ATCC: Shah Alam: Round three report

Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia June 22, 2002 (Saturday) Lew and Firhat win from pole position in round three of the Proton Satria Gti and Proton Production Car Championships Pole position man Eddie Lew made a text book finish of round...

Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia
June 22, 2002 (Saturday)

Lew and Firhat win from pole position in round three of the Proton Satria Gti and Proton Production Car Championships

Pole position man Eddie Lew made a text book finish of round three of the Proton Satria Gti Championship winning the race from start to finish at the Sepang International Circuit.

Lew extracted himself from the 12-car grid from the start of the 10-lap race managing to open a comfortable two-second gap to just pace himself to the chequered flag.

"My car was running well today although I have to admit that I'm a little disappointed with the lap times," said the 28-year-old from Johor. "Faidzil Alang drove exceptionally well this race and I expect him to be my main contender in tomorrow's race and in the championship."

Starting from fifth and the third row of the grid, Team Proton Sports' Faidzil Alang claimed a respectable second after a four way tussle in the midfield.

Faidzil overtook veteran driver Jimmy Low for second going into the third lap with Low's race coming to end at the same corner as a result of a collision with Tommy Lee. Despite driving on with a severely knocked in driver side door, Lee finished third five seconds clear of fourth place man Eric Yeo.

"The footrest in my car broke and rested on the brake pedal. When I was about to brake into the corner I realized I couldn't stop so I just jammed on the brake pedal. I even tried pulling the handbrake but it was too late. The car just refused to stop. It was unfortunate that Jimmy was there," said apologetic Lee, adding that his car suffered severe chassis damage from the accident.

Meanwhile, in the 1800cc class of the Proton Production Car Championship pole sitter Firhat Mokhzani made up for a bad start and eventually pulled away with the race after the third lap.

"An incredibly close race. I was fortunate to have been able to pull away from the rest and from then on, it was just pacing myself to the finish," said Firhat who finished the race eight seconds clear of a bunched up and fierce fighting chasing pack.

The fight for second, third and fourth was an extremely heatedly contested battle involving no less than five drivers; Hafizy Hafiz, Ramesh Subramaniam, Tan Chaw Loon, Aman Hussin and Sutan Mustaffa locked in fierce bumper-to-bumper racing all the way to the finish.

In a desperate overtaking maneuver, Sutan nudged Ramesh off the track from second but the former had enough momentum to recover quickly and rejoined the race in third with Sutan pelted into the gravel on the following corner. That allowed Hafizy, who lost track position dropping from second on the grid to fourth to capitalize on the Ramesh-Sutan skirmish to slip pass and back up into second.

Ramesh however, charged ahead and eventually caught up with Hafizy in the second closing stages of the race to eventually reclaim second by a mere one second with Sutan in fourth a further four seconds adrift.

The 1600cc class was also no less dramatic with several cars knocked out by collision and mechanical failure.

Shazull Hisham won the race starting from fourth on the grid, with Mohd Faizal Sukree a close second and pole-sitter Muhammad Fauzi finishing third.

Lim Ee Cheok who had qualified third on the grid was involved in a three-car tussle in the midfirld that resulted in him sustaining too much damage to continue and Ahmad Fauzi retiring from the race.

Promoted by Motorsport Asia (M) Sdn Bhd the 12-round Proton Production Car and Proton Satria Gti Championships is sanctioned by the Automobile Federation of Malaysia (AAM) and sponsored by Proton Edar.

-afos-

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Series General
Drivers Tommy Lee