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Diaries: AROC Malaysia "Gran Tourismo" 2004 - 1-3 October 2
The AROC Malaysia “Gran Tourismo” 2004, Oct 1 to 3, 2005 – Event Report

Grand Tour is always seen as AROC’s “Premium Event of the Year” and this year was not an exception with different challenges for all. Among the notable ones were the “ Night Slalom”, “Night 300m Sprint”, “400m Sprint”, “1Km Sprint” and even the “Special Stages”. All these were done with “Safety” precaution in mind.

To add spices to this year Grand Tour; it was called “Gran Turismo the Mille Miglia Survivor Series” where the overall mileage clocked in was close to 1000 miles and required drivers’ and navigators’ skills, indeed. All routes were carefully selected and the specific time frames were introduced for each stage to provide satisfaction to the participants.

Each route has its own Italian names;

 The Campari Route : Dengkil to Yong Peng
 The Nuvolari Route : Yong Peng to Desaru via Kluang
 The Borzacchini Route: Desaru to Pekan
 The Ascari Route : Pekan to Raub via Gambang and Jerantut
 The Fangio Route : Raub to Gap/Fraser’s Hill via Teranum

There were about 40 Alfas of different models participated in this year’s Grand Tour. The 146, 147, 156, 155, 164,168,166 and also the GTV 2000, GTV 6, Alfasud Ti, all eager to strut their stuff.

Day 1: September 29th 2004

It commenced early as all registered cars for this year GT must undergo the simple scrutineering session at Sunway Extreme Park. Briefing session was carried out during that night and all goodies and GT stickers were distributed too. The Past Masters was handed with different sticker numbers indicated as P1, P2 and P3.

Day 2: October 1st 2004

Flag off as early as 8:00 am at Dengkil R&R led by the Past Masters at 5 minutes interval. All cars anticipated to arrive at Yong Peng for a lunch break and proceeded to Desaru for the second stage. A special stage was carried out within the “Campari Route” where each car was allowed to clock their fastest time.

Night sessions started at Desaru close circuit road; these were the first ever slalom and sprint tests conducted at night. The events for day 2 ended at midnight.

Day 3: October 2nd 2004

The third stage commenced at Tg Balau, Desaru at 8:30 am. This was an extra ordinary flag off which incorporates the 400m and 1km-sprint tests. It was proven that the GTA is fast and no other Alfa can beat its time in the sprint event…. But hats off accorded to the old Alfa Romeo cars like GTV 2000 Bertone, Alfasud 1.5 TI whose engines remained standard and yet their recorded times very close to the new Alfa series.

Arrival at Pekan, Pahang; the last check point for 3rd stage was expected in the afternoon. And the 4th stage between Gambang Toll and Teranum was called off due to error recorded in the tulip.

The final stage was a “hill climb” that covered a n aproximate distance of 22km of winding and hilly route from Teranum to Gap near Fraser Hill.

Finally, all cars survived except a famous car among the members called “Gradually Turning Vegetable” or in short GTV who simply decided to have a “permanent pit” and be “Pampered” all the way back to Kuala Lumpur.

At the end, we left our marks in the form of burned tyre marks and brake smells and sometime “oil spills”. Congratulation to the “The Flying” Doc Wong who emerged as the overall champion. His courage, passion and indeed the “Coure Sportivo” spirit to sacrifice his “bella” was an honour to AROC. To the others, we know that you will come back next year for more.... To Ron Nathan, we know that you won’t ask “Mr Mouth Of English Channel” help in the future unless you can turn the Lotus Esprit into the super submarine to champion the current of English Channel….

It was for the first time that a challenge trophy called “Coppa d’Gran Turismo” was introduced in addition to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place Trophy. Other prizes for individual events such as Sprint, Slalom, Special Stage and Hill climb were name after the legendary Alfa drivers; Disco Volante, Scighera, Visconti and Nuvola respectively.

Winners emerged for this year’s edition and created the history of AROCM were:

a. Champion : “The Flying” Doc Wong (156, 2.0 TS)
b. 2nd Runner up : Melvin Goh (155 1.8TS)
c. 3rd Runner up : KK Tang (Alfetta GTV6 3.0)
d. Sprint : Gary Wong (156 GTA)
e. Hill Climb : Doc Wongs (156 2.0TS)
f. Slalom : T Araso (166 3.0 24V)
g. Special Stage : Ron Nathan (Alfetta GTV6 3.0)
h. Coure Sportivo : Aaron Cowie (156 2.5 V6)
i. Best New Comer : Mohd. Roslee Ghani (156 2.0TS)

Special thanks accorded to the sponsors Exxon Mobil, Mega Auto, Desaru Golden Beach Hotel and Pelican Ace for their generosity in making this year GT a successful and memorable event for everyone.

Note : For images of the GT2004 please visit our Photogallery "AROCM GT 2004"

Posted: yazid @ Tue Apr 19, 2005 11:07 am

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