12 AUGUST 2017
heavy down pour spelt disaster for the MRC competitors as the
roads which made up leg 1 of the IROJ 2017 one of the muddiest
roads ever. The roads were slippery with thick slush like mud
everywhere with the odd water splash throughout the day. Thankfully
the weather remained mild and windy but it was a mud bath of a
rally. Leg 1 consist of 8 stages which consists of 8 stages totaling
161km of competitive driving. SS7 was cancelled due to undividable
Rafiq lead the 21 cars into leg one. With most of the competitors
having very little experience driving through such conditions,
it wasn¡¯t long before the competitors were slowly being sucked
by the mud into retirement. Driving through the mud soak stages
requires a different kind of skill where on has to really understand
the surface and drive through with very little wheel spin. All
the cars will start leg 2 under the super rally rules.
hardest hit was Azrul Azhar from Perlis. His car slid head on
into a tree. Among those whom were stuck in the mud where Championship
leader Chepot and his entire team, Sanjey Takale, Mohd Rafizal
and Shafiq. By the end of the leg, Mohd Rafiq, Karamjit Singh,
Abhilash PG and a lone Satria 1.3 of Muhammad Khairul Nizam and
experienced co-driver Shahrol Zainal made it back to Park Freme.
Singh leads the Rally with a margin of 24 minutes over Mohd Rafiq
with Abhilash PG and Nizam. Karamjit Singh was nursing his Proton
Gen 2 throughout the rally with a host of problem which include
no brakes and a misfiring engine. With the problems, he used every
ounce of experience to set fastest stage times to lead the rally.
Rafiq and Abhilash PG in newer Subaru Impreza¡¯s couldn¡¯t match
Karamjit Singh mastery and drove cautiously throughout. As for
Nizam, he was surprised that survived Leg 1. He credited Co-driver
Shahrol for guiding him.
Leg 2 begins this morning with 6 stages covering 77km of competitive
driving. The stages in leg 2 is reported to be similar in conditions
as the weather remains the same with very little sunshine.