PETALING JAYA: Missing this year’s Hari Raya celebrations at home was hard but proved worthwhile when Rizal Ashram Ramli became the first Malaysian to win two races in the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Asia championship.
The racecar driver from Malaysia’s first homegrown team – Lamborghini Kuala Lumpur JH Italia – beat 18 other “raging bulls” from around Asia to win the races in Ordos, China, on Aug 18 and 19.
“This is not the first time I’ve missed Hari Raya with my family,” Rizal said in a telephone interview yesterday.
“However, this is the first time I do not feel so bad about being away from home.”
Rizal, 36, who is married to actress Fasha Sandha, had often been away during the festivities when he was studying in England and the United States.
“I called my family from Ordos immediately after winning,” he said. “They were even more delighted than me.”
The championship, a one-make series which debuted in Asia this year, made its first round in Sepang International Circuit in May.
Despite not finishing the Sepang races, Rizal finished second in the second run at the Fuji Speedway in Japan last month.
“Racing in Ordos was less stressful due to the cool weather.
“In Sepang, it was so hot that the temperature rose to 64°C inside the car. Luckily I had a cooling suit!”
For the championship, he drives the specially-designed Lamborghini Super Trofeo car – a lightweight version of the brand’s famed Gallardo LP560-4 model.
Rizal said Fasha “is my greatest supporter”, adding that she attended his first two races.
“She had to remain in Malaysia for Raya, but if it were on any other day she would have been there for me,” he said.
The racer is now looking to maintain his performance for the remaining three rounds in Guangdong and Shanghai, China.
The championship had a successful three-year run in Europe and its Asian debut has six runs, with the grand finale in November. - theStarOnline