In typical Malaysian style the heavens opened at 4pm on Saturday, with a windy storm that left the Sepang International Circuit flooded for over an hour. The Asia Classic Car Challenge qualifying was red flagged and the Caterham Motorsport Championship drivers were wondering if they would get to drive.
By 6pm starting time the rain had stopped but the weather didn’t have much time to completely dry the circuit, so round 3 of the Caterham Motorsport 2015 Championship would be raced on a wet track.
Newcomer to the championship Gilbert Ang had impressed with pole position and Championship leader Tan Pye Sen in second. With both his rivals unable to race this weekend, one would think it would just be a matter of Tan Pye Sen finishing to bank points. But let’s not forget these guys are pure racers at heart and want to prove that they can win all the time.
At the start Gilbert stormed off leaving Pye stalling on the grid and very slow to get away, dropping himself down to last position as the rest of the field thundered past.
The whole pack drove delicately around turns one and two due to the wet, but that didn’t stop Gilbert racing off into the distance. Who could stop him now?
Another newcomer to the championship, Imran Shaharom had been promoted to third after Pye’s starting stall, but quickly found himself in second position driving in the 310R class and chasing the 420R of Gilbert Ang.
Leona Chin got past Halim Mu’azzam down the back straight to claim 4th overall with Shirendra Lawrence hot on her heels, and third in class while Pye had clawed back to 6th in his 420R and on a mission to catch Gilbert.
Just like the first two rounds it was going to be a battle between rivals Shirendra Lawrence, Leona Chin and Halim in the 310R class, as Shirendra nudged past Leona to take third and bridge a gap of 4 seconds on the young lady racer.
It was only lap 3 and Pye had already fought his way to third overall and only half a second behind Imran. At this stage Imran had become the first driver in the championship to sandwich in between two 420Rs in a 310R. Could he hold it for the rest of the race, or would Pye be too fast?
Meanwhile Leona found some pace and closed the gap to Shirendra to 2 seconds and extending to 4 seconds over Halim. Imran was now 33 seconds behind the 420R of Gilbert who was lapping 20 seconds slower than his dry time of 2:25 minutes.
Whilst Halim was chasing Leno for third in class he had a tight battle to hold off Malcolm Change. Leona had caught and passed Shirendra and for a couple of laps the two exchanged positions and foxed each other, yet again.
Another newcomer Douglas Khoo was having a lonely race chasing the rest of the field until he spun off into the gravel at tune nine, finishing his race.
With only two laps to go Pye and his 420R was only 2 seconds behind the 310R of Imran Shaharom. Could he make it a 420R one-two?
One lap to go and Leona, Shirendra and Halim were bunched together with only 0.500s separating the fight for second in class, until the last lap when Shirendra dived on the inside of Leona. Miss Prince Lubricants did everything she could to fox and past Shirendra on the last lap, especially through turn 9, but couldn’t make it stick. Halim had a look several times to take advantage of the battle and as they turn the last corner 15 second in class was anyone’s with Shirendra holding off both Leona and Halim by only 0.380s to secure 2nd in class.
A dominating lights-to-flag win for Gilbert Ang and astonishing second overall in the 310R for rookie Imran Shaharom, splitting the two 420Rs with Tan Pye Sen finishing 6 seconds in third.