Cisco Security Academy has announced the formation of its new racing team – Cisco Racing – which will participate in the 2021 Malaysian National Rally Championship (MRNC), with national rally legend Karamjit Singh as its lead driver.

In December last year, it was reported that Karamjit had to sell his personal Proton Waja in order to purchase a new Saga that would be used as an e-hailing vehicle. The news caught not just the attention of the public, but also Cisco managing director Rabin Nijhar, who decided to reach out to Karamjit. What started out as a simple job offer eventually lead to Cisco Racing being formed.

“After 2020, I was looking for an exciting opportunity when I came across Karam’s story, and we at Cisco were in a unique position to help. As we come out of the Covid pandemic, Malaysia needs a comeback story to rally behind, and I believe that Karamjit Singh is that story. We are excited to bring Malaysia together to support a true national icon,” said Rabin

“I’m very passionate about rallying, it’s been my job for nearly thirty years. I’ve been driving professionally since 1988, it was only up until recently that I’ve had trouble finding sponsors but the fact is, I can’t live without rallying. It is my passion and I just want to rally as much as I can and I am really looking forward to this event and getting back into the groove. I’ve missed rallying so much,” commented Karamjit.

For the upcoming MRNC season, which will kickstart in Sepang from June 26-27, Karamjit will be joined by his long-term and experienced co-driver, Jagdev Singh. “I am absolutely thrilled to get back into the car with Karam and must thank Cisco for giving us the opportunity to get back into competition,” said Jagdev.

“Karam and I go back a long way and we first partnered back in 1997, representing Proton and Malaysia in the Asia Pacific Rally of China. Since then, we have done many rallies together both locally and internationally, winning nearly every event we entered. I’m certainly looking forward to the first event in June and will put in 100% towards securing a win for us on our return!” he added.

Karamjit will pilot a Proton Gen2 2.0L Turbo 4WD at the MRNC, which has been in use since 2017. Powered by a Mitsubishi 4G63T engine and four-wheel drive system, it was originally developed in 2007 by Proton, with the national carmaker being the technical partner for the Felda Rally Team at the time. The team was led by Brian Palmer, who was responsible for Proton’s rally machines like the Satria 1.6 Group A that competed in the 1997 WRC Safari Rally and won in the Formula 2WD/A6 category.

This year marks a revival of sorts for rallying in the country following the end of the Malaysian Rally Championship (MRC) after its 2018 season, with the new MRNC taking its place as the highest national rally competition in Malaysia. The 2021 season originally featured five rounds, with the first set to start in April. However, the pandemic resulted in the first round being cancelled, with round two essentially taking its place.