Wednesday, September 13, 2006

GRA Round 3 - Shah Alam

Friday Day 1
Yes it was a working day for me. The day started at 4:30am, woke up and made my way to work. It was one of those weird days where all the cases reported were just plain weird but the world works in mysterious ways. LoL.

Work ended at 2pm and I headed off home to pack everything into the car. By the time I left it was nearly 3pm. I don’t quite like driving in the afternoon because of the traffic and also the speed trap cops. Yes I do speed sometimes, but no more than 160km/h. Haha. Then there was the heavy rain on certain spots on the highway. If I counted right I went through 3 blinding rain storms. The water spray from the cars in front made it nearly impossible to see anything further than 10 feet. Also drove a little slow due to the tires that I am carrying around, competition use tires (do I hear “You’re Crazy” ?). It’s called Passion people, Passion. Thank You Very Much.

Arrived 3 ½ hours later. It was also raining in KL, traffic was a little crazy at 6-7pm, especially on a Friday. I can only imagine all the people rushing home to get ready to start the weekend. So as I approached YSKhong’s workshop, I only saw Jian Nin and Keong. I tailed them and followed them to the GRA Pre-Party that is held in Cycle & Carriage showroom. That’s where they sell Mercedes and Smart cars, it’s also a workshop to service those vehicles. How in the world Ian manage to get a location like that? I’m was more than impressed. Though I didn’t really show much excitement. 4hours of driving and being awake for 12+ hours can really drain anyone.

I was the earliest person there, so I did what I could to help out. Then the crowd slowly appeared. Being Malaysian’s we have a custom of arriving late to events. Lots of unfamiliar faces, newbies. Then YS showed up and picked a seat next to me, we chatted for a while before Ho came over to chat too. Then most of the familiar faces, mostly winners and champions like Uncle Julian Phang showed up. The pre-party started with free drinks and food, then speeches by all the sponsors who helped GRA to make round 3 possible. This is also another thing that surprised me, there were lots of other new sponsors, GRA is definitely growing and I’ll be there to support Ian in any way I can. Ian also showed some videos from previous rounds.

After the party I followed Chan and friend to mamak to have a drink. By the time I finished it was 1am, arrived at Ian’s place and he made up a nice room for me to bunk in.

I was out like a light after washing up.

Saturday Day 2
Straight to the workshop at 8:00 am. Sorted out some things with Jian Nin regarding tires and she managed to get 2 pieces from one of her suppliers. These Yokohoma Neova AD07’s are really hard to find especially for 14” rims. Then I needed 2 more tires, so Ian suggested Eneos at 1-Utama. So I decided to give it a shot and see if luck is on my side.

I am indeed lucky to get all 4 tires before the event. Lots of people were surprise that I could find these tires. Although they are a little more expensive, they were worth it. After settling everything at the workshop I decided to have lunch with Judy, Aunt Bee Lan and Mum at IKEA. Mmm..the Swedish meatballs were excellent! Then I spent some time looking around IKEA and see what they had that I could buy.

Later in the evening I headed back to the workshop and the guys started working on my car. I made sure the settings were correct and were to my liking. So after some testing I then again decide to head to 1-Utama again to continue shopping. Then while I was walking around I saw Gillette having a promotion for their new shaver. But that didn’t really catch my attention, the GT4 competition on the PS2 is what really caught my attention. Fastest time of the Day wins a Motorola phone! So I decided to buy a chance to see if I could win a phone. I was 1 second slower than the FTD L. I will definitely try again when I get the chance.

Sunday Day 3 Race Day
Up early around 6:00am. Got ready and helped Ian out a little before heading down to Shah Alam Stadium car park for the event. It was early and I was surprised to see lots of people there getting ready and all. It’s not everyday you see an event that started on time with everyone ready and available. There were some minor delays at the start but when the ball started rolling it kept getting smoother from there.

Although I wasn’t really happy with the AAM people who handled the time keeping results. The format was simple, the times were written down on a paper with the drivers number sorted top to bottom. Once that run is done and complete, key it into the laptop which has the excel format and once it’s done sort it by the FASTEST TIME and voila you have sorted out the 1st to the last place person in that class. That gives us drivers less to worry about. But NOOO, they had to mess up! Everything was screwed by those people who were doing the timekeeping. Thanks to Jian Nin and Ian who jumped to action to correct those bozos.

Back to the action, the course layout was FUN! I liked it. A long straight, chicanes, slaloms, offset slaloms, 360 degrees turns. It had everything and that is technical enough and quite a challenge for everyone. Once again my competitor was all set to go, Chan and Shahrom. These 2 guys seem to have everything done to their Kelisa, I can’t help but wonder what is under the hood. But finishing 2nd behind Chan wasn’t that bad. Now I know what to do to beat him. LoL.

The other cars there were Lotus Elises, Drift Cars were there too, boy they did put on a great show.
Overall the whole event was great, except for the result screw up. Only 2 people had RUN the entire show and I would like to say thanks for running the event and a SPECIAL thank you for letting me sleep over.

Ian, Jian Nin & Khong Family

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