Proton conquers Sepang 1K race; All-ladies team led by Leona Chin finished seventh

Braving torrential thunderstorms over the weekend, the aspiring local racers took part in another rendition of the Sepang 1000 kilometers race or short for Sepang 1k. As a feeder endurance racing competition to the previous Merdeka Millennium Endurance race (MME), the 1k race saw more participants due to relatively affordable entry fees.

National carmakers Proton has always been participating in domestic racing series to prove their cars’ worth. And since the 1k race features mostly local-ran feeder teams and drivers, there aren’t too much competition for Proton as a factory-backed squad. This proved especially evident in last Sunday’s 1k race where Team Proton R3 dominated the entire race for the third consecutive year. It was a fifth outright title for Proton, since the 1k race came into existence.

The brave souls who participated in the 1k race last weekend had to endure 181 laps. It ended with the Iriz of Fariqe Hairuman, former BTCC driver, and Mitchell Cheah winning the title, after 9 hours of non-stop racing. To add icing on the cake, the Sage of Admi Shahirul and Syafiq Ali took second place to complete a 1-2 finish. With the 1-2 finish, it’s obvious that until another factory-backed team came into the picture, the 1k race would be a continuous happy hunting ground for the National carmakers.

Nominated lady race drivers were also cast in to drive for Proton, this time around. The all-girl team was selected from the recent Lady Drivers Search program, featuring Malaysia’s Motorsport Athlete, Leona Chin. The girls’ team in the third Proton car comprised of Leona, Nurul Husna and Faye Kusairi. However, a technical issue during qualifying set their Saga car as a 26th starter on the grid. Despite the setback, the ladies showed amazing tenacity against the men and fighting spirit as they carved their way up to seventh overall and first among all lady drivers by the end of the race. Leona as the leader did her part to ensure a strong overall finish for Proton’s all-ladies squad.