‘Flying Sikh’ bids adieu to Proton, switches to Perodua Myvi

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SEPANG: National rally legend Karamjit Singh (pix) has bid goodbye to his beloved car brand Proton and shift his focus to the Perodua Myvi to compete in this season.

The 60-year-old, known as the ‘Flying Sikh’, said although he is a die-hard Proton fan, the decision had to be made after not getting support from Malaysia’s first car manufacturer.

He said that, from now on, he will no longer race using the 16-year-old Proton Gen2 car that he bought in 2017 and, on which, he had spent over RM500,000 of his savings on modifications.

“Anyway, nowadays rally cars around the world, whether in the WRC (World Rally Championship) 1 or 2, are really small, much like the size of a Myvi as they are easy to drive and weigh less. So, that’s why I agreed to try out the Myvi… who knows, Perodua will support us in the future.

“I actually feel sad about this change because I have been a fan of Proton since 1988 but, what can I do as (Proton) is not there for support, so I have to switch,“ he said at the Malaysia National Rally Championship (MNRC) trophy presentation ceremony, here, today.

For the 2023 season, Karamjit will defend his MNRC title at a tournament scheduled to start in June in addition to competing in the Indonesian Rally Championships and the Asia Pacific Rally Championships (APRC).

To ensure the new car meets international racing specifications, he said the cost of modifying it will be between RM500,000 and RM800,000. The machine will be powered by a 2.0-litre turbo engine and use a four-wheel-drive system.

Given the high costs, the 17-time national and the seven-time APRC champion hopes that someone from the government or the corporate sector will come forward to provide support.

Elaborating, Karamjit said his Proton Gen2 will be rented out to other racers for use in any race as it is still in good condition.

“Last year, this car won many races in Indonesia and Malaysia. I want to rent it out so that I can get back some of the money that had been spent. Selling it (now) will cause a huge loss as I have spent a lot on it, plus, it has low market value,” he said.

For the record, Karamjit has driven various Proton models, namely Saga from 1988-1992, Iswara (1993-1994), Wira (1995-1999 and 2006-2007), PERT (2000-2005), Satria Neo (2011-2015) and Gen2 from 2017 until 2022. – Bernama

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