After clinching 3 consecutive first place finishes at the Conemasters International Gymkhana Series, it would appear that the odds of me winning the final round of this series would be appear pretty slim; not only were the level of competitors getting higher but also the fact that Jane and I were across the ocean ,in east Malaysia doing the Petronas X track tour .
We were only scheduled back on the day after the competition but by some means or rather , we were able to get a flight back on the day of the competition.The earliest flight out was at 10am and that would give us an estimated time of arrival of approximately 12pm , factor in the luggage retrieval , custom clearance and transport from the airport to Sepang Circuit, would mean that we could make it to the competition at 1pm. I called Ben Loh, the organiser, and was given the assurance that though the event starts at 9am, timed runs were only done after lunch which was about 2.00pm. This would mean that I wouldn’t have the luxury of having practice and have to dive straight into the competition. With an average of 6 runs,based on the previous rounds, where only a single best run is taken,not being able to practice did not bother me much.
So Jane and I drove our cars and had it parked at Sepang International Circuit before flying off to East Malaysia for the Petronas tour . This will enable us to have the cars there when were arrive back from the Tour and not waste precious time getting our cars and driving it to Sepang.
Thankfully everything went on as planned on the event day ; the flight arrived in LCCT airport on time and we got to the track by 12.45pm. To our relief , there were still competitors practicing and we both managed to get enough runs to get the course down.
The course was fairly easy to remember and basically made full use of the whole paddock parking 5 and 6. So there were alot of straights in between each cone formation which made traction coming out of them essential to get the best possible time.
This appeared to be fairly easy as the car seems to hook up rather effortlessly , which was attributed to the 245/40/17 GT Radial Champiro HPY tyres I was using on all four corners! The thing about the HPYs are they tend to work just as well on low tyre temperature which a lot of the Gymkhana drivers where struggling with when using semi’s or other UHP tyres as the wait for their runs usually causes the tyres to cool down below its optimum temperature. Our experience with the HPY tyres were only in drift application and that was only in the wet which they work exceptionally well but I was amazed with its performance during grip events and strongly recommend them to those shopping for a tyre that does it all!
We also managed to test the tyres out in the wet as it started to rain towards the end of the event and as expected the HPY asymmetric tyre design with its superior wet performance had me running 2 secs faster than the other competitors and only towards the end my wet time was beaten merely by 0.4 sec by a competitor running on a 4WD drive train
Jane was running on fairly similar set up but with a narrower 235/45/17 GT Radial HPY tyres in front and held 4th position strongly till the end of the event.
Once again, I had won the another Conemasters International Gymkhana series , which makes it 4 in a row ,a feat I’m fairly proud of as I am considered fairly new in this genre of motorsport and had the opportunity to go against my peers and ‘sifus’ who I believe are the creme of the crop in the Auto cross/Gymkhana scene.The credit should go to all the those who had guided me and fed me with tips and information to raise my game. Not to forget to Heap Joo and GT Radial for making those kick ass tyres that gave me the upper hand against the other competitors .
1st ARIFF JOHANIS AHMAD Team Sync Optima GT Radial
2nd Abdul Hafiz Team WHITELINE
3rd Mickey Teoh
4th Azrina Jane Team Sync Optima GT Radial