Proton series Sepang race report

Lee and Faidzil emerge winners in dramatic race weekend. Tommy Lee and Faidzil Alang won one race a piece in Rounds 9 and 10 of the Proton Satria Gti Championship to consolidate their campaign for the 2002 title with two more rounds of the ...

Lee and Faidzil emerge winners in dramatic race weekend.

Tommy Lee and Faidzil Alang won one race a piece in Rounds 9 and 10 of the Proton Satria Gti Championship to consolidate their campaign for the 2002 title with two more rounds of the championship remaining.

A victory in Round 10 at the Sepang International Circuit half track consolidated Faidzil's position at the top of the overall points standings with 154 points, 12 points ahead of Lee who with his win in Round 9, now has 142 points. Two third place finishes also bring's defending champion Eddie Lew's tally to 116 points.

In Round 9 of the Proton Satria Gti Championship, Team Breakaway's Lee ran away from pole position to win the 15-lap race. Second was Faidzil Alang who fought from fifth on the grid to finish second, just ahead of defending champion Eddie Lew and Eric Yeo who came in fourth.

"It was not as easy as it looked," said Lee who had a clear track ahead leaving his three closest rivals a few car lengths behind jostling for positions.

Lew was running second until the fifth lap when he and Yeo went a bit too wide, allowing Faidzil to mount an ambitious move slipping passed the two drivers. Yeo managed to climb as high as third but lost his place to Lew in the closing stages of the race.

"Lee was just too fast for me on the straight," said Yeo.

The race however, was also not without its unfortunate dramas. Tengku Djan Ley's Gti was the most severely damaged car with a crushed rear end, the result of brake failure, resulting in a collision with team mate Nor Hisham.

Round 10 however, belonged to Faidzil who excelled in the rain, leaving Lee, Lew and Yeo in a three-way tussle three seconds behind.

He continued to extend his gap and eventually took the chequered flag a massive 13 seconds ahead of Lee. Third was Lew, just 0.006 seconds ahead of Yeo.

"I needed a victory to stay on top of the overall championship standings," said Faidzil.

In the Proton Production Car Championship, Firhat Mokhzani raced to victory in Round 9 that produced overwhelming drama as the cars rushed into the first tight corner, resulting in a number of casualties. Raymond Wong tucked in behind Firhat, followed by Jerry Ng, Hafizy Hafiz, Tan Chaw Loon and Ramesh Subramaniam, and the positions remained the same until the sixh lap.

Hafizy's race came to a premature end with engine trouble, Wong dropped out, while Ng's championship hopes came to a grounding halt when he was given a stop-go penalty. That paved the way for Ramesh to rush into second just ahead of Tan and the two swapped positions over a number of corners until Ramesh managed to extend enough of an advantage to the chequered flag.

"It was madness out there," said winner Firhat. "The first corner in particular was the most dangerous with everyone charging into what is basically a 180 degree turn.

"I had a clear road ahead and I took full advantage of the fighting that went on behind me. As for the championship, I'm realistically just gunning for third because I'm too far down on points."

Hoping to repeat his double race victory in Sepang last month, Ramesh had to settle for second on the account of unexpected trouble in the car.

"A water bottle was mistakenly left inside the driver's side of the car and that got in the way of trying to brake, accelerate and change gears," said Ramesh. "That was really the reason for my slow start."

Hafizy however, blew away the top championship contenders in Round 10 finishing the race a clear seven seconds ahead of Ng, while Ramesh came in third just a car length in front of Firhat.

Firhat made a slow start from pole position and dropped back to fifth behind Sutan Mustafa at one point before slowly clawing his way back up the field, making use of the Ng-Ramesh tussle ahead of him to bridge the gap.

"Definitely a much better run," said a delighted Ng. "But it doesn't make up for losing out on championship points in the earlier round."

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About this article
Series Road racing
Drivers Tommy Lee