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Malaysian Nationals Round 2

Event: Malaysian Nationals Round 2
Track: Putrajaya Raceway, Malaysia
Date: April 20th – 21st 2013
Race Reporter: Ben Panic

Malaysia has become a hotbed of off-road nitro racing in the past couple of years. This past weekend with the effort of the new Putrajaya club and Alvin Lam along with the huge support of the local Putrajaya city and government officials a new track was launched.

The Putrajaya city is creating sporting facilities for Malaysians to enjoy and within 100m of the new track were a RC flying field, RC drift track, a lake for RC boating and a world-class swimming complex. Supported by beautiful hotels set on the water it’s a great place to race. 135 drivers from Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, and Brunei attended and would contest the second round of the national’s.

Qualifying would be 3 rounds of 10-minute heats with the best 2 of 3 to count. Round one ended up being dropped due to a transponder loop issue so it would be best 1 of 2 rounds to count on Saturday. TQ went to new factory JConcepts driver Zac Ryan from Australia. With his first outing on the JC rubber and a brand new MP9 Tki3 he would be tough to beat as he led the timesheets. Close behind him was Felix Tan (JQ/GO/AKA) and Didier Perrin (Mugen/Novarossi/AKA).

Semi A was a close battle between Zac and Didier. They dropped the field and ran away with the semi, Didier was flying and these two drivers battled the whole race with Didier ending up with the win from Zac. Just behind them was Ben Panic (Kyosho/Novarossi/JConcepts) who battled radio problems the whole semi. He would change the receiver for the final hoping to solve the issue. Semi B was a race between Felix and Christian Jones (Kyosho/OS/AKA) as these two race away from the field.

The final kicked off and it was Didier and Zac racing away from the pack. These two drivers pulled away and ran fast laps for the first 25 minutes no more than 2 seconds apart the whole time. The huge crowd watching witnessed a great race; Didier even changed front tires as one was peeling off the rim. Even with the change he put down some fast laps and managed to stay with Zac. In third Christian and Felix were battling away closely followed by a battling pack including Ben, Jacob Wilson (Kyosho/Novarossi/VP) and David Lim (SWorkz/RB/AKA). Unfortunately for Ben his radio issues would plague him in the 60-minute main. The new Rx had not solved the problem. Behind these drivers was the remainder of the 19 car main.

The organizers had decided to expand the 15 car final to 19 because of the one off entries from the Australians who made the final. It made passing a challenge, as there was never much clear track for the racers. Fortunately it did not affect the outcome for anyone but the drivers were challenged in passing back markers. By the 40-minute mark Zac had pulled away from Didier after a slow fuel stop and he would hold the lead all the way to the end. Didier was a lap clear of Felix in third who was 2 laps up on David. So it looked like the podium positions were locked in as the time ticked away. Then disaster struck. Landing right beside a pipe off the large double Didier’s Mugen caught the steel pin holding the pipe in and tore his front arm off the car. It would put him out of the race; with the fastest lap of the race and a great drive he deserved better luck. His misfortune was a plus for Felix and David, as they would fill the podium spots behind Zac.

The series will move on the Alvin Lam’s new RC facility, which will be one of the best in the world, and the fight for the championship will heat up. Round 1 winner Kelvin Yong did not make the main for this round and Daniel Law also missed out. Both drivers suffering car failures in the semi. With a different podium for round 2 compared to round 1 the fight for the championship is well and truly on.

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