Muhammad Rafiq Udhaya. This name may not ring a bell among Malaysian motorsports' fans as Karamjit Singh's would. Muhammad Rafiq's foray into the world of rallying went almost unnoticed by most local motorsports fans, and this might be due to the fact that he is being eclipsed by his more illustrious compatriot Karamjit.
Muhammad Rafiq is quite new to the sport and in his own words "a new hand at rallying with only four years of experience." Driving for the MRU Motorsports team in a Subaru Impreza WRX, he did reasonably well for a "new hand", beating even his more experienced compatriot, Karamjit.
In the recently concluded Malaysian Rally Championship (MRC) held in Johor Baru, he finished a credible 4th in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) category behind more established drivers in Katsu Taguchi of Japan, India's Gaurav Gill and Indonesian Rifat Sungkar.
In the Asia Cup held simultaneously, again Rafiq showed his capability by finishing 3rd behind Gaurav and Rifat, thus overshadowing his compatriot and local favourite Karamjit.
So to all Malaysian motorsports fans in general and rally fans in particular, remember this name:
MUHAMMAD RAFIQ UDHAYA. He has arrived, and hopefully have the mettle to take over as Malaysia's rally king, long synonymous with Karamjit.
Muhammad Rafiq Udhaya celebrating on the podium with co-driver Sean Gregory. - Pic by APRC.TV
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