A slight drizzle could not prevent Sepang’s speed demons from turning out in full force as the 2011 Drag Battle season came to an exciting conclusion at the Sepang Circuit last Saturday night.
With Mother Nature again threatening to unleash its wrath on the mean machines, a respite from the thunderstorms and lightning which forced the cancellation of penultimate round last September, was a welcome relief for the drivers who came out to put on a show.
And the fans, numbering around 1,000, got their money’s worth as the racers staked a claim to the fastest man in the equivalent of a mean machines sprint race.
In the premier Class A (maximum engine capacity), drag king, Sheikh Mohd Salimee Mohd Fowzi, retained his overall title, but only by the skin of his teeth as Tan Wai Loong did him a huge favour by preventing closest challenger, Hairul Izane Mohammad Ashror from emerging triumphant last night.
Sheikh Mohd Salimee driving his trusted Nissan, who failed to get through the semi-finals, could only watch from a far as Hairul Izane homed in on the title after setting up a final showdown with Wai Loong.
A win would guarantee Hairul Izane the title, but he didn’t count on Wai Loong putting a spanner in the works as Wai Loong accelerated to his first win this season.
Wai Loong’s win was not enough to prevent Sheikh Mohd Salimee from his second consecutive title as both drivers finished with 10 points, with Sheikh Mohd Salimee getting the nod based on his greater number of wins, 2 compared to 1 by Wai Loong.
“It was a close call, but I’m happy to retain the title. I was on the edge of my seat watching the final as I knew a win by Hairul Izane would give him the title but luck was on my side this time around,” said the 31 year old construction company project manager.
Class C (maximum engine capacity 2000cc) also saw one of the most dramatic conclusions ever seen on Saturday night racing as Ikmy Adwan Jamuri pulled the rug over his more fancied rivals to emerge overall champion.
Ikmy, who was sitting third coming into the fifth round, upset the formbooks and in the process stole the thunder from his more fancied rivals, Mohd Maziz Abdullah and Ahmad Firdaus Azman.
Mohd Maziz, sitting pretty in first place had hoped to finish at least second to ensure his fourth straight championship, but Ikmy did not heed to the script as he accelerated his Honda Civic to the finish line, finishing 13.252s in front of Ahmad Firdaus in a Honda Civic (13.303s).
Ahmad Firdaus was also left to rue his disappointment as win would have also guarantee him the title as any of the 6 including Aloysius Wee, Mohd Iqbal Ismail Tajinder, Abdul Jalil Abd Rahman still in the running before the conclusion of last night.
In Class B (no limit engine capacity), Mohd Amirullah Mohd Ali managed to stave off a late challenge from Mohd Syukri Mohd Nor to wrest away the overall title which eluded him last year.
A win by Mohd Syukri in a Proton Satria over Chua Soon Chuan (Honda Civic) was not enough to dislodge Mohd Amirullah from the top of the standings as a third place finish by Amirullah was the minimum required to romp home with the top prize.