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MRC Rd 3 wrap!

The Malaysian Rally Championship Rd 3 took place in Johor. This is the round of the championship which meets up with the Asia Pacific Rally Championship. Being an international event under the FIA rules and regulation, the event is made longer in distance and time. In total the Johor round of the championship covered 235km of competitive stages divided into 14 special stages. On top of that the competitors have to travel 342 km from the service park to the stages and back. In total, the competitors have to do 587km over the course of 2 days. That¡¯s endurance for you.

India Sanjey Takale driving a Subaru Impreza heads the field of 19 starts of the event. MRC championship leader Mohd Shazly is making his third start of the season and could bag the Championship with a strong points finish. Other entrant for Rd 3 is Japanese Satoru Ito whom rallies here to learn how to drive even faster and Penang¡¯s Mohd Rafizal. It¡¯s Rafizal 3rd start with his new self-built Satria 4wd. Other entries include Karamjit Singh, Hj Suhaimi and surprise entry from India in the form of Anita Kholey. Anita is a model and fashion ikon from Bangalore. It¡¯s her first international rally. The talk at the service park is the 4 car entry of the Bagan Dato Rally team. The team is show casing their team new livery which features the team¡¯s serious approach to rallying.

Condition during the rally was mud filled made by consistant daily rain a week before the event. A challenge to the competitors as they try to keep the car on the road while trying to avoid being sucked into the ditches.

A full 10 hours and 8 special stages made up leg 1 of the rally. Already on the very first stage Japanese Satoru Ito rolled his Subaru Impreza onto its roof and India Anita Kholey park her Satria Neo nicely into a ditch. It was Sanjey Takale whom set the pace of the rally with the Cusco prepared Subaru Impreza. The car is far superior to other cars in the field. A stronger engine, proper suspension and new tyres to take on the stages, he blasted through the leg 5 minute clear of second place Karamjit Singh. Karam driving a 15 year old Proton Wira 1.8 consistantly set second fastest time. Mohd Ikhsan, Haji Suhaimi and Azmeer rounded up the top 5 with their 3 version of the Proton Satria. Championship leader Shazly came to Johor minus his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6. Missing key components day before the event, Shazly opted to for points with a smaller Perodua Kelisa 4wd. Unable to make any in-roads to the leader, he would finished the day in sixth. Amir Ahmad and Rafizal were both handicapped with problems with their cars.

6 stages and another 10 hours of rallying made up leg 2 with even treacherous road conditions. Sanjey Takale basically cruised to the finish with a trimmed yet comfortable lead of nearly 3 minits over second place Karamjit Singh. Such was Sanjey¡¯s lead he even got away with a puncture on the last stage of the day. It was yet another dazzling driving display by Karamjit Singh to finish second. Had he had a better car,he could have changed the tides.

Haji Suhaimi traded places with Mohd Ikhsan for third spot with yet another display of courage¡¯s driving by Hj Suhaimi. Coming in fifth is Azmeer Yusri. Its a good result for Azmeer with his Satria 1.3 after a long break from rallying.

Roduwan and Hanzee Hamzah kept the Bagan Dato Rally team flying high with 6 and 7th spot. Nor Azizi finish 8thin what is his only appearance in the championship this year. Japanese Takeshi Azuma and Azrul Azhar rounded up the top 10 finishers of the rally. 14 cars finished the rally with Anita Kohley taking the last spot. Anita was thrilled with the result and hopes to come again soon. Even though finishing at the bottom end of the table, it¡¯s a brilliant achievement for her first international rally.

The final round of the Championship will take place early December. The venue is yet to be confirmed but no matter where be sure to lock onto the dates!




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