Nineteen-year old Mitchell Cheah had to overcome some tense moments after experiencing a tyre puncture before taking second place in the final round of the Malaysia Championship Series 2017 (MCS), thus sealing the Touring Production crown at the Sepang International Circuit (SIC) today.
“It was really scary. But, I was lucky to have the tyre puncture at the back straight mid-way through the race. I just kept my nerve and drove in the pit exit to make the pit stop and change my tyre. Hence, I did not lose too much time; and manage to get second place today and win the championship.
“Keifli (winner of today’s race) was too fast this weekend. He deserves to win; but I was more focused on the overall title and did not think too much about him,” the N1 Racing driver said when met after the podium.
Collecting 12 points, Mitchell, who was driving solo, made a total haul of 88 points for the season and edged the partnership of Lai Wee Sing and Farouk Abdul Kathir of R Engineering, who had to be contented with third place for the race and second overall for the season.
Their team-mates Baron Sim and Calvin Wong took overall third with a total of 67 points after finishing fourth in the Touring Car class today.
Partnering Pee Sau Fan and starting from pole position, Keifli, who was representing The Doctor Mayhem Racing Team, won the 300km endurance race; clocking 2 hours 28 minutes 32.688 seconds to complete 54 laps of the 5,543-meter Formula 1 track in their Honda FD2 machine.
Winning 15 championship points today, Keifli and Pee collected a total of 65 points to finish fourth overall in the Touring Production class.
Partnering Australian Chris O’Shannessy for Tedco Racing, newly-crowned Malaysian Touring Car champion Nick Mah ended the season in grand style to win the final round with ease; winning the race with a gap of 1 minute 26.867 seconds over second-placed Chin Hwa Lip and Ken Yap.
“The car was just simply flawless today. We had misfiring issues on Friday and in qualifying yesterday; but managed to overcome it yesterday. We were also driving without real pressure as we have already won the overall title in the previous round,” said Nick, who began partnering O’Shannessy from Round 4.
Unlike the previous four rounds which featured two one-hour endurance race, the final round was a 300km endurance race.
“It has been a great season for MCS and we have seen thrilling actions on the track. We thank all participants who has continuously supported MCS and congratulations to the champions of this season. The drivers and team have done well throughout and we hope to see them back for the title next year” said Dato’ Razlan Razali, CEO of SIC.
The final round of MCS was telecast live on SIC Official Facebook and Youtube securing 230,340 viewers today.
Top 3 Finishers
Touring Production Championship
1.Keifli Othman/Pee Sau Fan (Honda FD2) 2:28:32.668s (54 laps)
2. Mitchell Cheah (Honda Civic) 2:28:40.069s
3. Lai Wee Sing/Farouk Abdul Kathir (Honda FD2) 2:28.46.302s
Malaysian Touring Car Championship
1.Nick Mah/Chris o’Shannessy (Suzuki Swift) 2:29:00.225s (50 laps)
2. Chin Hwa Lip/Ken Yap (Suzuki Swift) 2:30:27.092s
3. YC Foo/ Admi Shahrul Ahmad Safian (Proton Satria Neo) 2:40.806s
FINAL POINT STANDINGS
Touring Production Championship
1.Mitchell Cheah (Honda Civic) 88 pts
2. Lai Wee Sing/Farouk Abdul Kathir (Honda FD2) 84 pts
3. Baron Sim/Calvin Wong (Honda FD2R) 69 pts
Malaysia Touring Car Championship
1.Nick Mah/Chris o’Shannessy (Suzuki Swift) 126 pts
2. Kenny Lee/Neo Cheng Hen (Suzuki Swift) 81 pts
3. Roy Tang (Suzuki Swift) 72 pts