KUALA TERENGGANU - Karamjit Singh's hopes lies shattered as Muhammad Rafiq Udhaya consolidate his position at the top of the overall race for the Malaysian Rally title.
On a day when Karamjit thought things were looking up for him on the final day of the Round 3 Malaysian Rally at Lake Kenyir, Terengganu yesterday, his Mitsubishi Lancer gearbox gave way which forced him out of the race.
And probably out of the race for the championship too.
"It's just one of those things which can happen to anyone in rallying. It happened to me today and now I must admit that my chances of finishing champion overall is gone.
"There is only more round left (in Kangar) and I don't think I can make up for it,"said Karamjit.
Karamjit who was lying second overall with a total of 18 points gathered from the previous two rounds coming into Kuala Terengganu, thought he
could make up for the eight point deficit behind the leader Muhammad Rafiq Udhaya in his Subaru Impreza.
More so after he had finished first in the first rallying stage on Saturday but disaster struck early as Karamjit tried to force his way through the mud and slush, made worse by the overnight rain, and ended up with a broken shaft in his gearbox.
India's Lohitt Urs and his Malaysian co-driver Manohar Menon in their Mitsubishi Lancer seize the opportunity to finish first in a total time of 1hr 39min 40.0secs and Muhammad Rafiq and his co-driver Sean Gregory second in 1hr 43mins 22.2secs.
Third is Muhammad Siraj Abdullah and Abi Redzuan in a Proton Satria Neo in a time of 1hr 46mins 43.8secs.
For now Muhammad Rafiq and Gregory is still in command and the overall title is well within their reach as the Malaysian Rally Championship enters it's fourth and final round in Kangar in mid December.
"We are in a comfortable position now and with one more round to go, we just have to keep our cool, finish both races and we should be home. But it's a pity that Karamjit's car broke down today. He is such a good driver but things just did not work out for him," said Gregory.
The organizer of the Malaysian Rally Championship wish to clarify that no spectator was seriously injured in the opening stage of the Round 3 championship at Lake Kenyir in Kuala Terengganu on Friday (Oct 29 2010).
The Bahasa Malaysia daily Harian Metro had reported that a boy and a middle aged woman was seriously hurt when a participant's car spun out of control after overshooting a curve and hit both of them.
Actually when the car overshot the curve and crash into the bushes, majority of the spectators had moved out of harm's way except for the boy and the woman.
They suffered minor injuries and accompanied by officials, they were taken to the hospital and were treated for minor injuries and sent home.
"We have taken all precautions to ensure the safety of the spectators and it's unfortunate that the accident happen. In-fact the spectators were all very co-operative and we thank them and the State Goverment for the support they have given," said clerk of course, Tengku Shaharin Abu Bakar.