Endurance races play on a different set of rules compared to the normal, 3-hour races that we usually hear of like Formula 1 or Super GT. While they do need to go past the checkered flag in first to claim the victory, it is also essential for them to get the perfect setup and balance between man and machine to be able to survive the punishing stints. And again, the PETRONAS SYNTIUM team proved that they got what it takes to secure the top spots in the MMER as they claim the first two spots of the podium.
Somewhere in the ninth hour of the race, the GT class’ race leader, the Clearwater Racing Team had encountered some steering issues on their Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 which had forced them to pull the car into the garage for repairs. Both of the PETRONAS SYNTIUM’s SLSs took the opportunity and overtook the Clearwater 458 in the overall lap count and stretching up the lead. The Ferrari had spent quite a long time in the garage before resuming the battle, but it looks like the 2012 MMER strained the Clearwater 458 too far as shortly after, it was back in the garage again, except for this time it is not coming back out.
The No.1 PETRONAS SYNTIUM Mercedes SLS of Nobuteru Taniguchi, Masataka Yanagida and Dominic Ang took the winning position followed by the No.28 SLS with Fariqe Hairuman, Melvin Moh and Tatsuya Kataoka on the wheels with 317 laps, only two short of the lead car. Although faced with a number of challenges along the way like a tire puncture on the seventh hour, LKM Racing Team’s Porsche 911 GT3R managed overcome all of those and bring the car all the way to the end for a third place finish.
In the Sport Production class, the standings are just the same as it was during the sixth hour of the race where the Aston Martin GT4 of Nexus Racing took the podium’s top spot for the class. With a great lead of 15 laps from the next competitor, Nexus Racing secured an easy and smooth victory with no major issue plaguing their journey throughout the race.
The FXPrimus Aylezo Racing’s Evora GT4 maintained on the second position on the race with 268 laps followed by the No.53 Nissan Fairlady with 264 laps.
Although with only a 1-lap lead during halfway into the race, the combination of Wong Yew Choong, Soh Kee Koon and Lai Wee Sing had stuck with their simple strategy of giving their full focus and concentration on the next half of the race, enabling the Type R Racing Team to secure the top position of the Touring Production class until the end of the race.
ST-Powered Team’s FD2R had lost their pace during that course, seeing the Australians in the sole Subaru of the race taking up second place with 267 laps, and the trio of Akira Aida, Takeshi Tsuchiya and Morio Nitta finishing just three laps behind in the Toyota 86.
We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the winners of the 2012 Malaysia Merdeka Endurance Race, and also our upmost respect to all those that managed to soldier on to cross the finishing line at the 12th hour. Finishing an endurance race is no easy feat, and being able to do so is really something that one could be proud of.
2012 MALAYSIA MERDEKA ENDURANCE RACE
Nobuteru Taniguchi/ Masataka Yanagida/ Dominic Ang (Team Petronas Syntium) 157 laps
1. Nobuteru Taniguchi/ Masataka Yanagida/ Dominic Ang(Mercedes SLS) 319 laps
2. Fariqe Hairuman/ Melvin Moh/ Tatsuya Kataoka (Mercedes SLS) 317 laps
3. Darryl o’ Young/Keita Sawa/Siu Yuk Lung (Porsche 911 GT3) 310 laps
1. Mohd Fahrizal Hassan/ Adrian D’Silva/ Daniel Bilski (Aston Martin) 283 laps
2. Zen Low/ Patrick Ng Bee Soon/ Marcus Chye (Lotus Evora) 268 laps
3. Mohamed Nazir/ Mohamed Ridzuan/ Khairul Anwar (Nissan Fairlady) 264 laps
1. Wong Yew Choong/ Soh Kee Koon/ Lai Wee Sing (Honda Civic FD2 Mugen) 270 laps
2. James Hunter/Gavin Bullas/Grant Johnson (Subaru) 267 laps
3. Akira Aida/Takeshi Tsuchiya/Morio Nitta (Toyota 86) 264 laps