SEPANG, 15 October – It was a sunny Sunday morning and participants for both track day and the race arrived as early as 8:30AM. 4500 spectators showed up last Sunday for the event and a total of 158 cars entered the race. The second last round of MSF for the 2017 calendar was a smooth sail overall with no extreme incidences reported. As usual, some taps and rubbing were present mid-race, collisions, drivers being called up to Race Control and protests submitted.
12PM, MSF drivers were called up for a briefing. Safety was highly stressed on by MSF Principal and Race Director, Adian Yein- highlighting Section 16 of the Drivers Sporting Regulations, which can be found on the site. (http://www.msfracing.com/msfracing-2017-cats/msf-racing-series-drivers-sporting-code-guidelines/)
Next on the itinerary was the qualifying round, which showed a foggy track towards the end of the round as multiple cars exhibited smoke coming from either the exhaust, tyres or engine. A fuel leak was also reported to come from Mini’s car #350.
The race is split into three groups which are:
Group 1 (Saga Cup Novice, Saga Cup Expert, and Super 1500)
Group 2 ( Street Tuned, Street 1600, SuperStreet, Proton 1800)
Group 3 (Race Cars 1600, Race Cars 1800, Race Cars Open, Special Kei, Mini)
Heat 1 kicked-off with immediate suspense as #169, #322 and #525 spun out on the first lap. The first group went ahead with a clean race until #125 spun out towards the finish line.
The second group started off with a disciplined formation lap. However, a crash was reported at Turn 9 as #873 collided with #62, which made #62 spin out and face opposite traffic. The car could be seen trying to join back the race, driving on the opposite flow, waiting for room to make a u-turn and drove off with a half peeling rear bumper. Towards the end of the race, car #222 spun out which had the car sticking out at the apex of Turn 14. The yellow flag was waved, notifying oncoming drivers of the hazard ahead.
Drama builds up in the third group as #400 spun out during the first lap itself. #51 then showed heavy smoking from the exhaust. The infamous Gen-2 Superduck also spun out on the third lap, stranded on gravel for some time. Despite the mess, #50 rose from third place to first- overtaking #404 on the final corner of the final lap, crossing the finish line and beating #404 by a hair. #50 finished the race 0.4 seconds faster than #404.
#353 got left behind as Group 1 rolled out for the first race of the final heat. The cause of delay is unclear, but because of that the car fell back to the back of the group from its initial middle position. #288 cracked up the crowd as its rear left wheel came off mid-race and continued driving on three wheels. On the second lap, #189, who was leading then, spun out and fell back. The lead was taken by #32, who took first place at the end.
AHM’s #172 and Ftuned’s #135 were the stars of Group 2 as they both were on maximum attack throughout the entire duration of the race. The A45 was on the Satria’s tail, yet the car by Ftuned could not shake #172 off. However, the race ended with the Satria bagging first place. The difference in both car’s best timing is an extremely close .06 seconds.
The final race was a clean one with no major incidences. #89 was reported to have tapped #646 and #216 during the race, unsatisfying the Clerk Of Course and Race Director. Mini’s #281 slowed down and broke down at Turn 9, with the driver leaving his car on grass, waiting for the race to end- possibly broken down beyond drivability or to avoid further damages to the drivetrain. The final race of Round 5 ended with #550 crossing the line as the leader of the group.
The event closed with a prize giving ceremony at the podium. As the sun sets, MSF Round 5 2017 came to an end and everyone went back home without any injuries or casualties reported. There were minor transponder issues during qualifying and the race but they were immediately rectified with the help of the Timing Room crew. Aside from that, a new griding system has been implemented where numbers have been written on the pit-lane. Racers would already know where they should be slotted, cutting down significant delay that was reported from previous rounds. MSF Organizers now prepares for the final round of this year’s season, coming 2nd December. It will be a two-day finale which will feature Superbikes, Drift Gonzo, MegaLap Time Attack, and a kids’ Waterpark.