Round 2 of the Malaysia Championship Series (MCS) at Sepang International Circuit (SIC) yesterday saw Indonesian driver Fitra Eri of Team Sakura Tedco Racing collected his third victory of the season after winning the one-hour endurance battle from pole position.
Fitra, who won both sprint races in Round 1 in May, showed his prowess in the endurance test as well, in his Honda FD2 machine despite a strong challenge from second-placed Lai Wee Sing and Abdul Kaathir Mohd Mustaffa of R Engineering, who were driving a similar race car.
The Indonesian stuttered in the beginning, dropping to fourth behind Lai Wee Sing. But by the end of Lap 1, Fitra managed to move up to second. “I decided to just shadow Lai, who was quick, and then I went in for the compulsory pit stop immediately after the pit window opened. I was seventh when I rejoined the race and did five quick qualifying laps to take over the leadership when Lai pitted for a driver change. My car was good and the team did a very good job this weekend,” Fitra said after the race.
Finishing third overall and third in the Touring Production class behind the partnership of Lai and Abdul Kaathir was the partnership of Boy Wong Yew Choong and Alvaro Mourato in another Honda FD2. The top three cars completed 23 laps around the 5.543km track along with eight other Touring Production class competitors.
With 15 points collected yesterday, Fitra takes his championship points haul to 45, opening a 13-point gap over Lai and Abdul Kaathir, who have 32 points.
In the Malaysian Touring Car (MTC) Championship, Kenny Lee took first place in his Suzuki Swift machine, upstaging the more celebrated Mark Darwin of Team Sakura Tedco Racing, who is also the current championship leader. Nick Mah completed the podium.
A poor start saw Kenny losing his pole position advantage as Darwin raced to the front to lead for the five opening laps. Having the faster machine all weekend, Kenny passed his rival in the sixth lap on Turn 9 and cruised to victory.
“We worked hard preparing this car and working on the tyres. We had the best setting and the car was simply superb all weekend. We hope to maintain and carry this performance to the Sepang 1000 Kilometer race. We are clearly on the right track,” said Kenny, who commended SIC on the appointment of Yokohama as the Official Tyre for the series this season.
Despite finishing second, Darwin continues to lead the MTC Championship with a total haul of 42 points. Kenny Lee now moves to second with 31 points, with Nick Mah filling third spot on the table with 26 points.
Malaysian lady driver, Geraldine Read, finished 4th in the Independent Cup group and 7th overall in the MTC Class while Singapore’s celebrity driver Claire Jedrek finished 11th in the Touring Production class.
Meanwhile, in the newly-introduced Formula 4 South East Asia championship, Singapore’s Danial Nielsen Frost came in first with a time of 17 minutes 50.088 seconds, followed by Australian Jordan Love and Indonesian Presley Martono with a time of 17 minutes 50.239 seconds and 17 minutes 50.683 seconds respectively. In the 8-lap race, Malaysians Nazim Azman and Isyraf Danish were 5th and 7th, with times of 18 minutes 2.481 seconds and 18 minutes 4.388 seconds respectively.
MALAYSIA CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES – ROUND 2
Top 5 Finishers – 1 hour Endurance
Touring Production Championship
1. Fitra Eri (Honda FD2) – 23 laps (1:02.17.530s)
2. Lai Wee Sing/Abdul Kaathir (Honda FD2) – 23 laps
3. Boy Wong Yew Choong/Alvaro Mourato (Honda FD2) – 23 laps
4. Mitchell Cheah (Honda FD2) – 23 laps
5. Martin Berry (Honda FD2) – 23 laps
Malaysia Touring Car Championship
1. Kenny Lee (Suzuki Swift) – 21 laps (1:02.29.101s)
2. Mark Darwin (Proton Prevé) – 21 laps
3. Nick Mah (Suzuki Swift) – 21 laps
4. Goh Lee Heng (Proton Satria Neo) – 21 laps
5. David McIntyre (Proton Satria Neo) – 21 laps