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  • Writer's pictureRyan Lutz

MNL #2 in Malaysia

No rest for the weary as I traveled home from Arizona to Ohio for about 20 hours following the Dirt Nitro Challenge event. That was about 5 hours worth of flying, a lot for some people. But that next morning I embarked on a trip around the world that would take about 22 hours in the air and maybe 27 overall.  My destination was Malaysia by way of Singapore for the Malaysian National league round #2 in Johor Bahru. As mentioned I flew into Singapore arriving just after midnight where I was picked up by Ilias and another local where we were transported across the Singapore/Malaysian boarder in what amounted to about a 45 minute trip. We soon arrived to our house that was rented for us which I did a Facebook live tour of on my Facebook page. We stayed up to 3am chatting before heading off to bed where I awoke at 7am. (I was fortunate to get a lot of sleep on the planes, so this allowed me to jump right into their schedule which was +13 hours from my normal time zone.)

So first day and the plan was to go to McDonalds for breakfast as the rumor was that I was like other Americans who had visited, and wouldn’t want to eat the local cuisine. But on the drive we decided to hit up a Dim Sum location and I dove right into the local food. To me I really enjoy most of the food in Asia, and it’s a nice change of pace from what I am constantly eating in America. I really enjoy the great variety and it started the day off right! Next we headed over to the track where we would spend the day practicing and I would spend some time helping a young man (but very tall! (12 y/o but probably 6’4″!)) get his car all dialed in. I let a few people run my Truggy, and just had a good time running on this multi surface (Dirt, Bricks, carpet jump faced) track.

That night we met with some more people who would be staying with us and we went out to dinner and then back to the house where we called it a night (At least I did as I was now tired pretty early). The next day we awoke to some rain and for the next two days it would just be off and on. As soon as the track would look like it was ready to race again another downpour would come washing out hopes of running. Many others had arrived to attend the event and what was amazing to me was that they still almost all stayed at the track each day and just hung out and worked on their vehicles. Everyone was extremely friendly and kind which is what I encounter all over the world in general. It’s pretty awesome to experience when our news is bombarded with fear about other locations, but I see none of it when I travel around the World.

Friday evening when we headed back to the house we decided to have a quick 3 on 3 Futbol match. We called it the East vs. West All stars. It was over pretty quick, about 3 points in after a few of the more mature guys couldn’t breath anymore! It was low 80’s and very humid after all! But it was a lot of fun and a nice way to unwind from the day. On Saturday at the track Ilias and I spent most of the day building a brand new NB48.4 for the local distributor which he was able to sell at the track as many watched me build the buggy and we called it my Pro Build #003. On Saturday eventing we were down to 2 on 2 for Futbol and I feel like my skills improved greatly over the first day and my team took the win! (There is video footage out there on Facebook, trust me though, it’s nothing to impressive haha.)

So it was Sunday and the threat of rain was still there but fortunately it held off. We ran one 10 minute qualifier to seed for the mains. The track was muddy still and I was up in race 2 for buggy. I was racing my buggy #002 that Eddie would be receiving after the event so I felt kind of bad running it in the mud. But it was the right thing to do so I got it muddy and had some fun racing again. Then we participated in a 25 minute semi-final to seat up the mains. Later in the day around 2:30 we would run the hour long final. I bet Kent who is the local distributor that I would beat him by 10 laps based on how the Semi’s went. In the hour long final I had my front body clip come undone early in a lap causing an alligator and also a few other crashes. I would come away with the victory by about 6 laps after the final but I only beat Kent by 9 laps and 10 seconds thus we say he beat me!

The final race of the day was a 45 minute truggy final. There were only 6 of us so I managed to drive normal for about 5 minutes and then I just decided to have fun a push it. So for the next 40 minutes I continued to dial up the intensity as I drifted corners, overshot jumps, did some whips, and would see how much I could balloon the inside tires through corners. I also had fun tailgating the other drivers as I approached them to the delight of the crowd. I had fun and I think everyone watching did too. I put the truck and new Blok engine to the test running 40 minutes at noodled intensity and it all held up great!

After racing I quickly cleaned up the buggy and was able to present it to Eddie. Then we headed off to get cleaned up and dinner at Domino’s where we all said our goodbyes. We were off to Singapore then so I could make my 6am flight on Monday morning.

I had a great time in Malaysia and made a lot of new friends and met some great people. I’d like to thank Kent, Eric, Sam, Kato, Danny, Ilias, and many others who made the trip possible and enjoyable! I look forward to another trip in the future to visit and race again!

Next up for me is a week to get caught up on life before heading out to Vegas for the Silver State Nitro Challenge!

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