PETALING JAYA: Compatriots Jimmy Low and Muhammad Hilmi Zul Hassan, driving for the Petronas EON Racing Team, are gunning for a second successive victory in round two of the Perodua-AAM Malaysian Rally Championship in Lumut, Perak this weekend.
The two-day rally will cover a total of 16 special stages starting in the district area of Manjung before finishing at the Dataran Lumut on Sunday.
“We won't be holding back, that's for sure,” said a determined Jimmy, who is also the defending national rally champion.
He currently tops the points standings with 16 maximum championship points after an inspiring opening round in Sungai Petani last month where he won the rally by a margin of almost seven minutes.
Jimmy, who won four of last year's six rounds in the championship, appears to be the man to beat in his turbo-charged four-wheel drive Proton Wira.
“The expectations are certainly high but you cannot allow this to get in the way of your concentration. As you know, anything can happen in a rally and although we may be one of the fastest competitors in the championship, we also have to first finish before finishing first,” said the 45-year-old veteran.
“We're also hoping to have an uninterrupted season this time. Last year, we won the first two rounds of the championship but our campaign experienced a setback with two consecutive retirements resulting from mechanical problems after that.
“Hopefully, none of that happens this year.”
Hot on Jimmy's heels will be former national rally champions Gunaseelan Rajoo and Perodua M5 Racing Team's Kan Chee Hong. Gunaseelan was fighting for first place in Sungai Petani until a broken differential and later a severely damaged gearbox put him out of the rally while Chee Hong has been equally threatening behind the wheel of a four-wheel drive turbo-charged Perodua Kelisa.
Driving the second of PERT's two-car assault in the 2003 championship will be Rozali Abdullah and co-driver Romzi Hassan who are looking to score points after an early retirement in Sungai Petani.