Featuring young talents with a promising future in motorsports, the first race weekend of the FIM MiniGP Malaysia Series went on without a hitch. And it was on this weekend that Emil Idzhar displayed his capabilities on handling the Ohvale racing bike to lead the 2021 championship after four races.
Emil Idzhar leads FIM MiniGP with 5 points to spare
But the race weekend was not all smooth sailing for the 14-year-old boy from Selangor. In Race 1, the tight battle between him, Farres Putra and Farish Hafiy saw Emil taking the win by 0.199 seconds. The tight battle carried on into Race 2, which unfortunately for Emil, saw the positions shuffled where Farres and Farish took the top two spots, forcing Emil to settle with third place.
Things somehow went downhill for Emil in Race 3 where the best he could do after the 20-lap race was a seventh-place finish. It may be a demoralising blow for some after coming from a top three finish, but Emil kept his head down focused on the final race of the weekend.
Like the races in Saturday, the front pack once again consisted of Farres, Farish and Emil. Farres tried to replicate his winning move in Round 2 Race 1 by shadowing Farish before making his move in the final laps. Unfortunately, that plan did not materialised and saw the two making contact and crashed onto the track. Emil, who had kept a cool head throughout the race, comfortably cruised to the finish line to take the win in Race 2.
The crash might be taken as a drawback for some, but former national Moto3 rider Zulfahmi Khairuddin said these race incidents will only bring positive elements to the young riders who are still in the learning process and trying to gain as much experience as possible.
The Round 2 Race 2 win did not only give Emil his second win of the season, it had also allowed him to lead the championship with 75 points in hand. Despite the crash in Round 2 Race 2, Farres closely trails Emil with only a five point deficit. Coming in third is Farish with a tally of 56 points.
Domination by 9-year-old Qabil Irfan
At first glance, the racers in the SIC Ohvale Junior Championship may look like the average primary school student as it is open for kids from eight to eleven years old. But it is not until you see them scraping their knees on the circuit that you know they have the talent and potential to go far in motorsports.
While they are riding on the same chassis as the FIM MiniGP class, these bikes come with a smaller 110cc engine and they run on a 15-lap race format. In this four race weekend, Qabli Irfan from Terengganu proved unstoppable as he won all four races to collect 100 points on the race weekend.
In Race 1, Qabil led the field to take the win with 3.7 seconds to spare from second-place finisher Adam Danial. 11-year-old Shah Putra was the next closest from the duo as he took third place in the race. Race 2 saw Qabil being challenged closer for the win, but he was able to maintain position with a gap of 1.9 seconds. This time, it was Shah who took second place while Adam settled for third.
Despite being only a 15-lap race, Qabil was on fire in Round 2 Race 1 where he crossed the line with the closest competitor running more than 12 seconds behind! Things might have gotten a little bit tougher for Qabil on the following race as he only had 1.3 seconds to spare, but it was still another win in the bag for the 9-year-old racer.
SOPs Adhered, Support from SIC and ZK Racing
To ensure the race weekend organised by Sepang Circuit and ZK Racing went well without a hitch, strict SOPs were implemented and all racers were subjected to compulsory COVID-19 swab tests before entering the circuit compounds. Despite the tough challenge on the track, all the races went on without any major incidents for both categories.
Round 3 and 4 will take place at Sepang International Karting Circuit on the 23-24 October.