MALAYSIA CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES (MCS) 2018 – ROUND 1
BOY, MARK DARWIN START AS FAVOURITE FOR 2018 CROWN
A dream partnership of multiple champions – Mark Darwin and Boy Wong Yew Choong look set to roll back their glorious years and rule the 2018 Malaysia Championship Series (MCS), which opens at Sepang International Circuit (SIC) this weekend.
Partnering together for the first time in championship, Boy – who dominated the local racing scene in his years with Type R Racing Team and his Honda machine few years back – said he was looking forward to the competition; but has opted for a mediocre target of Top 3 overall in the Touring Production championship despite having the support of Darwin’s supreme skills and the backing of well-organised racing team that would be revealed this weekend.
Above that, the dynamic duo would also be having the technical brilliance of race engineer, Rueben Wong to set up their race car and to spearhead the technical crew; plus the awesome power of the always-reliable Honda FD2R machine.
Boy, who has won the Malaysian Super Series (MSS) Supersixteen and Supersaloon titles, the Sepang 1000km Endurance Race crown and scored multiple class wins in the 12-hour Merdeka Millennium Endurance Race (MMER), however, said that competition will be stiff this year despite the absence of defending champion Mitchell Cheah, who will be competing in the TCR Asia Series.
Darwin, who literally took over Boy’s reign in Malaysia’s racing scene after the latter struggled to find form following the demise of Type R Racing Team, dominated the MCS competitions – winning the 1600cc Malaysia Touring Car (MTC) championship in 2014 and twice winning the 2000cc Touring Production Championship in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
Like Boy, the former Sakura Tedco Racing driver was happy to have the highly experienced driver by his side in their quest to rule five-leg championship, which runs two one-hour endurance races over each race weekend – one on Saturday and one on Sunday. Qualifying and free practice sessions will be held on Friday.
“We seem to have a perfect package this year for the season,” Darwin said, adding that he was also thrilled to be working with Rueben, who was the architect of his double success in winning the MTC championship and the Touring Production overall titles.
In the MTC class, Nick Mah and their trusted Suzuki Swift machine, who won all but one round last season, will be again the one to beat with close friend Kenny Lee, who drives an identical Suzuki Swift, as his main rival for the 2018 overall title.
Winner of the TCR Asia Shootout, 20-year old Mitchell Cheah will be racing in the TCR Asia Championship under SIC Motorsports Talent Development initiative with Liqui Moly Team Engstler and the ultimate aim of competing in the FIA World Touring Car Cup.
Last season, Mitchell won the Touring Production crown after edging the partnership of Lai Wee Sing and Farouk Abdul Kathir of R Engineering in the final round.
Apart from the MCS and TCR Asia championship, the opening round of the MCS would also feature the GT Asia & Supercar GTM series, Thailand Supercar GTC / Cayman GT4 & TA2 races as well as the Classic Car Challenge.
Fans can catch the actions for free from the Main Grandstand. They can also purchase Paddock passes to have closer view of the race and enjoy activities at the paddock. Actions will also be streamed live on Facebook to allow fans worldwide to follow the races.
Launched on Tuesday, the thrills and excitement of the MCS will also be enjoyed on the virtual platform with the e-MCS championship, which is introduced for the first time by SIC in another initiative to develop motorsports in the country.
Pre-qualifying will be held tomorrow at the Rift in Midvalley, Kuala Lumpur before actual competition of the e-Sport version will run concurrently at the track at the South Paddock on Saturday and Sunday.
Located at Level 3 of the megamall, The Rift is Asia’s largest VR hybrid adventure center, showcasing more than a dozen world-class attractions, including a dedicated Race Room section where all the e-MCS actions will take place.
Under the e-MCS, or simply the e-Sport version of the MCS race and a bold effort by SIC to unearth new talents in the sports, contestants competed against each other on the race simulators to earn the ultimate prize – a racing seat in the MCS for the 2019 season.
MALAYSIA CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES ROUND 1
Friday, 30 March 2018
0945 hrs – 1030 hrs: GT Asia & Supercar GTM / GTM+ – Free Practice 1
1045 hrs – 1115 hrs: TCR Asia & TCR Thailand Free Practice 1
1130 hrs – 1200 hrs: TH Supercar GTC / Cayman GT4 & TA2 Free Practice 1 (30 min)
1215 hrs – 1245 hrs: Malaysia Championship Series – Free Practice
FRIDAY PRAYERS BREAK
1430 hrs – 1515 hrs: GT Asia & Supercar GTM / GTM+ – Free Practice 2
1530 hrs – 1600 hrs: TCR Asia & TCR Thailand Free Practice 2 (30 min)
1615 hrs – 1645 hrs: TH Supercar GTC / Cayman GT4 & TA2 – Free Practice 2
1700 hrs – 1730 hrs: Malaysia Championship Series – Qualifying
Saturday, 31 March 2018
0900 hrs – 0915 hrs: GT Asia & Supercar GTM / GTM+ – Free Practice 3
0930 hrs – 0950 hrs: TCR Asia & TCR Thailand – Qualifying 1
0955 hrs – 1005 hrs: TCR Asia & TCR Thailand – Qualifying 2
1020 hrs – 1035 hrs: GT Asia & Supercar GTM / GTM+ – Qualifying 1
1045 hrs – 1100 hrs: GT Asia & Supercar GTM / GTM+ – Qualifying 2
1115 hrs – 1130 hrs: TH Supercar GTC / Cayman GT4 & TA2 – Qualifying 1
1140 hrs – 1155 hrs: TH Supercar GTC / Cayman GT4 & TA2 – Qualifying 2
1220 hrs – 1250 hrs: GT Asia (Am Class) – Race
1320 hrs – 1350 hrs: Classic Car – Free Practice
1415 hrs – 1520 hrs: Malaysia Championship Series – Race 1 (1 hour plus leader)
1545 hrs – 1650 hrs: GT Asia & Supercar GTM / GTM+ Race 1 (1 hour plus leader)
1715 hrs – 1750 hrs: TH Supercar GTC / Cayman GT4 & TA2 Race 1
1805 hrs – 1835 hrs: Classic Car Qualifying
Sunday, 1 April 2018
0910 hrs – 0940 hrs: Classic Car – Race 1 (10 laps)
1005 hrs – 1040 hrs: TCR Asia & TCR Thailand – Race 1 (11 laps)
1105 hrs – 1140 hrs: TH Supercar GTC / Cayman GT4 & TA2 – Race 2 (30 mins)
1205 hrs – 1235 hrs: Classic Car – Race 2 (10 laps)
1300 hrs – 1405 hrs: Malaysia Championship Series – Race 2 (1 hour plus leader)
1430 hrs – 1535 hrs: GT Asia & Supercar GTM / GTM+ – Race 2 (1 hour plus leader)
1600 hrs – 1635 hrs: TCR Asia & TCR Thailand – Race 2 (11 laps)