EZY Racing looks for victory in the run up to the Asia Cup
EZY Racer Mike Young was placed 3rd at the recently concluded Rally Hokkaido 2016
Obihiro, Japan: After several challenging stage battles with German contender Fabian Kreim and Japan’s Hitoshi Takayama, EZY Racers Mike Young and Malcolm Read finished the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) Rally Hokkaido by securing third place at the end of 18 Special Stages.
With being ranked second by mid-day service on Day 1, Young fell to third after his Cusco EZY Racing Subaru gave trouble with two punctures having Young concede the runner-up position to Fabian Kreim, who drives a much faster Skoda Fabia R5.
While local driver and 2015’s Asia Cup Champion, Hitoshi Takayama also vowed to challenge Young for third place and managed to reduce the gap at a time to approximately 20 seconds, Young fought back and ended the rally 54 seconds ahead of Takayama.
“We’re happy with the results over the weekend as we were the best of the Group N cars and that reflects really well for our team,” said Young. “Japan has some fond memories for us from last year, and this is a track we have been particularly good at conquering. We pushed hard when we could and backed off when it was a bit rough. We had a few issues with punctures but it’s a good result overall.”
Young added: “We really enjoyed the challenges thrown by both Kreim and Takayama, but it’s a real shame a flat tyre ended the battle with Fabian for second place.”
Young kicking up a dust storm at Rally Hokkaido
Rally Hokkaido is a special event for Young as it’s the home of, Cusco, EZY Racing’s technical partner “Japan is one of my favourite rallies because the fans are passionate, and even if the weather is bad, they’ll still make the effort to watch.”
Malcolm Read, Young’s co-driver, said: “The calibre of Mike’s driving continues to impress me. His skill was reflected with the stage times against the R5’s this weekend and it’s great to do it at Cusco’s home event.”
EZY Racing made a surprise announcement as they signed up Indian driver, Sanjay Takale in a significant step to increase the team’s coverage at the Asia Pacific Championship Rally (APRC). Indian Driver Takale, who is an experienced campaigner in APRC represented EZY Racing at Rally Hokkaido 2016, alongside team mate Mike Young, kicking off their Asia Cup campaign in a very strong footing.
Takale, a seasoned prospect who has a long involvement and passion for motorsport, has been competing in the APRC for the last few years. In 2013, Takale won the APRC Production Cup and is back and ready to compete for the Production Cup title again. Takale opened his Asia Cup points with the completion of Rally Hokkaido, and currently sits in at 5th place.
Founder and CEO of EZY Racing Shafraz Hamzadeen sharing his sentiments on the new sign up said: “We are excited to have experienced driver Sanjay Takale join our international racing team. After a year-long break due to a prolonged illness during the 2015 rally season, we are certain former APRC Production Cup champion will make his comeback to APRC. Takale has come in mid-season to prepare and give us a head start into next year’s season. The partnership is a reflection of our how we hope to grow our brand and team strength internationally.”
Indian Driver Sanjay Takale, an experienced campaigner in APRC, represented EZY Racing at Rally Hokkaido
Hamzadeen continued: “Rally Hokkaido was another testament to Mike’s skills against the much powerful Skoda’s. Ever since he debuted last year in the 4WD category, Mike has now grown to be the biggest challenger to the much faster MRF Skoda’s, who have been simply untouchable since there upgrade to the new R5’s this year. We are currently 2nd in the Asia Cup Segment and look forward to Malaysia where we hope to keep the pressure on the front runners and be optimistic about our chances for a surprise win.”
EZY Racing which is in its third year of international motor racing is optimistic about its chances at the Asia Cup given Young’s competiveness this year. The Asia Cup will accumulate points for EZY Racing over the concluded races in Japan and in Malaysia and India closer to the latter half of the year. Young will run alongside strong and seasoned contenders Takayama, Sumiyama and Gill who have all held Asia Cup Championship titles over 2015, 2014 and 2013 respectively. Young and Read currently sit in at 3rd place for the Asia Cup, behind Gill in 1st place and Takayama in 2nd.
The next round on Young’s calendar is the Malaysian Rally, which will be instrumental in giving EZY Racing the advantage for the Asia Cup title. “We want to take the fight to the Skodas in Malaysia, plus enjoy the warm weather. Malaysia is challenging, but we look forward to the support I have from EZY Racing and team mate Sanjay Takale,” said Young.
The Malaysian Rally will be held in Johor Bahru from 29 to 30 October.