After the much anticipated moment – the drivers were primed and ready to head out for the competition. However, it seems that the weather looked bleak, from the hot and sunny qualifying morning to the imminent rain from the overcast shadowing the skyline of Speed City KL. The weather reserved no prisoners and we were absolutely sure that it was going to be a wet and slippery competition.
Nevertheless – the show must go on to crown Formula Drift Malaysia winner in 2013. I was stationed nearby the grand stand, facing directly on the main straight and from a distance; I could see Ninja and Turbo getting ready to kick off the start of Formula Drift. The crowd behind me was in silence awaiting the launch of the 1200hp Lexus monster that is about to head towards the first turn..
Daigo Saito had the lead on the first run – with an entry speed of 114km/h, he left a big gap on Tom Monkhouse entering the first turn. This undefeated champion was the highlight for all the spectators around, waiting for him to smoke everyone through the circuit.
However, it was short-lived by his über fast car and his blisteringly quick entry speed causing him to sideswipe Turbo Tom into the turn 1 sidewall. Yeap! The undefeated champion of 3 years had finally killed his streak due to his speed. The sideswipe caused him his scoring points and foregoing the competition. Making through the quarter-finals was Monkhouse with his 600bhp Toyota Verossa.
Battling in round 2 was Mai and S from Thailand. Both fighting in similar cars and both are of Thai origin. It was set to be an interesting run and winning both runs in the end was S of Team Westlake.
While waiting for round 3, I was checking the weather forecast whilst Hussein hunted my head from my sniping position. As the competition continued – the overcast seemed to be getting thicker and soon it looks like the rain was about to set pace. From Saturday’s practice session, the light drizzle eventually turned into a heavy downpour, causing a massive flood on the circuit itself. And I was sure, from the looks of the sky, it was going to be a similar scenario like the previous day.
The all Malaysian battle got the spectators absolutely hyped up. It was none other than the Prince of Drift, Tengku Djan against Ah Fai in his famous 2JD’ed R32. Who was going to win at that moment? Well, it was still early to say bout no doubt the crowd was rooting for the Tandem Assassin.
As we featured on our sneak peek of Djan’s preparations – we saw that his 180SX is now packing a V8 LS7, going a step ahead from last season’s setup with the turbocharged SR20. He calls it the 700SX and the sound of the american V8 was absolutely wrecking the eardrums of the spectators. We think the only car that could go head-to-head for the loudest engine was Aasbø’s V8 GT86.
With the powerhouse, Djan eased his way through his home turf – beating Ah Fai and heading in for the quarter finals.
Bad luck for the Norwegian Hammer as he head out for his run; only to face an unexpected technical error from his new GT86. Running in for the first time with him at the wheel, the GT86 has been rather sweet all through practice and qualifying. Our short interview with him on Saturday uncovered many interesting insights. Of course this is no ordinary 86, packing a Nascar derived TRD 5.8-litre V8, it gives out a whopping 700 horses.
Aasbø explained how powerful and torquey the car was – however they have been having some bugs since its birth. He was fairly confident that the car would perform but his luck ended and the car started facing ECU problems through his run. Entering the first corner, leading his competitor Rio in the GT Radial Cefiro – the engine switched off on its own causing him to forfeit the drift.
And it happened again on the second stint – giving rio the lead into the quarter finals. Better luck next time Aasbø…
The foreseen rain eventually fell into place as the quarter finals battle began. And this was where things got a little slippery. Many drivers running in the dry condition has yet to adapt with the wet, and although it is easier to initiate the drift, holding it and controlling the slide is the challenge.
Pressure was high and only the best will move on to the semi-finals..
The run between Tengku Djan and Rio Saputro gave the crowd some action as Rio lost his tail entering the first turn. Trying to adapt to the wet conditions made it difficult however the Prince of Drift pulled it off nicely on both runs – taking the win and moving on to the semis.
JB too was having a hard time in the wet – giving the advantage to S whilst he pull a massive slide. Check out the opposite lock and angle from S..!
The rain eventually stopped however, the track was still pretty wet.. The Gush was enjoying his time on the tarmac winning against his opponent and head into the semi finals.
Making through the list and into the Semi-finals were Ken Gushi, Tengku Djan, Tom Turbo and S.. The 4 drivers were absolutely under pressure and the track conditions were not promising either. From the spectator’s stand – it was rooting for a local to win the event and everyone was pretty sure that, Djan would at least make it to the podium.
Once the semi-finals battle began, it was determined that Tom Turbo was to fight against the Tandem Assassin.
In the rush of winning the competition – Djan made contact against Tom on the run causing Turbo to spin in his drift. The accident left the crowd in disappointment as it would result to Djan forfeiting his run to the finals. This left him to go up against The Gush in the run for 3rd position on the podium.
Trying to hit the marker on the wall of the first turn – Djan overcooked his drift causing him to make contact with the concrete bollard blocks; losing his right rear lights. The track was still pretty slippery from the rain but Ken Gushi kept his composure and string through the fight for a podium finish.
The scoring point ended to The Gush with his cleaner run leaving Djan in fourth position. Beating the competitor on his own home turf, Ken got through the run with a pretty substantial point gap taking home the 3rd position for the Achilles Formula Drift Malaysia 2013.
The final run left the crowd in anticipation as it could be anybody’s fight. Could it be S in his beaten S13 or Tom Turbo in his bruised Verossa?
The first run gave S an advantage as he pulled off a much nicer angle on the drift – at the same time leaving a substantial gap on Tom. S has proven to be a star on the Speed City circuit, running an undefeated run in both wet and dry. No doubt that in the wet, advantage was to S. He pulls a nicer angle going into the first turn – and we absolutely love how everytime in turn one, his S13 will go on sideways on tripods!
In the pic above – you can see how much faster S goes into the first corner, keeping the gap between his opponent a lot closer and pulling a much sharper sideways angle. Going almost full opposite lock, the judges definitely saw how S performed on the course and how he pulled the ‘cooler’ drift in the Tandem against his opponent.
Although he has not been seen in the Formula Drift Asia series – S has been around in the Thailand drifting scene, winning many local events and now making his debut in FD Malaysia, adding to his winning streak. No doubt that the crowd did not expect an underdog name to win the FD Malaysia champion title, but with Daigo ending his winning streak in FD Asia and Aasbø encountering the malfunction on his new car – S shined through the day and crowned the Achilles Formula Drift Malaysia 2013 champion!
Not forgetting Monkhouse and Gushi on their 2nd and 3rd podium finish – all the drivers pulled off a good show for the spectators and with Formula Drift being the biggest drifting competition in the Malaysian automotive scene, it certainly adds on to the calendar for one of the most anticipated events next year.
At least for myself – it was an absolutely different experience and it certainly by far being my favourite. Looking at the next Formula Drift Asia series event, it’s time for me to consider heading up to Jakarta in November for FD Indonesia. Although the date might be very close to our very own TIMETOATTACK on November 30th.
Congratulations to the winners and thanks Formula Drift for having us! We look forward to experience it again next year.