They may be young, but do not underestimate the talents of the racers in the SIC Ohvale Junior Championship and FIM MiniGP Malaysia Series. The first round of 2022 took place last Sunday at the Sepang International Kart Circuit and if one word is needed to summarize the weekend, “intense” is definitely one of it.
SIC Ohvale Junior Championship
Despite having a downpour to start the day, the track dried up pretty quickly to give way for the junior racers to start their 2022 season. For this year, a total of 11 racers will compete in the SIC Ohvale Junior Championship, aged between 8-11 years old. And on Round 1, it was Airel Marzuki from Terengganu who stole the spotlight by winning Race 1.
Starting the race from eighth on the grid, Airel got a great start and catapulted himself into second position in the opening lap. The first few laps saw positions swapped along the way, but Airel kept his best moves for the final stretch. With two laps remaining, Airel overtook Qayyim Razin from the outside to lead the race.
With just two laps left, Airel defended his position to take the win in Race 1, followed by 10-year-old Qayyim in second. Aqil Ramadhan also rode a wonderful race and brought home third place.
Race 2 might not be Airel’s to claim, but he did displayed yet another great ride as he went up from eighth on the grid to finish the race in second place. Daniel Syazwan rode mostly in second place before conceding to Airel to take home third, but Syazrel Aqief cemented his position to lead the race from start to finish.
1- #8 Airel Marzuki
2- #10 Qayyim Razin
3- #7 Aqil Ramadhan
1- #9 Shazrel Aqief
2- #8 Airel Marzuki
3-#12 Daniel Syazwan
FIM MiniGP Malaysia Series
The FIM MiniGP Malaysia Series is where things get a lot more serious. Riding skills are much more refined and the young riders will have to tame the larger 160cc Ohvale bike. This year, a total of 15 young riders from 10-14 years old signed up for the series.
Despite the tougher challenge, Qabil Irfan was unfazed as he became the star of the weekend, winning both Race 1 and 2. His domination in Race 1 was unstoppable as he kept increasing his gap from the start, finishing the race 12 seconds from the nearest competitor.
Adi Putra fell back during the start and was running in fifth place during the early legs. Keen in proving his worth, he steadily made his way up and with seven laps to go, he was back in the podium spots and finished the race in second place. It was a challenging race for Adam Danial who started in fifth on the grid. Despite being involved in a slight contact with a rival, he managed to get to third place and kept the position until the checkered flag.
Race 2 was a carbon copy for Qabil as he distanced himself from the pack, this time finishing almost 15 seconds ahead of the rest. However, the battle for the remaining podium spots was fought until the end between Akif Abdullah and Sharf Muhriz. At the end of the final lap, it was the 0.04s difference that allowed Akif to take home second place, and Sharf finishing the race in third.
1- #14 Qabil Irfan
2- #26 Adi Putra
3- #18 Adam Danial
1- #14 Qabil Irfan
2- #24 Akif Abdullah
3- #21 Sharf Muhriz
With Round 1 done and dusted, Qabil leads the points tally with a comfortable 50 points, followed by Adi with 33. Akif is third in the standings with 30 points. In the SIC Ohvale Junior Championship, Airel’s 45 points had placed him as the championship leader. Shazrel sits in second with 36 points, with Qayyim trailing closely at 33 points.
The next round will be held at UNIMAP on 18-19 June.