Oct 30, 2010
KARAMJIT STRENGTHENS HIS GRIP ON THE OVERALL MRC TITLE IN TERENGGANU
LAKE KENYIR, TERENGGANU - Karamjit Singh is going from strength to strength and surely he has the Malaysian Rally overall title in his sight.
On Saturday he battled the elements to register an opening stage victory of the Round 3 Malaysian Rally at Lake Kenyir, Terengganu to put himself forward as a serious contender for the overall title when the final showdown takes place in Round 4 in Kangar in mid December.
With his co-driver Douglas Pickering, the duo behind the wheels of a Mitsubishi Lancer steered their way through the 43.5km course in tough conditions, including heavy rain and muddy terrain to register a winning time of 57mins 03.8secs.
In second place is the Japanese ace, Katsu Taguchi and his partner Jagdev Singh, also in a Mitsubishi Lancer in a time of 1hr 01 min 13.4secs which will give Karamjit a good three minute lead as the 22-man field go into the
second and decisive second stage on Sunday.
Finishing third is the Indian-Malaysian combination of Lohitt Urs and Manohar Menon, also in a similar vehicle, who clocked a total time of 1 hr 04mins 14.3secs.
The overall leader after the completion of two earlier rounds in Johor Bharu and Jempol, Muhammad Rafiq Udhaya in a Subaru Impreza, came in fourth on Saturday in a time of 1hr 04min 38.1secs and he knows he has plenty of hard work ahead if he and his partner Sean Gregory is to keep a tight grip on their lead.
Muhammad Rafiq is on a total of 24 points, eight ahead of Karamjit who is lying second with Taguchi on 11 points and the stage is set for the final showdown in Kangar for the decisive Round Four in mid December.
"I made a poor choice in my tyres selection for the opening stages of the race and that cost me precious times. But we managed to make up for it after a change of tyres and the race is still wide open. But I know the Sunday stage is very important. It’s a make or break situation for us," said Muhammad Rafiq.
For Karamjit, Saturday's race went smoothly. He was a little slow in the opening two stages but once he got going, he never looked back despite the rain and the muddy conditions, to come home unscathed.
In fact the rain fell so hard towards the end that the organizer had to cut short the race a little but by then Karamjit was home and dry.
"It's a good race for us. Things went well but there is still tomorrow (Sunday). Another good race on Sunday and we are ready to challenge for the overall title," added Karamjit.