous FF Festival category, the Final heat for Race Cars had to be cancelled due to the sheer debris and oil spill involved, and thus finishing positions from Heat 2 were the ones that counted.
Look who's back in SNF!
NEXT ROUND: JULY 30th
As SNF action keeps heating up further and further, new rules to increase participant and spectator safety will be implemented for the next round, which takes place on 30 July 2011, just before the holy Ramadhan month. See you there!
Leona's Silvia was hot!