The return of the Malaysia Championship Series (MCS) gave a chance for Leona Chin to get back to 4-wheel racing after her last outing in 2019. Although these first 2 rounds did come with a roller-coaster of emotions, the whole team was able to put together a great performance which rewarded them with two class victories.
Leona is competing in the Malaysia Touring Car category in a Suzuki Swift prepped by Tedco Racing. The practice session on Wednesday gave the team the chance to fine-tune the car before heading into the qualifying session.
Starting on a high note
Going against other rivals in cars like the Honda Fit and Toyota Vios, her best time of 2:39.944 around the Sepang International Circuit positioned her in the front of the MTC class to start Race 1.
Although Leona was overtaken at the start of the race, she kept a cool head in the opening stages as every MCS race runs for 1 hour. It did not take long for her patience to be rewarded: by Lap 4, she reclaimed her position and led the MTC category. After a smooth pit stop and clean second stint, she brought the car across the finish line to claim the season’s first victory almost a minute ahead of the nearest competitor.
Being a double-header, Race 2 was only 4 hours later and already fired up with the victory, they looked forward to another possible podium finish for Round 1. The win in Race 1 had placed Leona to start from pole in class once again and she managed to clear the early stages of the race without any hitch.
Unfortunately, Race 2 did not go very well for the team as Leona was nudged at one point of the race which had sent her into the gravel. Although the impact did not seem to be very serious, there was actually damage to the oil cooler and splitter – which was enough to put her out of contention for the race.
With two more races lined up for the next day, the team had to burn the midnight oil to make sure that the car was raceworthy for the next round. Tedco Racing’s experience was put to good use and the car was prepared and ready to do battle by Friday.
Returning to the top
For Race 3, Leona started the race from P1 in class. Keen to redeem herself from the DNF earlier, she made a clean getaway as the lights turned green. Unfortunately for her, she was forced to retire from the race once again through no fault of her own. A reckless manoeuvre from one of the SP2 contenders struck her Suzuki near the right rear tyre, ending her race even before clearing Turn 1 on the opening lap. A very sad moment indeed.
This presented a whole new challenge for the team as they only had about 4 hours to fix the car before the start of Race 4. But they managed to do it all in time, and the Leona was able to participate in the final race.
The DNF in Race 3 meant that Leona had to start from the back in her class, which was not so good. However, fuelled with the determination to make up for lost ground from the previous misfortunes, she did not stay long in P5. By Turn 4 of the opening lap, she was already in second place and on Lap 3, she had moved ahead to lead the MTC field. From then on, she remained dominant and raced to the finish to take her second MTC win of the season. With 4 races done, the team is now preparing for another 2 rounds which will be held in mid-December.