Fariqe Takes First S1K Crown, Syafiq Scores Hattrick with R3

Sunday, 25th November 2018- Fariqe Hairuman a.k.a. Wak Tempe, who has won the Asian Touring Car Championship and Japan’s Super Taikyu titles in his glittering racing career, finally landed the Sepang 1000km title; partnering Syafiq Ali in a Proton Iriz to help Proton R3 Motorsports to retain the coveted crown at Sepang International Circuit (SIC) last night.
For Syafiq - a multiple M Production (MTC) champion under the Malaysia Championship Series (MCS), it was his third S1K crown; having the title with Proton R3 Motorsports in 2012 with Japan’s Morio Nitta in a Satria Neo machine, and with Tengku Djan Ley Tengku Mahaleel in a Proton Preve in 2014.
Indeed, it was a super sweet victory for Fariqe after all his near misses to glory in endurance races at Sepang at the 12-hour Merdeka Millennium Endurance Race (MMER) and the S1K, which included last year’s race where he and Syafiq were leading for most of the race; but had to be contended with fifth place after technical glitch on the final hour.
Met after the podium ceremony, the Johor-born driver simply could not hide his feelings as he held tight the challenge trophy; praising God for giving him the opportunity have his name carved as winner of the 10th edition of the S1K with his best friend, Syafiq.
“Naturally, I would like to thank Allah SWT for all the kindness and deeds that He has given me. I would like to also thank my team, Proton Motorsports and the entire team crew for their support and my family for support to me. Thank you and congrats to Syafiq for winning this for a third time. For me, this is my first endurance title won in Malaysia; though I have won a few on the international arena. So, I am very, very happy.
'Congratulation to all the winners. To my Saga team-mates, thank you for giving a such wonderful race; to Honda Malaysia thank you for your fight against us until the last few laps. I’m so sorry on what happened to both of your cars; but you guys were flying!” Fariqe said in reference to the late drama, which saw both cars retiring at the last few laps of the 181-contest.
Starting from 2nd of the grid, Fariqe, who took the first drive, quickly managed to push to the front at Turn 4; passing pole sitter, Tedco Racing on Lap 1. As they tried to pull away from the rest of the field, Fariqe was passed back by Tedco Racing’s Nick Mah just before the Safety Car were deployed. After the Safety Car went back in on Lap 4, Fariqe surged past his rival to take back the lead, which he maintained throughout his stint before handover to Syafiq.
Commenting on the overall race, Fariqe said: “'We definitely would be able to do a better race for us if the Safety Car did not come out so often. I've calculated that the Safety Car were out at the track about 1 hour 20 minutes in total during the races. It was working against our advantage as our rivals continually closed the gap during the time of the Safety Car.
“But, our team engineer did a brilliant job; by doing strategic calls in terms of pit stop and driving time strategy. On track, however, me and Syafiq simply need to really focus on our drive and continuing to keep our rivals at bay. Alhamdulillah, we did it! I would like to dedicate this winning trophy to my ‘sifu’ the late Dato' David Wong for keep believing in me. Without him, I just a normal Kampung Boy,' said the former Petronas Syntium driver.
Syafiq was brief in his comments; congratulating the Proton R3 Motorsports team and crew members for their hard work and dedication that paved way for their victory, which was Proton’s R3 fourth overall title in the history of the S1K, which traced back to 2009. Proton R3 was also the Technical Parther that supported Mayhem - FX Tune Racing Team winning the title in 2016 with Tengku Djan Ley, Keifli Othman, Zizan Razak and lady driver, Faye Kusairi in a Proton Suprima S.
Filled with suspense and drama, Fariqe and Syafiq finished the 181-lap contest in 8 hours 44 mins and 2.174 seconds; and 2 minutes 10.652 seconds ahead of Team Dream Chaser Malaysia, which featured Mitchell Cheah, Adam Khalid and CY Ong in Proton Satria Neo.
Boy Wong Yew Choong and William Ho of Wing Hing Motorsports took third overall and the M Production class in their Toyota Vios; earning the podium win after the late retirement of last year’s winners – Admi Shahrul Ahmad Safian and James Veerapen of Proton R3 Motorsports and the HMRT duo of Farriz Fauzy and Aaron Lim.
The challenge of pole sitter, Tedco Racing – featuring Nick, Farouk Abdul Kathir and Australian Chris O’Shannesy fizzled out early after their Suzuki Swift encountered mechanical problems; forcing long repair works in the pits, and effectively putting them out of contention. The team eventually finished the race in 33rd position.
The Stock Production class was topped by Riyoz Racing, which finished 4th overall. Featuring a Japan-Malaysian partnership of Karurosa Honda, Kouji Obara, William Chong and Kenneth Shak, the team completed 171 laps to earn their place at the top of the podium.
Singapore-based ST Wangan Racing Team took second place for the class after their drivers Teh Kian Boon, Desmond Soh and Filbert Tan completed 170 laps around the 5,543-km track. The partnership of Danial Rein Ooi, Victor Conrad and Mung Chi Hung took third for the SP class.
The S1K event, which was concluded today, included actions from the Asian Classic Car Challenge, F4 SEA Championship, F3 Asian Championship and the season finale of the Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup.
Races were telecast live at SIC Facebook via livestreaming; attracting more than 550,008 viewers over the three-day event.
2018 Sepang 1000KM Endurance Race
Top 10 Finishers – 181 laps
1.Fariqe Hairuman, Syafiq Ali (Proton Iriz) - 181 laps (8:44:02.174)
2. Mitchell Cheah/Adam Khalid/CY Ong (Proton Satria Neo) – 181 laps
3. Boy Wong Yew Choong/William Ho (Toyota Vios) – 178 laps
4. William Chong/ Karurosa Honda /Kouji Obara/ Kenneth Shak (Suzuki Swift) – 171 laps
5. Desmond Soh Chee Siang / Tan Chye Heng / Teh Kian Boon (Toyota Vios) – 170 laps
6. Danial Rein Ooi / Victor Conrad / Mung Chi Hung (Suzuki Swift) – 170 laps
7. Nasri Said /Keifli Othman /Leona Chin / Alif Hamdan (Toyota Vios) – 170 laps
8. Hugo Chai / Alex Wong / Danny Loh (Suzuki Swift) – 169 laps
9. Faidzil Alang / Mahyudin Kelion/ Nazrul Hakim (Suzuki Swift) - 169 laps
10. Brendon Lim /Eric Yong / Boon Pin (Toyota Vios) - 169 laps