MARK DARWIN, BOY WONG READY TO RECLAIM TOP SPOT

Shocked and faltered by a rare broken throttle body in the previous round, the dream partnership of Mark Darwin and Boy Wong is determined to put their championship aspirations back on track at Round 2 of the Malaysia Championship Series (MCS) this weekend at Sepang International Circuit (SIC). 

After comfortably winning the opening race in Round 1, Mark and Boy were expected to cruise to their second victory in Race 2 the following day as they started the race on pole position. The dream, however, were shattered when their Honda FD2R machine stuttered at the starting straight on the opening lap due to the spoiled throttle body.

“We were just shocked with the problem. Boy and I have never experienced this before in all our years of racing. The throttle body spoiled and the car was unable to run. It was the first time for all of us,” said Darwin, who is looking for his second T Production (Touring Production) title.

“Hopefully, it will not happen again this weekend. The throttle body had been changed to a brand new unit. It shouldn’t be happening again. Hence, we hope that we are able to finish the race and collect as much valuable points for the championship. The team is preparing hard for us to have the best for this weekend. I’m confident that we can do well with a strong team behind us,” said Darwin.

Failing to score a single point for Race 2 puts the Tedco Racing partnership in third position for the T Production (Touring Production) with 15 points, trailing leader Aun Yue Wei by seven points. The partnership of Tony Teo and Brendon Sim, who won Race 2, is second with 20 points.

Defending champion Nick Mah of Tedco Racing who scored a double victory with partner Brendon Lim in their trusted Suzuki Swift machine continue to lead the M Production (Malaysia Touring Car).

Nick, who won four out of five rounds last season, however, is less optimistic of another double victory this weekend in view of the additional weights that they would need to carry in their Suzuki machine. “It’s going to be tough as this year’s regulations hitting hard on the point leaders. Apart from the success blast for winning the last race, I will also have the championship ballast; bringing a combined additional weight of 60kgs. It will be tough,” he said.

The thrills and excitement of the MCS will be pumped up further with a host of exciting international races that have been included as support races to the race programme this weekend. 

Topping the list will be the Blancpain GT Series Asia season opener, which has registered 29 entries this season including the sensational GruppeM Racing that will be defending their GT3 Drivers’ and Teams’ titles.

Following a successful inaugural campaign in 2017, the championship has consolidated its status as Asia’s leading multi-class GT platform by unveiling another packed entry comprising 21 GT3s and eight GT4s; featuring 10 manufacturers and teams representing nine countries and 58 drivers from no less than 19 nationalities from across five continents.

Racing fans will be also treated with actions from the prestigious Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia and a preview of the future of racing from the F4 South East Asia championship, which will feature Malaysia’s top junior racing drivers.

Off-track, actions will be equally exciting as the inaugural e-Malaysia Championship Series (eMCS) moves into Round 2, which looks set to be a fierier affair as the leading contenders set higher targets to take control of the championship and their destiny.

Expectations have also upped the scale as they predict a bigger turnout this round with new challengers and stronger players turning up to horn their skills and join the fray after the wide publicity from closely-contested Round 1, which took place two weeks ago at SIC South Paddock.

“It’s definitely going to be tougher in Round 2. I am pretty sure of that,” says Project Engineer, Mohd Taufiq, who is currently third in the championship standings with 20 points – courtesy of a fourth place in Race 1 and second in Race 2 at the opening round. “Competition was stiff in Round 1. But, Round 2 will be a lot stiffer. Those competing in Round 1 will come back more prepared and more determined. Myself will be training every night this week to prepare for the race,” said Taufiq, who works at Wood Group Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur.

Similar sentiments were echoed by college student and championship leader, Aiman Haziq, who garnered a total haul of 25 points after taking third in Race 1 and topping the podium in Race 2.

“My mission this week is to improve my race pace. Sincerely, I am not happy with my race pace because I know that I can go faster. Unfortunately, I am pretty busy with my college assignments now and was unable to practice as much as I want. I am pretty lucky to have my own simulator at home to allow me to practice whenever I want,” said Aiman, who has set a firm target to finish the season in the Top 3 to qualify for the Final Shootout.

Promoted and organised in conjunction with the Malaysia Championship Series (MCS) with RaceRoom and The Rift in Midvalley, Kuala Lumpur, e-MCS is the virtual version of the race around the 5,543-meter Sepang International Circuit held on advanced simulators. The top three overall finishes qualify for a Final Shootout to compete in an actual race car under team Dream Chaser Racing with the winner securing a full season race seat in the MCS 2019 sponsored by SIC.

Like Aiman, part-time racer Mohd Shahril, who has competed twice in the Sepang 1000km Endurance Race, is determined to finish in the top three and win the racing seat. “Naturally, I am going all out to win. There’re no special preparations, though, because of work commitments. But, I will be ready this weekend in Sepang and improve on my Round 1 results,” said Shahril, who is currently fourth overall with 15 points.

Currently fifth in the championship with 14 points, Ady Rahimy hopes that he has better luck in Round 2 this weekend and climb to the top the championship, which – like the MCS – will be contested in five rounds.

After taking second place in Race 1, his mission of bettering the result in Race 2 at the last round was foiled by problems in the steering wheel and the speaker.

“I have problems with my steering wheel during the race. That affected my race badly. Hopefully, all goes well this weekend,” he said.

In the media category where the media will also win the opportunity to win a seat for MCS in 2019, web portal zerotohundred Editor Tom Goh was a class of his own; winning both races in Round 1 for a perfect score of 30 points; enjoying a 10-point advantage over his three challengers – Fariz Zolkarnain, Fadhli Ishak and Angeline Lee, who all have 20 points. 

Fans can catch all the race actions for free from the Main Grandstand. To be closer to the actions, fans can purchase Paddock passes, which will allow them access to the main and south Paddock area. While the e-MCS is also open for public to attend and watch, fans can also test their skills on the Race Room simulators during the Time Attack sessions. Like the previous MCS races, actions will be telecast live via live-streaming at SIC Facebook page.

MALAYSIA CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES 2018

POINT STANDING AFTER ROUND 1 – M PRODUCTION (MALAYSIA TOURING CAR)

1.Nick Mah, Brendon Lim (Tedco Racing) – 30 pts

2.William Ho (Wing Hin Motorsports) – 24 pts

3.Farid Sani, Joo Lau – 18 pts

4.Brendan Paul,  Cy Ong ( Dream Chaser) – 18 pts

5.Danny Chin – 12 pts

POINT STANDING AFTER ROUND 1 – T PRODUCTION (TOURING PRODUCTION)

1.Aun Yue Wei – 22 pts

2.Sim KwongTeck, Tony Teo (Tedco Racing) – 20 pts

3.Mark Darwin, Boy Wong(Tedco Racing) – 15 pts

  1. Nahar Nayan, Damien Dielenberg – 14 pts

5.Allan YK Tam, Chong Kiat Wai (Riyoz Racing) – 14 pts