After a massively dramatic start in yesterday's Vios Challenge Sporting Class, Saturday’s Race 2 saw a more harmonious flag off with Wong Chin Eeg starting from Pole with Brendan Paul Anthony alongside him.
When the flag dropped, Race 1 winner Wong Chin Eeg made yet another great start as he lead the pack with pro go-karter Brendan following close behind. It was obvious that Wong gave all he could but the 19-year old put his obvious racing experience to good use and lined Wong up at the end of the opening lap to make a clean move on the inside going into Turn 1.
Brendan tried to make a gap but Wong doggedly took advantage of the draft from the Dream Chaser car to maintain a narrow gap. The pair slowly eeked some breathing space over third-placed Kenneth Koh who was now having to defend against Tedco Racing’s Brendon Lim.
By lap 6, the gap had expanded to over 5 seconds and continued to grow until Lap 9 when Clement Yeo in his Team Distinctive Model car made a move on Shanmuganathan in Turn 1. The pair touched but Yeo managed to get ahead with Shan and Ken Foo in tow. Clement hesitated going into the hairpin allowing the pair to pass him.
Two laps later, Clement built up enough momentum down the front straight but ran out of brakes, pushing Shan’s car into the barriers and bringing the safety car out. With water from the barricades flowing on the track, the race resumed with Turn 1 put under a permanent yellow flag for the rest of the race.
While the leaders maintained their positions to the end of the race, the dramas were to be found in the minor positions as on the penultimate lap, Patrick Tam made a huge move to pass Goh Eng Peng on the inside of Turn 5. However, he outbraked himself and hit the left rear corner of Goh's car, causing him to spin out and retiring from the race for the second time this weekend.
It was once again Shawn Lee who made a sensational start with a perfect launch, gapping himself from the group by a substantial margin before Turn 1.
Janna Nick who drove superbly in Race 1, was aiming to do even better in Race 2 and made a brave charge through the mid pack only to lock the brakes going into Turn 1 on Lap 3. She did however recover and was determined to continue in the race.
Meanwhile Shukri was not about to let Shawn get away with it and manged to close the gap. He inched up to Shawn by lap 2 and was giving the beatboxer a run for his money.
When the Safety Car returned to the pits on Lap 5 following Janna’s off, Shukri made his move and successfully passed into Turn 1. The pair continued battling and this allowed Fattah Amin to close the gap on the pair.
Shawn remained determined to regain the lead and on Lap 7, he made his move going into the hairpin. This time he made it stick and pushed hard from there to open up a gap.
While Fattah was busy chasing down Shukri, it was Danny Khoo who crept up and was now giving Fattah a hard time for precious 3rd position.
On Lap 9, Danny tapped Fattah in the hairpin but couldn’t get through. Then on the fast Turn 2, Danny went wide and hit the wall pretty hard, damaging his front suspension and ending his race.
Shawn Lee maintained his pace and earned himself a double win with Shukri Yahya and Fattah Amin repeating the podium positions from Race 1.
Super Sporting Class
With the top six drivers in the Super Sporting Class grid a reversed order of their finishing position in Race 1, it was Keifli Othman of Laser Motor Racing who started on pole with Tengku Djan alongside him. Race 1 winner Syafiq Ali thus started from 6th, with Boy Wong in 5th.
Keifli made a clean start with Djan in tow. As the pair moved towards the outside of Turn 1, Boy Wong who started from the third row saw the gap on the inside and went for it. Unfortunately, the pair turned in for the corner and Boy forced Tengku wide. The Team Nanoplus driver however managed to hold it together to continue his pursuit of Keifli while Syafiq Ali maintained his third position.
Keifli found that he could maintain a good gap from Tengku who himself was under threat from Syafiq. The trio slowly pulled away from the next pack of William Ho in 4th and Kenny Lee in 5th.
On lap 8, Mitchell Cheah began catching Kenny Lee and lined him up for a pass. On Lap 10, he made his attempt going into Turn 1 but failed to pull it off. The pair exchanged paintwork and Mitchell lost his front right tyre although he escaped a date with the wall.
Noting that Djan was now nursing a car that didn’t seem to be braking well, Syafiq pushed even harder in his M7 Racing Team car. He relentlessly pressured Djan and even ran wide on Turn 4 glancing the wall. It didn't stop him and on the final lap, the hearts of spectators in Medini skipped a beat when Tengku Djan, anticipating an attempt on the inside of Turn 1, gave Syafiq an extremely wide berth. Syafiq needing no second invitation, went for the inside line. However, Tengku called Syafiq’s bluff by shuffling his car behind Syafiq on the inside to deny him the position.
It was hands down the greatest heist in the history of the Vios Challenge to date but sadly for Syafiq, he didn’t want to give up and in his final attempt, he clipped the wall in Turn 3, resulting in a puncture and allowing William Ho, who until then was running a lonely 4th to inherit the final podium position.
It was a thrilling conclusion to yet another exciting weekend of racing action in the Vios Challenge. With the numerous surprises in the results, the season finale back in Kuala Lumpur in March promises to be anything but a walk in the park.