Mark Darwin of Tedco Racing, who made a sensational winning debut in the Touring Production class in Round 2 of the Malaysia Championship Series (MCS), has decided to forgo his intention of defending his Malaysia Touring Car (MTC) crown to put full focus on challenging for the premier class this season.
To support his quest, Darwin, who tried out a customer’s race car in the previous round, has been provided with a new Honda Civic FD2R by the team, which is currently working hard to prepare the car for this weekend’s battle for Round 3 at the Sepang International Circuit (SIC).
“We will be competing again in the Touring Production class. The car is new and we have been busy setting up the car this week to ensure the best performance this weekend. We are hoping to come back even stronger this round,” said Darwin, who won the second-tier MTC class, partnering his best friend Fitra Eri of Indonesia in a Proton Satria Neo.
In an eventful Round 2 race last month, the young Malaysian driver was given the opportunity to race in a Honda FD2 car, which had been sent to Tedco Racing for repairs and development works. Despite the car being ready, the owner decided not to race in the belief that it was unlucky and instead asked Darwin to take the steering wheel.
Without hesitation, Darwin grabbed the opportunity with both hands and rewarded the team’s confidence with a sensational win, beating N1 Racing’s partnership of Taiwan’s Tung Wei Hsiao and Desmond Khoo, who were later disqualified and stripped of the second placing.
Commenting further on this weekend’s race, Darwin hopes for a repeat performance of Round 3 this weekend, but is realistically cautious on his prediction, especially with the extra 30kgs of success weight ballast that he would need to carry.
“It’s still too early to say anything as the car is fresh from the workshop. But I believe with the touch of one of Asia’s best race engineer, Rueben Wong, the car will definitely be competitive for this weekend.
“We are looking forward to this weekend’s sprint race. We have some strategy in our pocket currently and we will use it during the race to ensure a win in both races. I would like to thank all the sponsors and Team Sakura Tedco Racing for making this happen within a very tight timeline. You are the best,” he added.
With his Round 2 victory, Darwin sits fifth in the Touring Production class with 15 points – 27 points behind championship leaders Chris Tan and Alan Wong of Pentagon Racing, who have 42 points. N1 Racing’s Taiwanese-Malaysian partnership of Tung Wei Hsiao and Desmond Khoo are second overall with 20 points and Singapore’s lady driver Claire Jedrek is third with 18 points.
In her pre-race comments, Claire said: “It’s mid-season for the championship and I am happy to be still in contention for the Top 3 overall. I will keep pushing and go over all my past data and focus on my performance. Having more race time will provide me with more experience. I’ve been reminded I have only participated in 6 races thus far.
“Like any competitive sport, there will be highs and lows and I have a goal and will persevere through to Round 3. I have a great team with R Engineering to set up my car and I look forward to getting back in the car this weekend,” said the R-Engineering driver.
In the MTC class, championship leader Fariqe Hairuman, who partners James Veerapan in a two-man team, aims to continue his Proton R3 Motorsports’ dominance despite carrying an injured right arm this weekend.
“I was advised to extend my rest; but Round 3 is too critical. Hopefully, I can still manage a strong drive this weekend. I did some test sessions last week in Pasir Gudang and I aim to do my best for maximum points,” said Fariqe, the former ATCC and Japan Super Taikyu champion.
In his comments, James shared his partner’s sentiments, saying they should strike while the iron is hot. “We had the right package in the opening two rounds. We have the advantage over our competitors and we plan on using it to our benefit,” James said.
Driving a Proton Suprima S, the partnership of Fariqe and Veerapen have 42 points and a five-point advantage over their teammate and two-time champion Syafiq Ali, who has 37 points. Driving a Proton Satria Neo for FX Tune Don Racing, Faidzil Alang is third with 24 points. Defending champion Fitra Eri is fourth with 22 points.
“For Round 3, our target is still the double podium in the MCS and independent categories. But, of course, we always aim for the win,” Fitra said in his pre-race comments.
Malaysia Championship Series 2015
Point Standings after Round 2 – Top Five Finishers
Touring Production Class
1. Chris Tan/Alan Wong (Pentagon Racing/Honda FD2) 42 pts
2. Tung Wei Hsiao/Desmond Khoo (N1 Racing Team/Honda Integra DC5) 20 pts
3. Claire Jedrek (Team R Engineering/Honda FD2) 18 pts
4. Fahrizal Hasan/Keifli Othman (JC Racing Team/Honda Civic Type R) 16 pts
5. Mark Darwin (Team Sakura-Tedco/Honda Integra DC5) 16 pts
Malaysia Touring Car Class
1. Fariqe Hairuman/James Veerapen (Proton R3 Motorsports/Proton Suprima S) 42 pts
2. Syafiq Ali (Proton R3/Proton Preve) 37 pts
3. Faidzil Alang (FX Tune Don Racing/Proton Satria Neo) 24 pts
4. Fitra Eri (Team Sakura-Tedco) Proton Satria Neo) 22 pts
5. Alvaro Mourato/Gilbert Ang (Team R Engineering/Proton Satria Neo) 20 pts