The tranquil atmosphere of A’ Famosa Resort, Melaka, was broken by the sounds of rumbling exhausts as about 30 cars from Kuala Lumpur, Seremban, Melaka and Johor converged at the open air car park of A’ Famosa Waterworld to take part in the inaugural MLOC Gymkhana Super Series 2010. – by Mizunori for MLOC
Building a strong partnership with Defying Grip, Sunoco Japan Motorsport, www.tyrepac.com.my and Motorsport Playground, MLOC made history when it became the first car club to organize a gymkhana for its members. The Star Motoring, ExtremeKars, Traffic Magazine Online, Pro Tuners Magazine, On The Road Magazine and www.drift.com.my were the official media partners for the event. The one day event saw 18 competitors vying for the top spot of both Open and Non-Aspirated Categories. The KL and Seremban convoy were the earliest to arrive and had attracted many curious onlookers. The Melaka convoy arrived shortly after that. By the time the last convoy from Johor arrived, there was already a sizable crowd of people trying to sneak a peek from outside the gates.
After the drivers’ briefing by Defying Grip, the drivers were led through all 5 sections of the track that was specifically set for the competition. You could see the concentration on the faces of the drivers as they listened intently to the instructions and also tips being offered. All drivers were then given an opportunity to get familiarized with the track when the practice session started shortly after. Most of the drivers went slow on their initial practice runs, taking note of the optimum racing lines and braking points while memorizing the course.
As we reached midday, the competitors were already pushing their cars and also themselves harder and harder just to shave off precious seconds. The organizers were very surprised and thoroughly impressed by the quality of the drivers as most of the drivers are actually first timers in a gymkhana competition and there were virtually no disruptions to the runs – no scattered cones and no overly-aggressive driving that resulted in mishaps. Most of the drivers had clocked an average time of 1 minute 30 seconds in the light drizzle. As the practice session window drew to a close, Mike threw down the gauntlet with a sub 1 minute 20 second practice run in his monster Evo 7, an average of 10 seconds faster than everyone else. The crowd was stunned for a moment when the timing judge announced his time and while he pulled into the pits, the crow responded with thunderous applause.
An overcast sky greeted the drivers as the first timed run session began after lunch. As the drivers started getting ready for their runs, the whole pit area resounded with the roar of exhausts as the powerful 4G63T engines fired up one by one. Lap times began to tumble and Andreas in his brilliant green Evo X set the pace with a strong 1 minute 24.4 seconds for his first run. Then Eva, the only lady driver who was also driving the green Evo X surprised everyone else with a 1 minute 25.1 seconds run, clinching the 2nd best time of the session. Everyone held their breath as Mike, the last participant in the Open Category lined up at the starting grid. With a loud roar, Mike blasted off in his monster Evo 7 as the green flag went down. 1 minute and 17 seconds later, his brembos hauled in all of the 400 over horses and he came to a complete stop in the box. Mike is now in 1st place with a comfortable 7 seconds lead.
As the second timed run went underway, Alzaim made a huge comeback from his error in his first run and clocked 1 minute 24.9 seconds, securing the 3rd fastest time, just edging out Eva while closing in on Andreas’ time. Soon, it was Mike’s turn again and he had everyone on the edge of their seats when the timing judge kept hinting that it will be an even faster run this time as he blazed through all the 5 sectors of the track. Exhilaration turned to disappointment for all when his brembos couldn’t rein in all the power in time when Mike’s front bumper nudged a cone as his car came to a halt in the box. A 2 second penalty was given for the offense, robbing him off an unassailable lead of 1 minute 15.6 seconds. His official time for the second run was now 1 minute 17.6 seconds.
It was time for the third and final run for all. Alzaim managed to wrestle 2nd place from Andreas with a smooth 1 minute 23.4 second run. However, Andreas responded with a strong 1 minute 20.8 seconds to reclaim 2nd place. It was now or never for Eva as she pushed all the way and clocked 1 minute 24.1 seconds, just missing out on 3rd place by a hair’s breadth. For the final time, Mike lined up at the starting grid and the crowd was on their feet by now. Can he rip apart his own lap time in this final run? The atmosphere was tense and we were all waiting in suspense as the timing judge chose to be irritatingly silent this time around. As Mike rounded the last tight right-hander and his brembos bit hard, his car came to a screeching halt inside the box. With a smile on his face, the timing judge announced that Mike had just clocked the fastest time of the day – 1 minute 15.4 seconds.
Prize presentation was held shortly whereby Fairul from Sunoco and Yoong who was representing www.tyrepac.com.my gave out the trophies and prizes to the podium finishers. It was unfortunate that Motorsport Playground could not be present as they already had prior engagements. Both Sunoco and www.tyrepac.com.my were very generous in their sponsorship of prizes as apart from the top 3 finishers, all other participants received discount vouchers for Sunoco engine oil and also discount vouchers from www.tyrepac.com.my for any brand of tires. Mike was crowned Champion, Andreas was 2nd and Alzaim secured 3rd place. Eva finished 4th while Aizul and Tan were 5th and 6th respectively for the Open Category. It was a lonely race for Shukree as he was the only competitor for the NA Category with a best time of 1 minute 32.4 seconds as the other participants had to pull out due to unforeseen circumstances. With that, the inaugural MLOC Gymkhana Super Series 2010 drew to a close and many members took to the track for a few laps of fun during the open track session.
MLOC would like to take this opportunity to thank Defying Grip for their expertise in the organizing of the gymkhana competition. MLOC would also like to express our deepest gratitude to Sunoco Japan Motorsport, www.tyrepac.com.my and Motorsport Playground for their sponsorship of our event. MLOC also wishes to thank The Star Motoring, ExtremeKars Magazine, Traffic Magazine, Pro Tuners Magazine, On The Road Magazine and www.drift.com.my for the press coverage. Most importantly, MLOC would like to thank all its members for their support of the event. See you all again next year!
Here are some pics for your enjoyment. Photo credits goes to Josh (DCM); Andreas/Eva, Philip, Steven & Tan (MLOC).
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