Even at a glance, this white Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6 lovingly named ‘Evonne’ already gives the vibe that it is a well used and dedicated track machine. The 4WD MegaLAP time attacker that you see here being followed closely by Tengku Djan’s BMW E36 M3 is fitted with a rollcage and a high gt-wing signalling its intent by driver Ken Yap, who clocked in 2:29.474 to grab top place in the Open Spec 4WD in MegaLAP Round 1.
The car was shod in grippy Toyo R888 semi-slicks and was naturally fast in Sepang. Ken, a veteran track junkie from way back Batu Tiga days will be participating in the second round of MegaLAP in April and no doubt he will be gunning it to retain his first placing in the Open Spec 4WD. While he’s preparing himself and the car for the second round, we caught up with him for a chat about his racing experience and how to drive fast at Sepang International Circuit.
MegaLAP: How did you start taking up racing, more specifically time attack events?
Ken Yap: I was always a petrol head, and had dabbled in genting runs and track days back in the day when Batu Tiga was still around. Had an older friend who was a racing driver and because I could keep up with him it gave me some fire in my belly. But as with most enthusiasts, due to financial reasons I only went into racing later in life. So you could say I’m trying to make up for lost time LOL! I competed in the 2010 Time to Attack just to see how my street ride would do if I stopped messing around and really put my head down for a lap. Happily enough the results were really good, and that got me hooked.
Time attack is like qualifying day, with all the nerves and the anticipation and the pressure to not make mistakes in the limited amount of time available, yet squeezing every bit of performance out of the car. Its something every track day enthusiast should try. Its all about your personal best and challenging yourself.
ML: What is your secret to success, timing the best lap in the first round?
KY: Patience, pacing and space. I went out really late in the session as I didn’t want to get mixed up in traffic, as with traffic around you it is harder to drive the ideal line. My subsequent laps were either mixed up in traffic or making mistakes during driving.
ML: Why the Evo 6 and not any other car? What would be the ideal car for you in a time attack event?
KY: 4WD. No matter what the purists say, when in comes to traction – 4WD is king. I myself have raced in FWD cars, own and tracked RWD cars, and I would still say 4WD is the best at accelerating out of the corners. RWD is fun but needs the driver to be smooth (in driving obviously, smooth physically is an option LOL). FWD is very functional, especially with today’s technology, but for outright laptimes, 4WD is boss. 4WD may not be as fun as say, an AE86 or an MX-5, but it gets the job done.
Best car for time attack? Well, perhaps something with a mid engine and rear biased 4WD and DSG gearbox! LOL!
ML: Any tips on driving fast in Sepang?
KY: Go out and lap the track in an old junk with a dud suspension and normal street tyres. Don’t worry about lap times, drive it until you are able to get a smooth lap on the line. Better still, get an experienced friend to take a ride with you and try to listen to advice and using the good points in your driving. Most importantly, take tips from the right people. When I was younger, I always asked for tips but had the unfortunate experience of having some of the senior guys who gave some bad advice just to funk a newbie up. So beware of who you choose to listen to!
Awesome advice Ken! As many experienced drivers would tell you, smoothness is key. No gung-ho kamikaze runs here, a level head can make a significant difference in being fast on track and save you from costly mistakes. Most important of all, is to have fun while doing it of course.
All the best for Ken Yap and the competitors in Round 2 of MegaLAP which will commence on April 21st! See you guys there!