2021 is proving to be quite a successful year in motorsports for Leona Chin as she wraps up her touring car campaign in Malaysia as the champion in the MTC category of the Malaysian Championship Series (MCS 2021). Just three weeks earlier, Leona and her Beautyful-Excel Group Suzuki Swift Sport won the Sepang 1,000 km endurance race.
Round 3 and Round 4 of MCS 2021 was again a doubleheader, but with a change in race format with Round 4 being a 300 km endurance race. The team needed to win the 54-lap endurance race as well as races in Round 3 to secure the championship, as the wins in Round 1 and 2 were not included in the final points tally.
Race 1 of Round 3 did not go as smoothly as the team hoped, managing to salvage seventh and four important points after nursing a misfiring engine for the full one hour of racing. A dominant win in Race 2 set the tone for the 300 km endurance race scheduled for Thursday.
Pairing with Akina Teo in the 300 km finale, the team performed flawlessly to finish ahead of the leading pair of Mark Darwin and Foo Yung Cheh in their Honda Jazz. Thanks to double points awarded for the endurance race, Leona Chin and Akina Teo bagged 30 points, and tallying to a total of 49 points, six points clear of the Honda Jazz pairing that only managed to finish the race fourth in the category.
Leona commented, “Thank you to our sponsors and team members for making this happen. We managed to nurse the car with some issues at the end of the race but we are very lucky to get this result.”
This final doubleheader also saw a new entrant in the Touring Production (TP) class, with Niza Racing entering a BHPetrol-liveried FK8 Honda Civic Type R driven by touring car legend Keifli Othman and Hanafi Husain. The pair managed to win the 300 km endurance of TP class, as troubles hit the championship-leading FC Honda Civic 1.5 Turbo.
Nonetheless, Alif Hamdan and Lai Wee Sing managed to secure the championship for TP category after scoring a total of 54 points over the three races, compared to 42 points by the pairing of Keifli Othman-Hanafi Husain.
Alif commented, “We’re really happy. R Engineering and HMRT did a good job this week. Honda did fantastic work supporting us with all the parts, game plan and tactics. Happy to report that the research and development program for the team is very successful and we are ready to fight hard for next year.”
Moving to the highly competitive SP1 category consisting of four similarly performing FD2 Honda Civic Type R cars, three drivers started the 300 km endurance with just one point splitting them. After 54 laps, it was Chiow Teck Song who crossed the finish first amongst the 23 cars and thus sealing the SP1-category championship. It was also Chiow’s first win of the MCS 2021!
“Honestly, I never thought of getting the first overall champion. Today is my big bonus day. Once again thanks to the R Engineering HMRT especially Lai Wee Sing who taught me a lot”, said Chiow.
Ken Urata from R Works is the first runner-up, ahead of the pairing of Shazull Hisyam Harun and Mohd Syahrizal Jamaludin from Empire M Racing.
In the SP2 category, the scoring system took Round 1 and Round 2 into the equation, making the pairing of William Ho and Eddie Lew in their Speed X Racing Team Honda Jazz the clear favourites to seal the championship.
Although winning the 300 km race in the SP2 category, Ady Rahimy and Mitchell Cheah had many retirements after Race 1, netting them just fourth overall placing in the championship. Topping the SP2 standings after seven races is category favourites William Ho and Eddie Lew, scoring 86 points. They also finished second in category in the 300 km finale race.
Putera Adam in his R Engineering Honda Jazz is perhaps the most consistent finisher in the SP2 category was first runner-up with 76 points, just five points ahead of the pairing of Imran Wafi Adnan and Najiy Ayyad from DNT Tune.
Sepang MCS 2021- MTC
Sepang MCS 2021- TP and SP1
Sepang MCS 2021- SP2