Oct 24, 2011
THE ACTION CONTINUES IN MALAKA
20 October 2011, MELAKA - Muhammad Rafiq Udhaya is ready to consolidate his grip on the Malaysian Rally Championship crown as he prepares for the third leg of the championship in Tanjung Bidara Malacca over the weekend.
He is the overall leader after two rounds of the championship-in Kangar and Johor Baru- with a total of 18 points and another encouraging round in Malacca would give him a serious shot at the overall title by the time the fourth and final round comes along next month.
In any case Muhammad Rariq and his co-driver Sean Gregory in their Subaru Impreza are the defending overall champion and in his own words, he is ready to defend his title.
But he admits he has got a fight on his hands. Karamjit Singh, the nine-time overall champion is still very much in the hunt even though he is on 12 points and lying third overall.
Karamjit will be behind the wheels of a Mitsubishi Lancer together with Indian driver Vivek Ponnusamy and their sterling performance in the second round in Kangar four months ago where they finished second, will give them the lift they need to challenge Muhammad Rafiq and company.
"I am still in the race for the overall title and I intend to keep pushing hard," said Karamjit who will be driving under the GSR Pennzoil banner.
For Muhammad Rafiq of the MRU Motorsports Team, the challenge to keep the crown will be a a hard fought one with plenty of twists and turns to come.
"Rallyinng is a tough sport. There are so many things to worry about. Your car, the road conditions and your performance on the day. But I have always maintain the philosophy that as long as you prepare your car well half your battle is won," said Muhammad Rafiq who had just returned from the Rally of Japan in Hokaido where he finished fifth in the Asia Cup category.
The 3rd round of the Malaysian Rally Championship will see a total of 29 entries with history in the making too. For the first time two environment friendly fuel cars- a Daihatsu Charade De Tomaso and a Perodua Kelisa- will be entered for the championship.
The two cars are the entrants provided by the Greensports Rally Team.
But some big names will be missing in Malacca too with Cody Crocker of Australia who won the second leg in Kangar and Japan's Katsu Taguchi, the former world rally championship participant not in the line-up.
"They have pulled out due to some sponsorship issues but looking at the field gathered for Malacca, there is enough big names to give the championship the boost and the recognition it deserves," said a championship spokesman.