Making his debut at the Malaysia Championship Series (MCS) as winner of the e-Motorsports challenge, Ady Rahimy Rashid overcame all odds to make a victorious debut; winning the opening race of the S Production(SP2) Class at Sepang International Circuit (SIC).
Completing at night under the circuit lights for the first time in the history of the MCS, Ady Rahimy – a beneficiary of SIC Talent Development Programme, completed 20 laps of the one-hour endurance contest in a Suzuki Swift machine; finishing 14th overall behind the partnership of Desmond Soh and Teh Kian Boon.
Driving a Mercedes AMG A45, which was also a first in the history of the MCS, the dynamic duo from ST Wangan Racing Team completed 21 laps around the 5,543-metre track in 1 hour 1 minute 50.032 seconds; with Farouk Abdul Kathir and Lai Wee Sing of R-Engineering taking second place.
Lady driver Leona Chin of Tedco Racing scored her first victory and a historical one in the MCS; winning the M Production (MTC) with 21 completed laps; edging defending champion CY Ong, who is partnering youngster Adam Khalid for HIREV Dream Chaser.
S Production(SP1) class was topped by Ken Urata and Masahiko Ida of RWORKS in a Honda Civic FD2; finishing ahead of Mohd Zuraimi Mustapha and Ahmad Tarmizi Tahang of R Engineering.
e-MCS other entry, Angeline Lee had a challenging outing finishing 26th overall and sixth in the MTC class with her German lady partner, Sophia Menzenbach in a Ford Fiesta machine.
A beneficiary of SIC Talent Development Programme, Adam Khalid also competed in the TCR Asia Series with Volkswagen Team Oettinger in a VW Golf GTi; finishing a commendable seventh place as he competes with top drivers in the region.
Sitting steady behind the steering wheel of a Toyota Vios race car on the starting grid at the opening round of 2019 Malaysia Championship Series (MCS), few would have predicted that the driver behind the #81 race car has yet to celebrate his 15th birthday.
Aspiring to be a professional racing driver since young, Mohamad Hayden Mohamad Haikal, who will turn 15 on July 6, hopes the MCS – Malaysia’s national championship for four-wheel track racing, will be the launching pad in pursuing his ambition.
“I draw inspiration from the success of Mitchell Cheah and Ady Rahimy (Rashid), who secured support from SIC through its Talent Development Programme. I hope to be included into the programme, and hopefully continue rising from there,” said Hayden, who made his debut in the MCS earlier this month for the S Production (SP2) class.
Third in class for the opening Race 1, Hayden had to be contended in Race 2. Both races were topped for the class by Ady Rahimy, who was absorbed into the Talent Development programme along with Angeline Lee as winners of the e-MCS championship last year; earning the privilege to compete in real racing cars in the MCS this season. Mitchell, who is a former overall winner for the MCS T Production class, is currently competing in the TCR Germany series.
A budding talent in the kart racing scene having participated in local & international kart races since 2013, Hayden is a highly motivated and focused go-getter. In his first full season in the internationally recognised Rotax Max Challenge Asia & Malaysia in 2016, Hayden won the overall title for the Micromax category.
Off the track, he remains focused in his studies – maintaining a top tier performance in school. He was awarded the “Anugerah Pelajar Cemerlang 2016”, an award for student with a balanced achievement between education and co-curriculum. He is also a top school athlete.
Competing against the more powerful Suzuki Swift machines in the class in the MCS, Hayden, who races under the banner of ST Wangan Racing Team, acknowledged that it was a big challenge for him; but was quick to stress that it would no way affect his confidence of a double podium in Round 2 this weekend.
“Naturally, driving the Vios against the more powerful cars is never easy. I keep losing out in straight line speed. However, this will let me focus more on improving my driving skills to keep up with the leaders. I will continue studying my race data to find areas for improvement and learn from the other drivers.
“After my debut race in MCS, I will use the experience and learnings to improve my performance. Keep the podium warm for me in Round 2,” said the 14-year old, who secured his racing license to compete in car racing after graduating from the Toyota Racing School.
The process was also facilitated by his active participation in go-karting where Hayden holds an International karting license; having competed in Rotax Asia Championship for more than two years. With the racing license, Hayden has competed in the Toyota Gazoo Racing series, the Malaysian Speed Festival (MSF) and the Malaysian leg of the US Legend Car Racing series.
Apart from Ady Rahimy, the other big winner at the opening round was lady driver Leona Chin, who was a double winner in the M-Production class for the Malaysia Touring Car category. Named as SIC MAM Most Inspiring Female Motorsports Athlete for 2018 earlier this year, Leona first made her name as part of an all-ladies Red Bull Rookies Team competing in the Merdeka Millennium Endurance Race in Sepang in 2008 before building a career in motor racing.
The T Production class for the opening round was topped by the Singaporean partnership of Teh Kian Boon and Desmond Soh of ST Wangan Racing Team; while the S Production (SP1) class was won by Japanese partnership of Ken Urata and Masahiko Ida of RWORKS Racing Team.
Round 2 of this five-leg championship will again feature two one-hour endurance races; on Saturday and Sunday, with qualifying and free practice slotted for Friday. Round 2 will also feature the F4 SEA Championship, Thailand Super Series, Ferrari Challenge Asia Pacific, the TCSA by IMSP series and the Asia Classic Car Challenge as support races.
Fans can catch all the actions for free from the Main Grandstand. To be closer to the actions, fans can purchase special Paddock Passes at RM80 for access to the paddock and vintage viewing from the covered roof-top.