Rahul Raj Mayer took on the Senior category at the opening round of the PLUS Yamaha SL Cup Malaysia series held at the Sepang Karting Circuit last weekend. Following his win in the Junior category at the Rotax Max Malaysia Challenge held a few weeks earlier at the same track Rahul took 1st place at the Yamaha event as well. James Pull was the only double-race winner taking 1st in cadets, while Daniel Woodroof converted a 4th place in race 1 to a win in race 2 for the overall win.
The Yamaha SL Cup runs with a qualifying + 2 race format. Both races give equal points towards the championship as well as the overall winner of the day. To add more action the series has adopted a WTCC-style reverse grid system wherein the top 8 from race 1 start race 2 in reverse order. The format proved successful with driver racecraft playing a vital role in the races, particularly in race 2 where the fast drivers attempted to make it up through the field from the 3rd and 4th row of the grid.
In the seniors Rahul Raj Mayer qualified on pole position but then had to work really hard to stay at the front of the field. In race 1 Rahul dropped to 3rd on the start behind Ron Tan and Ooi Fei Hoong. Rahul made his way past Fei Hoong and then started on a charge to catch Ron. Eventually he got there and after lap-long battle he finally worked his way to 1st. After qualifying in 2nd and having a bad start Nabil Jeffri finished the race in 4th with Fei Hoong taking 3rd.
In Race 2 Julien Fong took full advantage of the reverse grid as he started the race in 4th place and had an electric first lap putting him in the lead ahead of Victor Cheong. With the top runners from race 1 not quite making as good a start Julien was able to claw out a comfortable lead. Eventually it was race 1 winner Rahul who came through the field and mounted a challenge, with Nabil closing in as well. Luckily for Julien the lead he had opened up was enough to last him to the chequered flag.
The Juniors race 1 was dominated by Danial Roslan with Jazlee Irfan Syah finishing 2nd, and Akash Neil Nandy in 3rd, and Daniel Woodroof in 4th. Race 2 was more action packed with the reverse grid kicking into full effect. Danial Roslan’s charge was cut short as he lost his front bumper during an overtaking attempt in turn 1, effectively putting him out of the points. Irfan was also out of the points in race 2 leaving the overall race wide open. It was Woodroof that took full advantage making his way to the front of the field and winning the race ahead of Nik Azri, Freddie Ang, and Akash.
In the first cadet race there was a very close top-4 battling it out for the win. Luqman took the lead early but it looked like Daim Hishammudin and James Pull had a bit more pace and were looking for a way through. Max Fewtrell was also completing the group in 4th place. Eventually it was James Pull that made his move stick and he was able to pull clear, while Luqman held on to 2nd in front of Daim and Max.
In race 2 Luqman had a tough time as his chain jumped off after an overtaking attempt. Daim quickly got to the front of the field after an electric start but he received the bad news in form of a 10 second penalty for a false start. Meanwhile James Pull had made his way to 2nd, which was now effectively 1st. Daim crossed the line first but dropped back to 2nd after 10 seconds was added to his time. Adam Muqri drove a defensive race and took 3rd being able to keep Max Fewtrell behind until the end.
Download: Championship Standings (Including Race 1 and 2 results)
Pictures by Mikko Nassi