Apart from Formula One, there are 2 more events featuring a Malaysian car and future Malaysian F1 driver, hopefully. With that, let’s begin with the one featuring a Malaysian made car.
In the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) round of Rally Islas Canarias Trofeo El Corte Inglés, Spain from April 14-16, saw Proton Motorsports fielding two drivers, Giandomenico Basso and Per-Gunnar Andersson in this tarmac rally in the rural roads of Spain. Where the team haunted by double retirements in previous rounds, it is glad to know both cars finished the rally, with Basso finished in 9th place which earned him 2 points. Andersson meanwhile settled for 16th after suffered from double punctures which slowed him down.
The rally was won by Skoda’s Juha Hanninen ahead of teammate Jan Kopecky and the Peugeot of Thierry Neuville in third. Basso was 2 minutes 37 seconds later than the winning driver, hence indicating the car needed some performance upgrades to catch up with the Skodas and Peugeots. The good news was there improvement on the reliability of the Satria Neo, which has haunted the team in previous rounds. The next IRC round will be Tour of Corse in France, on 13-15 May 2011.
On a more positive news, readers may recall Jazeman Jaafar, a young Malaysian F1 hopeful who on his second year in the competitive British F3 championships in 2011. Last weekend was the first round of the series in Monza, Italy, featuring 3 separate races. Our boy Jazeman Jaafar drive well by finishing 2 podium positions(second in first race, third in third race) and fifth spot on second race. With such solid points scoring weekend, he is now second on the driver’s championship.
It looks like Jazeman has begun to look competitive in open wheel racing in Europe. With solid backing from Petronas and Carlin (the best F3 team in UK), it is hopeful to see Jazeman performs well in this season in order for him to progress in Formula One in future.