FD Malaysia is one of the most hyped drift event for the Asean region. With roots firmed grounded in the local drifting communities, there are high expectations for a high level of performance, and sure no one was let down who turned up at the event. 54 competitors turned up from many different countries in the Asean region to battle it out for the crown; Malaysia, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, China, New Zealand, Indonesia and Philippines.
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Here is our story. The drivers having arrive on Wed, 16th December, were still waiting for the cars to clear customs. The plan was for the cars to be out of customs on 16th so that on 17th the drivers can have sometime to practice and test the cars to make sure everything is ready for the competition. Things did not go as planned, as customs delay made the 17th practice not possible. Tech inspection was made on the 18th all the team car’s passed with no issues, as we’re familiar with the inspection requirements. The team then took the cars to a nearby venue for a quick shake down ready for action.
Saturday, 19th December 2009. Official open date for FD Malaysia. In the morning the drivers are split into 2 groups, for practice session. We were up first with James Tang, Ray Mak and Harris Tung hitting the field, the track was a 3rd gear entry into a left hander all the way for a rear clipping point at the 180 – 270 degree position coming back from the turn, finishing with 2 front clipping point in a S shape.
James Tang in his Aristo and Ray Mak in his Soarer, were getting the hang of the track very soon after a few practice run, but Harris is coming on and off the line and drift with his Supra, as it was the second time he’s in this car.
After the first practice session, the drivers came to observe how the others made their runs, and drawing up strategies on making it into the PK (tandem battle). James was having issues with this heavy Aristo as the track was relatively low speed, he can do higher speed drift more comfortably as the car had more power and suspension arms were set to a higher speed tolerance, but it did not have an advantage in lower speed drifts. Ray Mak however was finding his Soarer coping with this track well, as long as the rear are on smaller wheels, so the pickup of rev (rpm) was more agile. Harris was still getting used to his first international outing and the car.
Before the qualifier session, came a down pour. The road condition is totally different to the practice in the morning. As the weather was quite hot, areas of the track were becoming dry, this was one of the most challenging condition; dry wet patches, where traction varies on every inch of the track. On the first run James scored 48 pts, Ray 53 pts and Harris had problems with the Supra under-steered into the first corner. On the second run when James was coming out from the corner the car’s line tightened due to the lack of entry speed, giving him a 43 pts run, that was a very marginal score to qualify, we still did not know if his score is enough to get him through. Ray improved on his previous run and scored a 56 pts, and Harris under-steered again.
In the top 32 announcement, there was a tight air of tension for the TRC team if James will make it. In the end no, he missed it by a marginal 3 pts. Ray qualified 28th out of the 32 positions, he’s be going against Tan Tet Wei in his AE86, the 2nd best driver in the Bridgestone Team, we know he’s going to be hard to shake off.
To be continued~~
Formula D Malaysia, Our Story – Race Day