Malaysian Rally Championship Round 3 at Terengganu – Day 2 : Rafiq Triumphs in Monsoon Condition

MRU Motorsports’s Rafiq Udhaya came back from a poor start to clinch his 2nd win of the season on day 2 of Malaysian Rally Championship (MRC) round 3 at Lake Kenyir, Terengganu.

Rafiq maintained his form on the penultimate day, placing himself within striking distance of overnight leaders Karamjit Singh.

But disaster again befell onto Karamjit as his Mitsubishi Evo VIII suffered a gear box failure which put him out the race, and maybe out of the contention for overall championship with one more round to go.

Karamjit’s retirement elevated his GSR Pennzoil Racing teammate Katsu Taguchi to 1st place, ahead of Indian’s Lohitt Urs with Rafiq in 3rd spot.

As the weather took a turn for the worse, the rally was cut short from 6 stages to only 3 stages and Taguchi looks a sure bet to win the race.

Then the unexpected happen when Taguchi and Urs both failed the scrutineering after the race, with their car was deemed to infringe the technical regulation.

This turn of events rewarded Rafiq and co-driver Sean Gregory with 1st place finish for the second time this season, strengthening their position on top of the championship with 40 points – 22 points ahead teammate Siraj Abdullah with Karamjit 2 points further back.

Siraj grabbed the runners-up spot in his Satria Neo while Japanese Takeshi Azuma completed a podium sweep for MRU Motorports, signaling their rise to challenge GSR Pennzoil Racing Team in Malaysia rallying scene.

Takeshi Azuma and Masako Sakane.

Not far behind in 4th is another MRU driver Mike Ariokiasamy. Driving the old Proton Wira, Mike certainly proved that its the driver and not the car that matters in the world of rally.

Local representative Wan Mohd Hafiz of FA Racing made his hometown proud after finishing a creditable 5th position.

Francis Keng finished a disappointing 13th after damaging his Satria 1.6 as a result of hitting a tree.

Karamjit had a tough season with reliability issues in all but one rally event so far.

With the monsoon season clearly affecting the rally course, everybody was hoping that the organizer will reschedule this events to the middle of the year starting in 2011 – as Lake Kenyir and Terengganu has been a great venue throughout the 3 day event.

Cleaning up a rally car is no easy task – just ask these guy.

Youngster Dinie Nazmi and Azmeer Yusri classified 7th out of 19 participants.

General Classification After Day 2 :

1. Muhammad Rafiq Udhaya / Sean F. Gregory MRU Motorsports – Subaru Impreza
2. Muhammad Siraj Abdullah / Abi Ridzuan MRU Motorsports – Proton Satria Neo
3. Takeshi Azuma / Masato Sakane MRU Motorsports – Mitsubishi Evo
4. Mike Ariokiasamy Ratnam / Maruthi Ariokiasamy MRU Motorsports – Proton Wira
5. Wan Mohd Hafiz Wan Mohd / Syed Mohd Jefri Tuan Ahmad FA Racing – Proton Satria
6. Faidzal Alang / Hazwan Fauzi GSR Pennzoil Racing Team / FA Racing – Proton Satria
7. Dinie Nazmi / Azmeer Yusri – Proton Satria
8. Jamaluddin Tukimin / Rozita Tukimin – Proton Satria
9. Rizal Wahid / Shahrol Zainal – Proton Putra
10. Azizul Jamin / Rohasreen Abu Hassan – Proton Satria
11. Wan Mohd Khaidzir / Mohd Razif – Proton Satria
12. Raymon Tan / Jason Yim – Proton Satria
13. Francis Lai Yew Guan / Ong Boon Keat MRU Motorsports – Proton Satria
14. Sanjay Takle / Musa Sheriff – Proton Satria

Not Classified :

Karamjit Singh / Douglas Pickering GSR Pennzoil Racing Team – Mitsubishi Evo
Katsu Taguchi / Jagdev Singh GSR Pennzoil Racing Team – Mitsubishi Evo
Lohitt Urs / Manohar Menon – Mitsubishi Evo
Harjeet Singh / Izwan Abdullah – Proton Satria
P. Nandakumar / Suresh Parkash Sharma GSR Pennzoil Racing Team – Proton Satria

Next stop is Rally of Perlis, the last round of 2010 season scheduled on 11-12 December.

Photo / Editorial : Nazim Idris

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