DriveRite Tarmac Rally-X Round 2

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Time really flies, and we’re back at the Malacca International Motorsports Circuit (MIMC) on 24 April 2016, at Malaysia’s second international-standard circuit after the Sepang International Circuit (SIC). It is a 1.7km long, and 10m wide racetrack with challenging S-bends and hairpins turns that will challenge even the most seasoned drivers.

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Unlike the wider and longer Sepang International Circuit and Johor Circuit, the MIMC is perfectly suited for on-the-edge driving, with plenty of heavy braking, proper lines and full-power corner exits. Think of it as a hybrid of rallying and autocrossing, where speed meets a small space.

Several participants combined their TR-X experience with a short group holiday in charming Malacca. Participants both old and new, were basking in the cool morning, while getting all warmed-up with preparations on their cars for a day of fun and driving. Mechanical adjustments, removal of loose items in their cars as well as placing stickers from the event sponsors, Whiteline, F Tuned Racing Suspension, N-Sports N-Brake, Autotrac, FK Massimo Singapore and DBA Singapore.

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Tyres are a prime concern when it comes to motorsports and Ready 2 Track was providing an optional service for all participants. Taking care of tyres when it came to pressures and temperatures, those who signed up for the service could focus on maximizing their drive time, leaving the nitty gritty alignment, camber and tyre pressure management to the experts.

Drivers were classified into four classes that are based on their car’s engine capacity and type. Class A was up to 1,600cc, B: 1,601-2,000cc, C: 2,001cc to 2,500cc, and a SUV class.

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The main focus of Grassroots Motorsports isn’t about who is the fastest, or has the fastest car. It’s all bringing drivers from all walks of life coming together to learn a thing or two about driving fast safely.

With a single direction of the circuit for the entire event, everyone could get ample seat time to master the anti-clockwise direction of the MIMC. Drivers were released onto the track in groups of four, matched according to their timings during the as well as cars. Marshallers then green-flagged each participant onto the track with a safety time buffer between them to prevent congestion. Drivers were also encouraged to swap places among themselves if they feel that they were holding other drivers up.

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The circuit was filled with the symphony of a variety of cars, from a classic Starlet to a 4WD heavy hitters such as Evos and WRXes. Despite being practice runs, all the drivers seriously took every second of track time to discover the limits of their rides and master the braking points and lines.

During the noon lunch break, participants of this event were given a surprise taxi ride in two demo cars, both of which were S15’s, tuned for the sole purpose of drifting. They were driven by highly-experienced race car drivers and gave all participants a smoky break plus a thrill of full-on hardcore drifting.

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The time attacks were held right after lunch, with a slightly different grouping as some participants were shuffled to ensure that the group consisted of evenly-timed drivers. The action was fast and serious. Despite the pressures drivers faced to find every second, most of them didn’t mind flashing a thumbs up or a peace sign as they whizzed by on their cool down lap.

In closing, representatives from the event sponsors graciously presented the prizes to the fastest drivers in the respective classes. In recognition of their strong support for this exciting event, the sponsors were also presented a token of appreciation by the organisers.

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The next instalment of the DriveRite Tarmac Rally-X series for the year will be held on 24 July 2016. Named “Anti-Clockwise Mastery”, it will be more fun under the sun in the opposite circuit direction. Visit www.driverite.sg for more information and to sign up!

For more information on DriveRite’s motorsports-related events, driver training programmes and road trip adventures, please visit www.driverite.sg.

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Always finding ways to keep his hands full, Krado loves to tinker with his car whenever he has the free time. Usually ends in tears or a multiple fluid facial.

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