PETRONAS Syntium Team will fly the flag for Jalur Gemilang in the Malaysia Merdeka Millenium Endurance this Malaysia Day weekend went they stormed through to the top two places during qualifying at the Sepang International Circuit tomorrow.
Led by local driving ace, Fariqe Hairuman, Tatsuya Kataoka and Bernd Scheider, they topped the qualifying sessions in a Mercedes SLS with a total 6 minutes 16.346s.
They will be followed by another Petronas Syntium team in the front row, led by Nobuteru Taniguchi and compatriot, Masataka Yanagida from Japan as the duo bid to improve on third place last year.
Dominic Ang, who replaces Imran Zaharias from last year completes the 3 driver line up, clocking a total of 6 minutes 17.231s.
The teams enjoyed a slightly cloudy day yesterday but with the imminent rain forecasted today, it was the only piece of news to dampen the enthusiasm of Hairuman and co.
“Oh no, no rain! I hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow (today). We have prepared our strategy for tomorrow (today).
“If it rains tomorrow, we just have to think about a new strategy for our tyres and set-up.
“Hopefully this time we will go a step further and win the MMER as a present for our beloved country this Malaysia Day, “ added Hairuman.
Following the two Mercedes SLS are Belgian Audi with Le Mans 24 Hours champions, Marcel Fassler ably supported by runner up last year, Frank Biela and Marco Werner.
The dream team of Le Mans winners were expected to do well in qualifying but with this being a marathon rather than a sprint, the marginal difference is not expected to count for much in this 12 Hour Endurance Race.
Biela, will be hoping to erase the disappointment of last year after issues with the speed and weight of the car prevented them from giving a stronger challenge to Tengku Hammam and co of Arrows Racing who opted out this year.
“Basically what went wrong was our car was a little bit slow than the Lamborghini.
“We were too heavy, or they didn’t carry enough weight. For sure the competition is very strong and it’s more tougher this year.
The race this year will commence in noon and end at midnight, with Biela already preparing beforehand with their Audi R8 LMS fitted with air conditioners in anticipation of the heat.
“The race starts at lunch time and it’s unbelievably hot. For this reason, we have fitted in air conditioners. No matter what, it’s still hot with the temperatures around 35-40 degrees Celsius,” added Biela.
Nexus Racing, comprising of Adrian Henry D’ Silva was the fastest in the Sports Production Class, clocking the total time of 7 minutes 04.124 seconds placing them 11th overall.
Meanwhile, JC Racing trio – Eddie Liew, Patrick Tam, Keifli Othman – was the fastest in the Touring Production class, in 13th place overall with a total time of 7 minutes 18.557 seconds.
Besides the race which is opened free for the public, there will be many exciting events held around the circuit, with the main attraction being the 12 Hours 12 DJ 1 Race 1 Party featuring hot international DJ’s rocking the circuit tonight.
Keeping the crowd awake all night long during the 12 hour endurance race are Cassie D, Aurology, Zass Zuss, RAsz Tooten, Shane, Adham Nasri, Popcorn Perky, DJ K, Ramsey and Nicky C.
Headlining this musical revolution are Shogun, Aaron Camz who promise to bring the house down with their brand of music from at the North Paddock from 2 pm to 2 am.
Pre-sale tickets are going for RM45 while door sales on event day are RM60 so concert goers are advised to purchase their tickets early to avoid disappointment.
Besides the 12 hour concert, race goers will be entertained with the many side events in store including drift, air brush demo show, sticker demo show, car club gathering, Rc drift preview, audio ice competition, spit fire show and pocket bike rides at the Mall area.
So what are you waiting for? Head down to SIC, the place to be for all night racing and entertainment. This is one event that’s worth staying up for.
For more information about the concert, please contact 03-7805 2900 or log on to www.sepangcircuit.com for more information about other side events.
MMER 2011 – QUALIFYING RESULTS AND GRID POSITIONS
1. Tatsuya Kataoka/Fariqe Hairuman/Bernd Schneider (Mercedes SLS) 6:16.346s
2. Nobuteru Taniguchi/Masataka Yanagida/Dominic Ang (Mercedes SLS) 6:17.231s
3. Frank Biela/Marcel Fassler/Marco Werner (Audi R8 ) 6:18.421s
4. Mok Weng Sun/Gianmaria Bruni/Matthew Griffin (Ferrari F458) 6:18.829s
5. Siu Yuk Lung/Keita Sawa/Dominik Schwager (Lamborghini LP560) 6:19.413
6. Darryl O’Young/Seiji Ara/Alex Yoong(Audi R8) 6:19.753s
7. Frank Yu/Alain Jacques Gilbert Li/Stefan Johansson (Ford GT3) 6:22.946s
8. Jeffrey Lee/Alexandre Imperatori/Aaron Lim (audi R8) 6:24.476s
9.Billy Fung/Christian Jones/Akihiro Asai (Lamboghini LP560) 6:24.662
10.Franz Engstler/Dominik Kraihamer/Andrei Romanov (BMW Z4) 6:31.997s
GT Class Top 3
1. Tatsuya Kataoka/Fariqe Hairuman/Bernd Schneider (Mercedes SLS) – PETRONAS Syntium Team
2. Nobuteru Taniguchi/Masataka Yanagida/Dominic Ang (Mercedes SLS) – PETRONAS Syntium Team
3. Frank Biela/Marcel Fassler/Marco Werner (Audi R8 ) – Belgian Audi Club
Touring Production Top 3
1. Eddie Lew/Patrick Tam/Keifli Othman (Honda DC5) – JC Racing
2. Wong Yew Choong/Soh Kee Koon / Lai Wee Sing (Honda Civic FD2 Mugen)-Type R Racing Team
3. Piti Bhirombhakdi/Butthikorn/Apathorn Karvasut (Honda FD2-R)-Singha Honda Total Team Thailand
Sports Production Top 3
1. Adrian D’ Silva/M.Fahrizal/Ian Ross Geekie (Aston Martin Vantage) – Nexus Racing Team
2. Denis Lian/Oh Siang Hui,Eugene/James Fancourt Mitchell (Lotus) – Aylezo motorsports
3. Masatama Kawaguchi/Masayuki Ueda/Norio Kubo(Honda S2000) – Tracy Sports