Report/pictures by Gary Khor
The recent Rotax Max Challenge (RMC) Asia & Malaysia saw a large number of participants from around the region, reflecting the growing interest in go-kart racing nowadays. The Junior category had a whopping 34 entries, followed by the Senior category with 22, and the DD2 & Micromax categories both with 19 entries each – making up 94 participants for the second round.
For this round, the most exciting were the DD2 and Junior categories which I will report on.
The DD2 category is the ‘prestige’ category with the ‘Direct Drive’ Rotax engine equipped with 2 gears. Even though it should have the quickest karts in the event, it carries a higher minimum weight limit of 75 kgs vs 65 kgs for the Senior category. In spite of that, Kyle Blockley managed to set the fastest lap ever for the DD2 category in Sepang.
The race was won by Malaysia’s Melvin Moh with Kyle runner-up and Ang Kok Wee third. The trio dominated the weekend separated by mere tenths or hundredths of a second.
DD2 had its fair share of attention from the stewards in the Pre-final with a penalty (pending an appeal) for Ang and a disqualification due to being 0.5 kg underweight for Kyle.
In the Junior category, which had the most number of entries and therefore ensured very close racing, there was lots of exciting action – and accidents too. The excitement and accidents began at the start in the Pre-finals with a massive shunt involving no less than 7 karts into Turn 1.
As Daim Hishamuddin sped away from the pack, there was mayhem in the midfield and karts were turned around and pushed to the tyre barriers resulting in one ending upside down. Luckily the driver was unhurt but winded nonetheless. Over the new few laps, the tight racing saw more minor incidents and accidents.
For the Finals, the officials gave the Juniors a pep talk at the startline in the hope of averting a repeat of the Pre-final mayhem. As in Round 1, Daim won convincingly from Mitchell Cheah, with third place taken by Mohd Danial Roslan. The win was not easy for Daim as he had a hard time in the opening laps pulling away from Mitchell.