Flying Sikh takes rally racing to the top again

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PETALING JAYA: The roar of modified engines will soon be heard again on the country’s dirt roads.

Karamjit Singh, an icon of Malaysian car rallying, will lead a new mission to train young rally drivers with the aim of bringing Malaysian rallying back to its glory days.

Karamjit will work with Cisco Academy, a sister company of IT security company Cisco, on its new Cisco Racing project.

Cisco Managing Director Rabin Nijhar said Cisco Racing was formed after hearing Karamjit’s story.

“After 2020 I was looking for an exciting opportunity and came across the story of Karamjit. We believe we were in a unique position to help restore Karamjit’s dream of being a Malaysian Rally Champion again, ”Rabin said at the Cisco Racing launch yesterday.

Rabin, who acknowledged Cisco Racing is a new player, said that while they are not the most experienced or relevant people, they are hopeful that bigger players will join their efforts to revive the sport.

“Rally racing was one of the sports Malaysia excelled at. By organizing races, we also hope to prevent illegal runners from circulating in the streets. “

Cisco Racing will launch its bid to reach the top by competing in this year’s National Rally Championship in Sepang on June 26-27. It will also be the first time that Karamjit has returned to the helm after a three-year hiatus.

“Taking to the track and winning will be the only way to prove that Karamjit and Cisco Racing are relevant on the rally scene,” he added.

With his trusty Proton Gen2 rally car as well as former co-driver Jagdev Singh, Karamjit believes they can lead the rally scene in Malaysia again.

Jagdev, who was also present at the launch, said that after a six-year hiatus from competitive rally racing, he and Karamjit are eager to get back on the track.

Speaking about his Proton Gen2 rally car which was last used in 2018, Karamjit said that while a new car would be ideal, factors such as time and money forced them to settle for the old car.

He said acquiring a new car would cost over RM1 million and it would take up to six months for the car to be rebuilt with the desired modifications.

Rabin said that while driving the Proton Gen2 is risky as it is in its final laps, it ultimately becomes part of the bigger story, which is Karamjit and his Gen2 scrambling to reach the finish line.

Karamjit was the 2002 National Sportsperson of the Year as well as Malaysia’s greatest rally racer.

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced him to adopt a more serene pace as an e-hailing driver.

Rabin said the ultimate goal is to give Malaysia a comeback story.

“As we come out of the Covid-19 pandemic, I think Karamjit is that story. We are delighted to bring Malaysia together to support a true national icon, ”added Rabin.


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