It’s been awhile since I last attended one of the Rotax Max Challenge (RMC) Malaysia and Asia Max Challenge (AMC) races. The six-round Series started in February, after the annual Rotax Invitational Race in January. I went for the Invitational, the first round, as well as the second round, all of which were held at the same place – PLUS Speedway Elite at Subang. I remember hunting for new angles to differentiate each round!
I couldn’t make Rounds 3 and 4, so I was glad that I could make it for Round 5 that just took place over the weekend of 8 – 9 September.
It was held as the Royal Pahang Kart Prix on the streets of Pekan, so I flew in to Kuala Lumpur and then drove three hours down to Pekan. I only arrived sometime mid-day on Saturday, in time to catch the qualifying session and also Heat 1.
There are four categories – MicroMax, Junior, Senior and DD2.
Heat 2 for DD2 and MicroMax was held on Sunday, while Heat 2 for the Juniors and Seniors, as well as the pre-finals and the finals were all held on Sunday. It was a wet afternoon on Saturday, but thankfully the weather on Sunday was beautiful!
The MicroMax drivers (12 years old and below) never fail to amaze me with their courage to race at such high speeds!
Just look at how cute they are!
It was good to see Presley Martono at this round.
He isn’t doing the entire RMC Malaysia/Asia series but will make it down if his race schedule permits – he is racing a lot in Europe this season.
Presley qualified second, won both heats, but lost the lead in the pre-final to come in second.
Getting ahead in the final, Presley was determined to beat fellow Indonesian Prassetyo Hardja to take the win… and he did. Prassetyo had to settle for second place, followed by Gezha Sudirman in third.
Of the 14 MicroMax drivers, there was one Singaporean – Josh Lee, brother of national Cadet karting champion Jon Lee.
Josh qualified 8th, finished 5th in Heat 1 and 7th in Heat 2. In the pre-final however, he met with an incident in the first corner at the start of the race with Jakkarin Sirinonthanawech and Barichello Noor, and came in last.
Jakkarin and Josh managed to carry on, but Barichello had to retire from the race.
All three were back on track for the final and Josh finished 5th. I noticed that Nazim Azman, on more than one occasion, was driving with his kart like that… due to incidents during the race.
Something funny happened just minutes before the pre-final for the MicroMax drivers – a herd of goats suddenly appeared trackside and the marshals had to chase them away.
There were random goats everywhere actually!
In the Junior class, the fight was mainly between Daniel Woodroof and Daim Hishammudin, though Daniel was putting out solid timings throughout the weekend.
Daniel qualified fastest, but it was Daim who beat him in Heat 1, by 0.123 seconds.
But in Heat 2, Daniel came back strong and won by 4.068 seconds ahead of Daim.
In the pre-final, Daim had a good start…
… managing to get out front, while chaos happened behind him.
Poor Nayan Chatterjee sent his kart ‘rallying’ in the dirt…
I see a Go-Pro on his helmet – wonder how the video turned out!
With 26 drivers in the Junior class, it is not surprising that clashes and pushes are aplenty. This is a scene from the Juniors’ Heat 1 on Saturday.
Back to the Junior pre-final, Daniel caught up with Daim but the latter managed to hold off Daniel for a win by 0.265 seconds.
Daim started well again in the final..
… but Daniel got him and went on to win the Junior final by 4.910 seconds.
The other Singaporeans in the Junior class aside from Daim were Amin Noorzilan, national Junior karting champion, and Glenn Chiam who is back in racing after a one-year hiatus due to his PSLE examinations.
It wasn’t a smooth weekend for both Amin and Glenn as they found themselves in mid-field – Amin finished 12th in the final and Glenn in 18th.
I also want to give Timothy Yeo a special mention here – (he addresses me as ‘Mum’, simply because one of the karters’ father previously mistaken me as Tim’s mum!) Tim finished 5th in the final, before that he was 4th in the pre-final, having recovered from a bad Heat 2 where he finished in 17th. On Saturday he was 4th in qualifying and Heat 1.
Kent Jun, and his characteristic frown, had a good start to the weekend when he qualified 3rd. However, thereafter he was 6th in Heat 1 and then a horrible last place in Heat 2 after something happened. He continued fighting and eventually finished 6th in pre-final and third in the final.
As it was a temporary street track, there were many cones used to mark out the track and there was a harsh penalty of +10 seconds to those who hit particular cones on the track.
Some of them had cones in their faces and some, like Uthayachelvan here, got it stuck under his kart, causing him to lose precious time getting it out.
The Senior category was a really competitive one.
Senna S.N. from Indonesia qualified first…
… but he was beaten by Silvano Christian in Heat 1 and Heat 2.
Silvano ran into trouble in the pre-final and failed to finish it, so it was Senna who won the pre-final.
Teruhisa Tanaka (as pictured above) and Zahir Ali did not make it easy for Senna in the final though. Zahir took the lead from Senna and Senna was hot on Zahir’s heels, but Zahir held on to the lead for the win.
For more of my photos from RMC Round 5, view here.
For results of RMC Round 5, go here.