The tandem battles got off to a start at about half past noon. The crowd was amazing, with the grandstands full and the walkabout pass holders filling every inch as close to the track as they can get! Here’s a brief summary of the 16 battles during the round of 32 to move on to the top 16…
Battle #1: Daynom Templeman (NZ) vs. Kevin Rajoo (MY)
Battle #2: Ee Yoong Cherng (MY) vs. Hanizam bin Hamzah (MY)
Result: The all-Malaysian battle saw Ee Yoong Cherng advancing to top 16.
Battle #4: Ryuji Miki (JP) vs. Lim Kim Wan (MY)
Result: Ryuji Miki was on form as he charged down the track. Lim Kim Wan (nicknamed D Wan) spun while chasing.. Miki wins!
Battle #5: Daigo Saito (JP) vs. Davide Dorigo (TH)
Result: Daigo Saito took this quite easily, moving on to the next round.
Battle #6: Wattanaporn Phungpearn (TH) vs. Lim Zee King (MY)
Result: Damage to Lim Zee King”s car during his second qualifying run the day before could not be repaired in time for qualifying, hence giving Wattanaporn (aka Joe) automatic advancement into the top 16.
Battle #7: Nattawoot Krerpradab (TH) vs. Ivan Lau (MY)
Result: It was an evenly-matched fight between Nattawoot (aka Oat) and Ivan, so the judges called for One More Time. Eventually it was Oat who made it.
Battle #8: Non Saranon (TH) vs. Amm Kasom (TH)
Result: Both from Team M150 Overdrive, Non bettered his team-mate to go into top 16. Non was one of four in the running for the Formula Drift Asia overall title. If Non won Formula Drift Malaysia this weekend, he would have been crowned Formula Drift Asia champion.
Battle #9: Kokae (TH) vs. David Feliciano (PH)
Result: A rather straightforward run with Kokae taking the win.
Battle #10: Mohd Fazreen Ismail (MY) vs. Charles Ng (HK)
Result: Charles Ng seems to be having trouble at the same spot (entry into the lollipop hairpin), where his front and rear bumpers have been taken out across separate runs. However, he manages to move on.
Battle #11: Mai Chaiwat (TH) vs. Keak Rapee (TH)
Result: Both from the same M150 Overdrive team too, this all-Thai battle saw Mai beat his team-mate to reach top 16.
Battle #12: Rhenadi Arinton (ID) vs. Michael Gan (MY)
Result: Yet another Malaysian fails to make it through as Rhenadi Arinton beats Michael Gan.
Battle #13: Tengku Djan Ley (MY) vs. Ser Ming Hui (MY)
Result: The second Malaysian to make it to the top 16 came from this all-Malaysian battle. Prince of Drift Djan was favoured to win and indeed he took the advantage after leading a good run. Unfortunately, in the second run when Ser Ming Hui (aka Ah Fai) was leading, Djan spun just as they approached the first rear clipping point. HUGE groans echoed through the crowd as Djan was officially out of the competition!
Battle #14: Hashiguti Anderson Toyoshi (BZ) vs. Zaihan Hamdan (MY)
Result: Brazilian Hashiguti in his red and yellow Nissan 180SX beat Zaihan to advance to the next round.. after Zaihan smashed his car big time and could not repair it within the five-minute grace period given by the judges.
Battle #15: Mervyn Nakamura (MY) vs. Rifat Sungkar (ID)
Result: Mervyn Nakamura started this battle by being the lead car first. Just after the first clipping point, he went right into the wall of the second clipping point and flew up coming down hard. That was the end of his day.
Battle #16: Nazrul Afifi (MY) vs. Pop (TH)