By LIM TEIK HUAT PETALING JAYA – theStar.com.my:
Eight is not enough for Karamjit Singh, he wants more. The Flying Sikh landed his eighth FIA motor-rallying trophy when he captured the 2WD class in the Asia Pacific Series Championships (APRC) for the second year running after finishing sixth overall in the Rally of China last month. And with Deepavali in two days’ time, the 50-year-old Malaysian has just one wish – to continue to make the country proud.
Karamjit amassed a total of 161 points after six rounds of the championship to finish with a 33-point advantage over nearest rival Akira Bamba of Japan. Karamjit, who drove for the Proton R3 Cusco Rally Team this year, has continued to excel in the demanding sport despite the lack of support from the corporate sector.
“This is my second title in the 2WD category. I also collected five APRC trophies (two for Group N and three for overall between 2001 and 2004) and was the first Asian driver to win the FIA Production Car World Championship title in 2002.
“I treasure each of them as they are handed out by FIA. I’m still able to beat the faster cars on my best day. “I hope that I can continue to get sponsorship as I have proved that I can win in my category if my car doesn’t break down,” said Karamjit, who was the National Sportsman of the Year in 2002.
Karamjit is still unsure about his future plans but wished to have a chance to drive a better and more powerful car. “It all depends on whether I can get sponsorship. I hope Proton will continue the support and prepare a right-hand car for me to fight for the overall division. “Right now, the cars for the overall division are all left-hand drives but they can be modified. “I will be ready if I get the time to adapt to it as the new season only starts in May,” said the determined Karamjit, who used his own funds to made a comeback to the APRC scene last year.
“My friends and family members loaned me the money to go for a few races, which I won,” he said. “After I won the championship, Proton let me use the car for free this year. “Without passion, one cannot be a champion in any sport. My friends believe in me and want me to continue. I’m grateful for their support.”
Photos by Mitsuru Kotake