Guarav bags Malaysian Rally 2016
30 OCTOBER 2016

On wet muddy stages, Team MRF¡¯s Guarav Gill picked up where he left yesterday and tackled leg 2 with an awesome display of car control over the muddy tracks. Overnight rain over the stages turned the clay based roads into slushy mud especially in the corners and braking point. It is certainly not a place to be for the faint hearted. ¡°There is no way the roads are going to dry up today so I will just drive sensibly¡± said Gaurav.

81km divided into 6 competitive stages and a total of 262km made up the final day of the Malaysian Rally 2016.

Jari Ketomaa finished second some 9 minutes behind Gaurav. ¡°Finishing second is bonus for us. The Mirage R5 doesn¡¯t have the torque to get out corners and with so many corners and junction to negotiate it was big disadvantage for us¡± said Jari.

The only casualty of Leg 2 is Mike Young. He accidently parked the car in a ditch on stage 9. This elevated Yuya Sumiyama to finish 3rd. Yuya nursed his sick Subaru Impreza through the stages. ¡°Car is sick with many many problems. Happy to finish¡± said Yuya. MORE >>

Guarav leads Day 1 and Fabian retires
29 OCTOBER 2016

Slightly cooler conditions in section as the competitors tackled another 4 stages. Caught out by the endless junctions, Fabian Kreim overshot a junction in SS6 and adding insult to injury damaged his gearbox in the process. Game over for Fabian. This left Gaurav Gill unchallenged till the end with a lead of 4 minutes over second place Jari Ketomaa. Jari had a positive day but was unable treat the leader as his Mitsubishi Mirage R5 is still in development stage. Getting it this far is a bonus.

Rounding up the top 5 APRC entrant are Cusco Racing Mike Young, Yuya Sumiyama and Sanjey Takale. Mike Young was battling a flu and the obvious heat. It somewhat affected his pace but he cleared the day in 3rd spot. Yuya Sumiyama found the latest version of the Subaru Impreza too big to be driven in the narrow Malaysian stages. His car was seen with dents on his body work. Sanjey Takale on the other had no issue. He was happy with his progress today. MORE >>

Guarav leads after section 1 of leg 1
29 OCTOBER 2016

158km which made up section 1 ran under mild weather this morning. Team MRF¡¯s Gaurav Gill splendid drive finished the leg a full 20 seconds of teammate Fabian Kreim whom did an excellent job posting times on his first ever Malaysian Rally.

A minute and 43 seconds behind Fabian is Jari Ketomaa. He had a trouble free run all morning and enjoys the stages. He however admits a bit more power from the Mirage R5. Jari opted to go on a softer compound for the afternoon loop. Mike Young had a trouble free morning and was happy getting through leg safely.

Yuya Sumiyama and Sanjey Takcale finished the leg 5th and 6th respectively in two different versions or the Subaru Impreza. The only casualty of the leg is Makoto Kawahara. He retired from the rally due to dehydration and fatigue. Unable to coup with the heat and humidity and made worse having to change a flat tyre, Makoto nearly passed out at the end of SS3.

The second loop (section 2) is currently on the way with another 158km to go before ending day 1 at Angsana late this evening.

Pre event Shakedown and Press Conference
28 OCTOBER 2016

Pre event shakedown was held early Friday morning in damp conditions. A short 1.6km route which features clay surface with a mixture of ups and downs, junctions, jumps and ditches awaited the 7 APRC competitors. Team MRF¡¯s Fabien Kreim set the fastest time of 1 minute and 16.1 seconds on his 3rd pass followed by teammate Guarav Gill point 3 of a second slower. Jari Ketomaa was 3rd, point 5 of a second slower. Mike Young, Sanjay Takale, Yuya Sumiyama and Makoto Kawahara were among the competitors whom took part in shakedown. Their cars slightly slower than the R5 cars posted times in between 1 minute 20 to 1 minute 43 seconds respectively.

A pre event Press Conference was held later in the evening at Rally HQ. Fabien Kreim, Guarav Gill, Mike Young, Jari Ketomaa and Yumi Sumiyama took on the stage. Obviously the main issue voiced out by the competitors was the rain and what their plan of attack will be. Newly crown German Champion Fabien Kreim was really looking forward to start the rally. So much different than the rallies in Europe but he reckons it will good fun. Guarav Gill explains the different nature of the Skoda Fabia R5 as compared to the Fabia S2000 he has rallied in the past. The car is a lot faster and much more drivable. He needs a good result here to wrap up the APRC championship. Jari Ketoma explained about the development of the Mirage R5 and what he thinks about the Malaysian Rally. The Mirage R5 he will be driving is a development car. Jari hopes he will adapt quickly to the stages and hopes to win the event.

The Malaysian Rally 2016 will officially start tonight at 8pm with a ceremonial start at the Plaza Angsana. There will cultural shows and some side events to spice up the colorful ceremonial start. Tomorrow the first car will start the 7.81 km Tai Tuk stage at 8:30am.

Bucket loads of rain!
27 OCTOBER 2016

As forecast, thunder storms accompanied massive rain fall swept through most parts of Johore today. This made reconnaissance for the 28 registered Malaysian Rally competitors a rather muddy affair. It will be a different rally altogether as compared to previous years where it remained hot and humid throughout the event.

Today the teams will starts recce. Recce session is one of the chores of rallying. This is where the driver and co-driver go through the stages to do up their pace notes. It a taxing affair as they have to go through the entire stage slowly twice. Basically double the distance of the event. This year¡¯s Malaysian Rally recces session took the entire day where the competitors recced the 235km of stage twice, that¡¯s 470km of slow pace notes driving speed. It¡¯s really taxing for both driver and co-driver. However for the co-drivers job extends to the late hours as they have to clean up the notes made earlier so that it would be clearer to read when the rally starts. It¡¯s a tough job.

Report from the competitors during the recce tells the entire rally area had a fair share of rain fall during the day. Though the stages are drivable but it has to be driven with caution as the slippery mud will certainly catch out the competitors. First timers to the event Fabian Kreim and Jari Ketomaa will find the Malaysian terrain a new challenge unlike anything they have driven on. But their experience and state of the art machinery would see them through the stages very quickly.

Tomorrow the registered APRC teams are scheduled to take on the official 2km shakedown stage 30km from Rally HQ. This is where the drivers get to do final car set ups and familiarize and adapt to the terrain in order to get as much speed as possible.